“Apple Inc. is negotiating to buy Intel Corp.’s struggling cellular modem unit, said a person familiar with the matter,” according to Bloomberg.
The Intel cellular modem assets are said to be valued at roughly $1 billion USD, according to an unnamed source, noting a deal could be made “as soon as this week”, but talks are still ongoing.
The newest iPhones from Apple currently use modems from Intel, but future devices plan to use modem hardware from Qualcomm, specifically 5G chips, rumoured to debut in 2020.
Apple settled its royalties litigation with Qualcomm back in April, signing a new agreement with the latter. Intel announced hours after the deal it would be quitting the 5G cellular modem business.
Acquisition of Intel’s engineering talent by Apple could signal the iPhone maker’s plans to eventually produce their own cellular modems internally and not relying on third parties.
The WSJ says the $1 billion USD deal would include patents and staff. This is not the first time we’ve heard about Apple reportedly in talks to acquire Intel’s smartphone modems unit, as similar reports surfaced earlier this spring.