02 August 2019
Rumors about Apple purchasing Intel’s smartphone modem business started appearing in the early days. The Apple-Intel discussions began last summer, around the time former Intel Chie Executive Brian Krzanich resigned, people familiar with the matter have said to WSJ. And then these discussions heated up when Intel, Apple, and Qualcomm came into the highlight for their possible partnerships.
Apple took a sudden turn and agreed to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount for a six-year license and a multi-year chip supply agreement. It was first supposed that Apple will make use of Intel’s 5G modem chips since it’s the same supplier that fulfilled the 4G LTE modem demands for the 2018 iPhones. But reportedly Intel didn’t show up as a better supplier and Apple had to end its two-year-long battle with Qualcomm for its future products.
Intel took an exit from the 5G smartphone modem business but it didn’t stop Apple’s interest in it. A report came last month claimed that Apple is in talks to hire modem engineers from Intel and now the latest report from The Wall Street Journal states Apple is close to buying Intel’s modem chip business.
The deal is said to be valued at $1 billion or more and it could be announced as soon as next week. If the report is to be believed, this would be a big purchase of Apple compared to its other partnerships so far. But it should be noted that all the partnerships and acquisitions that Apple has made over the time have paid it off quite well. And, an acquire like this big may only able to prove itself in coming years which are not before 2022 or even 2023 when Apple becomes self-sufficient in this area. Apple is reportedly looking to move in-house as much of the iPhone’s supply chain. This move will help Apple to take control of its business which is getting fierce competition from companies like Samsung and Huawei.
According to the WSJ report, Apple has even hired engineers, including some from Intel and announced plans for an office of 1,200 employees in San Diego.