Apple in talks with Intel to buy its smartphone 5G modem business for $1 billion: Report

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Jul 23 2019
Apple in talks with Intel to buy its smartphone 5G modem business for $1 billion: Report

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​Apple is seriously considering buying Intel’s smartphone modem business: Report

The “$1 billion or more” deal “could be reached in the next week”.

The deal may bring “hundreds” of engineers and patents to Apple.

Apple and Qualcomm were at loggerheads until a surprise settlement in April saw both companies coming to an agreement on working together to bring in-display fingerprint sensors and 5G phones. After this, Intel confirmed that it is dropping out of the 5G smartphone modem business. After over two months, a media report has now claimed that Apple is in “advanced talks” to buy Intel’s smartphone modem chip business for “$1 billion or more”. The report in The Wall Street Journal also claims that an agreement “could be reached in the next week”. Digit has reached out to Apple for comment on the development.

It could be possible that the deal brings hundreds of engineers and key patents from Intel to Apple. These engineers and patents will reportedly help the iPhone-maker develop some of the technologies that it are currently licenced from Qualcomm. Further, the report notes that this Apple-Intel deal won’t affect the Apple-Qualcomm relationship. Reportedly, Apple and Qualcomm are in a six-year licensing agreement for components used in cell network-connected mobile devices (though the full details of the agreement were not made public). 

This development is in line with last month’s report in which The Information (via MacRumors) revealed that Intel is considering selling off its modem business that is currently not doing very well and Apple wants to scoop up the company’s strongest modem manufacturing branch, which was set up in Germany after Intel acquired chipmaker Infineon. The report also mentioned “hundreds” of Intel’s modem engineers moving to Apple if the companies do reach an accord.

For those who don’t know, after Apple and Qualcomm were in legal contestation, the Cupertino-based tech company roped-in Intel to design modems for iPhones to apparently avoid falling behind in the upcoming 5G phones era. Even if Intel might have ceased production of 5G smartphone modems, it is still active in the development of networking and infrastructure products and modems for non-smartphone products.

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