Thursday, Jul 29, 2021, 13:56 Economy

Tim Cook Answers Questions Concerning Hardware & Vertical Integration – Will Apple Develop All Hardware On Its Own?

Apple has always stood for solutions from one source. Apart from a quick exception in the 90s, Apple has always offered computer and operating system together – and due to macOS' licensing conditions, it's not possible to simply install the OS on any computer. After switching to Intel processors in 2005, Apple began to rely on many of the same standard components found in PCs – however, that's not to say that Macs were simply PCs with a different logo. With the advent of the iPhone, Apple slowly began to develop more and more of its own device components. Is this an indication that Cupertino one day has plans of complete vertical integration, developing all of its own device components?

Complete Vertical Integration? Absolutely Not!
Tim Cook answered questions concerning this matter at yesterday's quarterly conference. It's not the case that Apple would like to overtake development for each and every individual component of its devices. As long as suitable components are found on the market, there's no reason for Apple to waste resources competing with other companies concerning the development of components. Apple is constantly faced with the question of whether or not currently available components are suitable for fulfilling the requirements for device features. It's only when currently available components aren't and when Apple has reason to believe that it can produce components capable of such that the company develops components.



M1 Chip An Official Example – Cellular Modem An Unofficial One
Proof of this is readily available in the form of Apple's recent M1 chip. Tim Cook clarified that in the case of the M1, Apple had the means to produce a chip and product that was better than any alternative. For exactly this reason, Cupertino decided to develop the M1 – to the astonishment and admiration of the entire chip industry. Cook refrained from mentioning another long-term, expensive "secret" project.

Apple Looks To Split With Qualcomm To Produce Its Own Cellular Modems
Apple would like to split with Qualcomm in a few years, meaning that after 2023, Cupertino would produce and develop its own cellular modems. The project has been in the works for years, although not "official", it has still involved large sums of money, effort, and time. Apple's intentions were made apparent when the company purchased Intel's modem division for US$1 billion. The big price tag also showed the amount of forethought and planning likely invested into the situation – especially with respect to the acquisition of useful personnel, tools, and knowledge for modem development. However, just because Apple may choose to develop some of its own components, it doesn't necessarily guarantee that the respective components will be "better" than the alternatives – which is why Cupertino has remained quiet concerning the matter thus far.

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