A few months back, after Apple and Qualcomm settled their long-lasting feud, Intel decided to abandon its modem business as it had lost the hopes of producing 5G tech for future iPhones. Intel’s modem division has been on a hiatus since its primary customer Apple reached a smartphone modem supply deal with Qualcomm in April.
However, according to a recent report published by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is now undergoing advanced talks with Intel to buy its 5G modem division. The article claims that according to people familiar with the matter, the Cupertino tech giant is speaking to the chipset maker and could take over its modem chip division within the next week. This move would jump-start the iPhone maker’s push to take control of developing the critical components powering its devices. Apple is reportedly paying a billion-dollar or more to Intel for the intellectual property and staff behind its cellular modem business.
Intel has plowed mega-millions into designing mobile modems, beginning its deal with Infineon in 2010 for $1.4bn (approx Rs 140 crores). The chip factory had a long contract to supply 4G/LTE modems to some Apple smartphones. If the deal between Apple and Intel for 5G Modem division goes ahead, Apple will be kickstarting its own foray into researching 5G technology. While Qualcomm is already ahead in the game at the moment with its 2019 flagship smartphone processor, the Snapdragon 855, Apple’s potential acquisition of Intel’s modem division could bring in some change in the market.