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5G Game Heats Up: Apple Close To Buying Out Intel’s Smartphone Modem Business To Be Independent Of Qualcomm, Huawei

Swarajya Staff

Jul 24, 2019, 02:02 PM | Updated 02:02 PM IST

The Apple logo sits on a sign outside company’s Covent Garden store  in London, England. Photo credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
The Apple logo sits on a sign outside company’s Covent Garden store in London, England. Photo credit: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Tech giant Apple is reportedly in advanced talks with buying out Intel’s struggling mobile modem unit in its effort to double down on software and hardware independence from the likes of Qualcomm and Huawei in 5G technology development.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the deal could be valued at upto $1 billion and would include Intel’s patents and employees from its phone modem department.

The latest move is in line with Apple strategy of gaining independence from modem chip makers like Qualcomm and Huawei which are currently leading development of 5G technology. 5G, which is supposed to power data speeds upto 100 times faster than 4G, is being seen as the game-changer which will bring about the true integration of several hardware and software services that exist in their silos as of now.

Apple hence wants to ensure that it is not left at the mercy of external chip makers in the area. Intel although lagging in 5G development, holds important patents and expertise that can help achieve the aim. Apple has been using Intel’s modems for its iPhone XS, XS Max and XR devices while the older iPhones use 4G chips from Qualcomm.

Intel had earlier announced an exit from 5G development after Apple and Qualcomm agreed to a multi-year deal for smartphone modems in April. While Intel’s tech wouldn’t help power 5G in Apple devices in the coming few years, they will help in in-house development in parallel.


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