back to article Apple seeks geniuses to work on 6G cellular modem before it's even shipped own 5G chip

Apple hasn't put homegrown 5G modems in its iPhones yet, but is already looking for a jump-start on 6G modems. In the past few weeks, the Cupertino technology giant has posted job ads pointedly looking for talent that can put a 6G cellular modem into its product roadmap. The "6G cellular platform architect" roles advertised …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

    Meanwhile, 4G will still be good enough for most people.

    Fully immersive VR ? Does that mean that I'll have to work with a bulky headset all day long ?

    No thanks.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

      4G is not good enough because latency and voice.

      5G is good enough, I don´t know what 6G has on the table, but 5G already provides bandwidth and latency

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: 4G will still be good enough for most people.

      There was a time when dial-up modems were good enough for most people. Time moves on, and gradually things improve, although of course not every step is an improvement. The overall direction of travel is what counts.

      GJC

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: 4G will still be good enough for most people.

        Time moves on, and gradually things take more and more bandwidth for very little reason at all.

        A picture saves a thousand words. Which is a fucking waste of bandwidth when all you wanted woz a cheese burger. That four hundred other dickheads wanted to sell you something is neither here nor there.

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

      Never mind 5 and 6G, 4 bars of 4G all of the time would nice before they go flogging the next shiny.

      It seems that making a generation work seamlessly everwhere ought to be the aim, rather than making a generation obsolete just to keep the marketing boys happy.

      Planning for new, improved generations makes sense but talking about rollout dates before they even know if it is going to work is just hype.

    4. Proton_badger

      Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

      I don't know, around here the sub-6 5G networks have already helped a lot with the increasing congestion we saw on 4G in the cities and 600MHz 5G is even giving better signal on the countryside than the 800MHz 4G.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

        By the time 5G is in the countryside the countryside will be an array of masts where trees used to be.

    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

      Apple's jobs ads don't require knowing what an antenna is, but you get extra credit if you do.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Meanwhile, 4G will still be good enough for most people."

    Yes, but continuing to use 4G won't force you to buy expensive new kit. Where d'you think the revenue stream comes from?

  3. khjohansen

    Battle of the standards

    -Winner takes all!

  4. Vimes

    Personally I'd prefer it if they spent a little more money on their QA testing (*cough*Monterey, bent ipads etc. etc.)

  5. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Cellular?

    Is that a new life-form requirement to prevent AI from applying?

  6. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I don't understand some of those requirements

    They might as well say "we want to employ someone who has time travelled from 2040 with the working design principles and specifications for reliable and fast comms networks, preferably someone with a factory already making the bloody things"

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Possible typo

    Unless Apple is really expecting to beef up its radio department, this can only be about 5G, or possibly, Wifi 6. 6G is still in the blue sky phase, though like 5G it's likely to be dominated by Asian manufacturers. But even if it were beyond that, work won't start on receivers for a good while yet. But maybe Apple is planning to buy a seat on the various bodies (GSMA, et al.) that will bless 6G when it emerges,

    1. Proton_badger

      Re: Possible typo

      Since they have a 5G modem almost ready (in a year or two) and they're planning to make their own modems moving forwards they need to be current on the budging standards and maybe also involved in the development of them. If they waited until the standards were ready, they would be gravely behind because it takes years to make a modem.

      1. BloggsyMaloan

        Re: Possible typo

        "... and they're planning to make their own modems moving forwards they need to be current on the budging standards and maybe also involved in the development of them"

        Wot?

        "Re: Possible typo "

        Ah. OK.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Possible typo

        What input do you think that Apple can seriously be expected to provide? Unless it's planning to roll out its own 6G network it really doesn't need to get involved this early.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Possible typo

      The talk about participating in standards efforts means Apple wants to be in on the ground floor with 6G, rather than chasing the standard like they are with designing their own 5G modem.

      The standards process participation will help as well since Apple would stand a better chance of getting some things they have patents on included in the standard, which would put them in a better position as far as negotiating cross license agreements with the big 6G players instead of owing them royalties.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Possible typo

        What radio patents does Apple have? Presumably ones related to the position of fingers on cases…

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Possible typo

          Apple bought a bunch of LTE patents from Nortel some years ago, and then acquired a bunch of LTE and 5G patents from Intel (and their predecessor Infineon) when they bought Intel's modem unit, so they actually have quite a few from those two alone.

  8. Slx

    Oberbranded G Generations.

    These incremental changes in G are just marketing hype

    Revolutionary:

    2G - made reliable data connectivity possible.

    3G - made some kind of mobile browsing and video feasible

    4G - true mobile broadband, comparable to being on a fixed line connection and transition to all IP infrastructure, VoLTE etc begins.

    Evolutionary:

    5G - faster, but it’s just evolved LTE - nice to have but nothing that changes my world. Improved latency, but that also applies to fully deployed 4G. There were steps along the way.

    6G - does anyone really care?!

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Oberbranded G Generations.

      Agreed, but if there is going to be a "6G" Apple doesn't want to cede the standards setting to others. They'll also have been shipping their own modem for years by the time 6G comes along, so they'll want to get started on including it in advance to avoid others getting ahead of them just in case it turns out someone DOES care about 6G.

      Hard to imagine it will matter for phones, but who knows what sort of AR/VR will be coming in a decade.

      1. BloggsyMaloan

        Re: Oberbranded G Generations.

        "who knows what sort of AR/VR will be coming in a decade"

        Mark knows, but people will still remember the damage he's done.

  9. jockmcthingiemibobb

    Reality bites us in the arse

    How do you get 100 microsecond latency without defying physics? Or are we limiting communications to 15Km in the 6G future?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Reality bites us in the arse

      I assume they are talking latency from phone to tower, stopping the count the moment a packet leaves the tower to wherever it is destined. The equivalent latency for LTE is around 5ms and AFAIK is around 1ms for 5G.

  10. Nifty Silver badge

    "Apple seeks geniuses". Surely there are loads going spare in its Genius Bars?

    1. BloggsyMaloan

      "Apple seeks geniuses". Surely there are loads going spare in its Genius Bars?

      Yep, 'sales assistants' as they're known elsewhere.

      (Nothing wrong with sales assistants, only with up-its-own-jacksy marketing-waffle).

  11. Zebo-the-Fat

    ?

    Is "productizing" a real word?

    1. BloggsyMaloan

      Re: ?

      'Is "productizing" a real word?'

      Only to those who 'think different'.

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Not that kind of work

    6G R&D is nothing but a bunch of companies grabbing patents.

  13. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Apple 6G

    The radio waves will be able go round corners

  14. trevorde Silver badge

    Donald Trump, is that you?

    https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/trump-6g-tweet-spurs-questions/

  15. 96percentchimp
    Joke

    But how will they upgrade everyone?

    Now we've all got Bill Gates's 5G chips in our bodies from the Covid vaccines, does this mean we all have to be upgraded?

    Ah, so that's what the booster programme's all about.

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

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    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      6G TV ProgramMING is Almighty IntelAIgently Designed Relief for Both Ignorant and Arrogant Masses

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