Apple reportedly delays development of its own WiFi chips

But the tech giant might still be working on a combined Bluetooth and WiFi chipset.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Apple has "halted the development" of its own WiFi chip that was meant to replace Broadcom's in its devices "for a while," according to Ming-Chi Kuo. The notable analyst explained in a Medium post that he's basing this report on his latest survey of the semiconductor industry's foundries, equipment, packaging and testing. If you'll recall, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the tech giant was working on its own wireless chips meant for devices slated for release in 2025. While Apple has yet to confirm the report, it's not exactly hard to believe: The tech giant has been taking steps to design and manufacture more in-house components to lessen its reliance on outside companies.

Kuo said Apple chose to devote most of its resources to developing its next-gen A-series and M-series processors instead. That way, it can ensure that the processors for its iPhones, iPads and MacBooks can enter production over the next couple of years. The analyst also explained that it's riskier for Apple to use its own WiFi chips at a time when companies are switching their devices over to WiFi 6E. "Broadcom will be the biggest winner" in this situation, he said, since the iPhone 15 is expected to feature the new WiFi standard that allows access to the 6 GHz band.

While it's unclear if Apple will ever release its own WiFi chip, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the company's wireless chipset ambition isn't entirely dead. In Kuo's Twitter thread about the report, Gurman chimed in and said that the tech giant is still working on a combined WiFi-Bluetooth chip. Gurman previously said that the tech giant is also working on a chip that combines Bluetooth, cellular and WiFi in a single component, but he didn't say if that one is still under development.

When The Information published a piece last week that said Apple is working on a cheaper mixed-reality headset, one of its sources claimed that the device could use the company's in-house Bluetooth and WiFi chipset. That would allow Apple to keep costs and the device's final retail price low, since it wouldn't have to deal with a third party company's pricing demands.