Chipmaker Intel has announced today that it will be cancelling production of it’s 5G modems. Stating that they aim to focus on PC, ‘Internet of Things’ devices, and data focussed devices, however they intend to make components to help improve 5G infrastructure. This comes just hours after Qualcomm announced a 6 year partnership with Apple
In his statement Intel CEO Bob Swan made it clear that there was ‘no path to profitability and positive returns’ when talking about the smartphone modem business. Swan went on to mention that “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel”. This comes just two weeks after Intel rebuffed a report suggesting the company was struggling with it’s 5G modem program. A similar situation occured in 2018 when it was suggested the manufacturer was having troubles with it’s XMM 8060 Modem, the predecessor to the 8160 that was cancelled today.
Intel went on to say they would provide additional details on April 25, following their Q1 2019 earnings report. Swan closes out his statement saying “[the Intel] team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.” current speculation suggests the company may be looking to sell it’s portfolio of products.
It remains to be seen what Intel decides to do, however they seem to remain confident regardless. Their exit of course leaves the floor entirely open to Qualcomm who currently own the vast majority of 5G modem contracts.