Apple was rumoured to be moving towards a purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem chip business earlier this week. The purchase has now been confirmed in an announcement by both firms.
“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 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.”
“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,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies. “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.”
This move is believed to be one that would serve to further bring more of the iPhone’s crucial components in-house, allowing Apple to build its marquee devices from top to bottom. Even as rival firms like Huawei, Samsung and Oppo (OnePlus) push out 5G devices, Apple has been falling behind in this race so far. This deal grants Apple access to Intel’s 5G modem technology, as well as its patents and engineering staff. For Intel, the smartphone modem business has been a drain on its resources at worst and a distraction at best.
As rumoured, it is a $1 billion purchase. Pricey, but pocket change for the Cupertino based firm.