For over 14 years at Apple Inc, Rubén Caballero had to include a cable with every iPhone design whose wireless engineering he oversaw, from the first prototypes in 2005 to iPhone 11 models on shelves now.
Now, as chief wireless strategist for Silicon Valley startup Keyssa Inc, Caballero hopes to cut the cord for good – for all smartphones. His new position has not been previously reported.
Every iPhone since the first released in 2007 has come with a cable as a failsafe way to transfer data, as has virtually every other brand of phone.
Keyssa wants to end that with its chip that can transfer data nearly as fast as a wire by placing two devices next to each other. Early customer LG Electronics Inc uses the chip to connect the second screen of its LG V50 smart phone.
Wireless charging has taken hold in phones, but wireless data connections like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi remain too finicky to discard cables altogether.
Keyssa has raised more than $100 million from the venture groups at Intel Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd and Future Shape, a fund run by Tony Fadell, another former Apple executive who helped create the iPod and then hired Caballero for the original iPhone team.
“Every single consumer product would love to solve the external connector,” Caballero, who left Apple earlier this year, said in an interview at Keyssa’s headquarters in Campbell, California.
Caballero, a retired Canadian Air Force captain who favors all-black attire, also has his eyes on the inside of phones. There, cables cause engineering headaches.