Gathered Tech

Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business acquired for $1 Billion by Apple

Apple
Apple

Apple will hold wireless technology patents for modem architecture and operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, and autonomous vehicles.

Apple has declared the acquisition of chip-maker Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will be joining Apple, along with intellectual property, leases, and equipment, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker said in a statement late Thursday. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“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,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan.

“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,” he added.

Apple will hold more than 17,000 remote technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem operation and modem architecture. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as internet-of-things devices, PCs, and autonomous vehicles. Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said that Apple is excited to have excellent engineers join its growing cellular technologies group. He also added that “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.”

Apple has been working on its chips for some time. Getting Intel’s technology could help the iPhone maker accelerate its plans. Apple may have paid chip-maker Qualcomm somewhere close to $5 billion-$6 billion for an agreement to reject all ongoing litigations, including Apple’s contract manufacturers. Intel had also been working on a chipset for the iPhone maker, with the chip that is expected to be part of iPhones by 2020.

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