After the Apple-Qualcomm dispute ended, Intel announced that it’s quitting the smartphone modem business and also disclosed that the settlement between the two companies is what forced Intel to exit. As it turns out, Apple is closing in on acquiring Intel’s 5G smartphone modem business and the deal doesn’t come cheap.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple is “advanced talks” to buy Intel’s smartphone modem business for a reported value of $1 billion or more. The deal comes as a move to reduce Apple’s dependence on Qualcomm in the future and is set to be finalised sometime next week.
This is not the first time Apple and Intel are tagged in together as Apple’s current line of iPhones uses 4G chips from Intel. It was, however, the switch to 5G which is believed to have prompted Apple to settle with Qualcomm. At the time, Intel was reported to be delaying the development of its 5G modems and said 5G modems will not show up smartphones before 2020.
While it’s believed that Intel’s 5G delays are what resulted in a settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel CEO Bob Swan claimed otherwise and said that it was Apple vs Qualcomm settlement which led to the company’s exit from the 5G market.
As for Apple, buying Intel’s modem business will mean more in-grown components with the ability to develop and control more features when it releases its iPhones. The deal will also stop Apple from relying on Qualcomm which is has been a major player in the smartphone chip and smartphone modem business globally.
As for when will Apple actually develop an in-house 5G modem, it’s believed that the company is still six years away from doing it. Sources close to the company previously suggested that Apple will produce an in-house 5G modem for an upcoming iPhone but such a modem won’t be made before 2025. The development or the lack of it has been reported as a result of the recent six-year deal with Qualcomm after Apple withdrew all the cases against the American chipmaker.