According to The Information, a hardware engineering executive at Apple who had been “leading Apple’s charge into 5G”, and who handled modem hardware supplies, has inexplicably left the firm.
Rubén Caballero departed shortly after Apple and Qualcomm settled their lawsuit and signed an agreement that will have Qualcomm producing chips for the Apple devices of tomorrow – such as the 5G chips that the firm will use in its 2020 iPhones.
Caballero has been working for Apple since 2005, and his name appears on many Apple patents linked to wireless technologies. He is well known as a member of the company’s antenna engineering group, which caught the limelight after the “Antennagate” affair relating to the iPhone 4.
Someone familiar with what Caballero was doing at Apple said to The Information that he had been the man who was supposed to lead Apple’s entry into 5G. His email address has stopped working, his phone number has become inactive, and there is no mention of his name in Apple’s internal directory.
There hasn’t been any official announcement about Caballero’s departure, but we know that Apple recently made some changes to its chips team. The modem engineering division now falls under the head of chip manufacturing Johny Srouji.
Apple reportedly intends to announce its first 5G phone next year, and although this is still over a year from now, the company is already working on the device and smoothing out technical details.
Since the deal with Qualcomm, Apple will now use that company’s chips in its 5G phones, though it might also buy some chips from Samsung. Somewhere along the line, the firm plans to start using its own in-house modem chips, but that won’t happen for “another few years.”