Apple is Reportedly Buying Intel’s 5G Business for $1 Billion

Apple is likely close to securing a deal to pick up Intel‘s smartphone modem business. This is according to the New York Times, who suggests that the deal worth $1 billion could be announced as early as next week.

Intel exited the 5G mobile modem business earlier this year, after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement. According to CEO Bob Swan, Intel “just didn’t see a path forward” in the modem business following the settlement decision.

If Apple is Interested in Intel’s 5G Business, Why Did They Settle with Qualcomm?

Not that Intel’s 5G technology is no good. At that time, Apple going for Qualcomm’s 5G modems instead was due to their 5G timeframe target. They simply did not have confidence that Intel could provide a 5G modem within their desired schedule. So settling with Qualcomm seemed like the best and more efficient way forward. Despite being in the middle of a bitter legal dispute.

Samsung already has 5G smartphones using Qualcomm’s products. Had Apple not settled with Qualcomm, they would miss their September 2020 target for a 5G smartphone launch.

Intel is the sole third-party modem provider for the 2018 models of the iPhone. Apple is also their only major customer for modems, so having Apple buy their business makes sense.

While a new Qualcomm deal is in place, this acquisition will just expedite Apple’s independence on future products. The company even has been developing their own in-house modem for a while now.

Ron Perillo

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