Apple confirms to buy Intel's mobile modem business

Apple confirms to buy Intel's mobile modem business

American technology giant Apple signed a deal with Intel to buy majority stakes in the latter's smartphone modem business for $1 billion dollar settlement.

As part of the deal, around 2,200 Intel employees will move to Apple, in addition to intellectual property, equipment and leases. 

If all goes as planned, such as getting regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, including works council and other relevant consultations in certain jurisdictions, the transaction is expected close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

With this, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. However, Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles, Apple said in the press statement.

“We have long respected Apple and we’re confident they provide the right environment for this talented team and these important assets moving forward. We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers,” Intel CEO Bob Swan said.

“Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward,” Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said.

Does this mean Apple will begin modem production right away?

Nope, not until 2025 at least. It can be noted that Apple after a long bitter battle with Qualcomm, dropped all cases against each other, earlier in the year. Also, Apple signed a deal with chipset maker to procure and license modem technology for iPhones for six years with an option to extend for another two years. This means Apple will have a lot of time in its hands to improve Intel's recently acquired technology and finally begin production of its own mobile modems in the late 2020s. By that time 6G might have arrived with faster internet speed capability and low latency. 

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