Apple reportedly is looking into acquiring Intel’s key modem unit. Intel is considering to sell its modem business in parts, and it’s also reported that Apple is in discussions to buy the German operations. This acquisition could help Apple develop its own 5G chip for the iPhone. It also means that this acquisition can help hundreds of modem engineers to flow towards Apple.
Though the two companies have been in talks since last year, The Information warns that the discussions might fall out without a deal. Just a few hours after Apple and Qualcomm’s announcement of a resolution to their ongoing legal battle, Intel announced in April that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business. Apple had been planning to use Intel’s 5G chips for its 2020 iPhones, but unfortunately, Intel was not able to meet the design deadlines. This made the relationship between these two companies soar. And now, Apple is keen to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem chips in their 2020 iPhones.
“We have hired outside advisors to help us assess strategic options for our wireless 5G phone business,” the emailed statement said. “We have created value both in our portfolio of wireless modem products and in our intellectual property.”
Modem chips are one of the most complex and expensive parts of any smartphone. Therefore, in the future, Apple is sure to reduce its dependencies on other suppliers like Qualcomm, and will hopefully focus on creating its own modem chips. But to achieve this, there’s a lot more to wait for the company. Apple has been indicating new modem chip hires in San Diego, but according to The Information, it doesn’t expect to release devices with its own modem chips until 2025 despite the availability of 5G Android phones from Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Lenovo/Motorola, Xiaomi and Oppo.
Already launched in the US by Verizon and Sprint, 5G is the next-gen network being used by smartphones to provide faster speeds and greater capacity.