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Apple Reportedly Wanted to Acquire Intel’s Modem Business Before Settling With Qualcomm

Apr 27, 2019
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Many of you have been keeping a close eye on the industry, and with Apple reaching a settlement with Qualcomm and dropping all litigation, it would have made things difficult for Intel. The chip giant shortly after announced that it would be dropping out of the 5G smartphone modem business, leaving an empty field for Qualcomm to take advantage of in the form of securing a lucrative deal with Apple. While all this was public knowledge, a new report has surfaced this week, detailing that Apple actually held talks with Intel about acquiring its smartphone modem chip business.

Apple Would Have Benefitted Adding Personnel With Lots of Modem Development Experience to Realize Its Own Goal of a Custom Baseband Chip

According to The Wall Street Journal, the talks between Intel and Apple commenced last summer and continued until recently. Unfortunately, both parties could not reach an agreement as Apple inked a deal with Qualcomm. After Apple and Qualcomm reached an agreement, Intel said that it was “exploring strategic alternatives for its modem chip business.” However, selling the modem division to Apple is still a possibility. However, the report adds that the modem business can also be bought by someone else, meaning that Apple will lose out on potential talent.

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Industry experts have stated the difficulties in developing your own modem, so surely, adding more employees to its increasing division would have helped Apple’s cause. Intel has reportedly tapped Goldman Sachs to manage the deal. While this means the company will no longer produce 5G smartphone modems, it doesn’t relinquish Intel from fulfilling its responsibility in providing 4G LTE modems to Apple for its 2019 iPhone lineup, as suggested by company CEO Bob Swan.

As most of you know, Apple has a separate division to develop its own in-house iPhone modems. However, it is unlikely that the company will have a workable solution next year. While acquiring Intel’s business might have given the iPhone maker a likely boost and reduce the amount of time it takes to incorporate an in-house modem in a mobile device, the process might take several years to complete. Also, given Qualcomm’s expertise in this market, there’s no guarantee Apple’s finished product will yield the same performance and reliability as the chipset maker’s modems.

Apple has also been reported to bring 5G-ready iPad Pro models to the market by 2021, so it certainly looks like the company has a lot of plans under its sleeve.

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Source: WSJ

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