Apple’s Already Starting Work on 6G Before 6G Is Even a Thing

Apple’s Already Starting Work on 6G Before 6G Is Even a Thing
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

Apple’s first 5G phones arrived mere months ago, but the company is already exploring the future of cellular connectivity.

A newly published job listing for a wireless research systems engineer teased the company’s ambitions for 6G cellular technology. That listing, earlier reported by Bloomberg, says the position “will be at the centre of a cutting-edge research group responsible for creating next generation disruptive radio access technologies over the next decade.”

“You will work on defining system level concepts, proposing and researching innovative ideas & algorithms, performing complex system simulations, defining rapid prototyping platforms to help prove your ideas and specifying RAN protocols and for next generation (6G) cellular systems,” the listing says. Among the responsibilities of the role, Apple says the position will participate in industry and academic forums “passionate about 6G technology.”

Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment about its development of next-generation cellular technology.

Apple may be exploring the future of cellular connectivity, but we’re quite a ways out from any such technology appearing on Apple devices — potentially a decade or more, as 6G is little more than an idea at this point. A next-gen wireless standard hasn’t yet been set (and is likely still years away). Moreover, Apple only just introduced its first generation of 5G iPhones late last year. And in zooming out from its latest slate of phones, many of its products are still 4G devices.

But that’s fairly clear in the job posting, which stipulates a good candidate might be someone who loves “working on challenges that no one has solved yet.” And technologies, clearly, that don’t exist yet.