Apple Takes Over Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business

Apple has completed the takeover of Intel’s smartphone modem business after the official announcement regarding the deal was released in July.

The acquisition basically means that Apple can push harder for building its very own modems for future-generations iPhones, as the company is trying to reduce reliance on third parties and create more components on its own.

Earlier this year, Apple and Qualcomm settled their long-time patent dispute, with Cupertino agreeing to use Qualcomm modems for the launch of the very first iPhone with 5G capabilities in the fall of 2020. While iPhones are likely to continue to come with Qualcomm chips for several more years, Apple’s plan is to equip the device with its own modems at some point in the near future.

iPhone with Apple in-house modem

People familiar with the matter said Apple’s plan was originally to bring an in-house built modem in the 2022 iPhone, but others claimed the company is trying to do this as early as 2021.

Intel selling its smartphone modem business to Apple means the company will continue to focus exclusively on PCs, as the company itself announced back in July. Today’s press release only reiterates some of the details shared originally, including the $1 billion value of the deal.

“Intel Corporation today announced it has completed the sale of the majority of its smartphone modem business to Apple. This transaction, valued at $1 billion, was announced on July 25, 2019. As previously disclosed, this transaction enables Intel to focus on developing technology for 5G networks while retaining the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles,” Intel briefly announced today.

It remains to be seen when Apple will release the first iPhone with its own modem, but given this is now a done deal, the company will most likely push for this project at full speed in the coming years.

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