Apple will acquire what is said to be «the majority» of Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion, the two companies announced today. This means that around 2’200 Intel employees – mostly based in Germany – will join Apple. Furthermore, the iPhone company will acquire IP and equipment from Intel as well.
With the acquisition, Apple will add over 17,000 wireless technology patents to its portfolio, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. This in turn means that Apple is now well on the way to producing its own 5G modems for its smartphones, rather than having to rely on Qualcomm – with which it had its fair share of disputes lately – for the hardware.
Intel to continue developing PC Modems and IOT
But it’s not «game over» for Intel in the modem business either: The Tech giant will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles
Apple says that it expects the purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem chip business to be completed by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.