If there is one thing we know about Apple, it is the company that likes to do things in its own way. An example: The company today announced that it has acquired the "majority" of Intel's mobile modem business. The $ 1 billion deal involves the transfer of approximately 2,200 Intel employees, as well as intellectual property, equipment, and leases. The deal is expected to end in the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to Apple:
Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple's existing portfolio, Apple will have over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for mobile standards for fashion architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smart applications, such as PCs, internet-by-thing devices, and autonomous vehicles.
In other words, Intel will no longer be in the smartphone modeling industry and remove one of the only competitors who have no chance of competing with Qualcomm's efforts (Apple will probably not make modems for anyone else). Admittedly, Intel has never had anywhere near the widespread use that Qualcomm makes – one of the few customers is Apple itself – but it does provide a less competitive marketplace.
Intel's CEO Bob Swan had this to say:
This agreement allows us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology created by our team. look forward to putting the full effort into 5G where it is best suited to the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers.
We probably won't see a 5G iPhone based on Intel's technology for a few years, but this move means Apple will have greater control over the hardware when the transition is complete. The company is still dependent on Qualcomm parts – and the first 5G iPhones are likely to use Qualcomm modems, but today's acquisition will make it easier for the company to transition from that addiction.
Apple is already designing its own CPUs and GPUs on its mobile devices, and it is rumored the company is seeking to release Intel's desktop processors in favor of its own within a few years. The fact that the company also wants to make its own mobile models is just Apple like Apple.
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Published July 26, 2019 – 00:30 UTC