Despite fixing recent qualms with Qualcomm, which initially began the switch to Intel modems in iPhones, Apple have now acquired Intel’s modem business for $1BN USD. This won’t just mean Apple could continue work that Intel started in modems, but will also include 2,200 Intel employees, all of which will join Apple. The deal also extends to the bigger picture, being Intel’s intellectual property.
Intel’s Bob Swan had this to say on the deal;
This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created. 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 – Bob Swan, CEO Intel
Apple’s SVP, Johny Srouji had this to say on the deal;
We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users – Johny Srouji, SVP Apple
It’s worth noting that, after the acquisition completed, Apple will overnight become a pretty major modem company, not just including the fact they will acquire over 17,000 wireless network technology patents, and we all know how much companies love to flaunt their patents … in all seriousness though, this will be a big deal for the future of modem operations, something which Apple themselves will be able to develop for devices beyond just the iPhone.
Whilst Apple are going to be returning to use Qualcomm modems, as agreed with the settlement, Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s modem business is about the bigger picture, the future involving 5G and it should be worth watching this space.