Back in April, the Wall Street Journal said that Apple was considering buying Intel's modem business, but nothing came of those talks and Apple signed a new deal with Qualcomm, following legal action between the two companies. The reports surfaced of Intel being willing to sell off its smartphone modem business, hot on the heels of previous reports suggesting that Apple might have been in talks with the chip-maker for this specific part of its operation.
However, developing a modem chip is a complicated and expensive exercise. The report states that Apple is particularly interested in Intel's German business.
This is not the first we've heard of Apple's interest in Intel's business. The 3rd biggest and the most loved smartphone maker; Apple did not have anything to say in response to the 5G smartphones of its competitors. In-house modem development and production would enable smartphone makers to avoid potential conflicts with suppliers that could derail operations, as LG's dispute with Qualcomm threatens to do. That is why it is only about the acquisition of technology and patents. The deal has Apple and Qualcomm entering a six-year patent license agreement as well as a multi-year chipset supply agreement. Reportedly, the Intel engineers - who worked at the German facility - had been involved in making the chips that ended up being used in iPhones about 10 years ago.
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Apple is interested in Intel's 5G technology. To Apple's distress, Intel's plan regarding their 5G modems went to drain, and Apple had to look for another chipmaker for their 5G modem. Apple didn't want to delay the launch of 5G iPhones any further. Now in short order, Apple made a follow-up move that essentially pushed Intel out of the game. The staff from Infineon was absorbed in Intel's German arm.
Soon after employing Intel's 4G modems in its devices, Apple found that the modems have poorer performance and energy efficiency compared to Qualcomm's devices. For Apple that is interesting because the American iPhone maker can build his own chips and modems faster and is therefore less dependent on 3rd parties.