Apple is reportedly having discussions with Intel about the possibility of buying part of its smartphone modem business.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Apple was in talks to buy Intel’s 5G modem business after Apple and Qualcomm struck a deal to settle all litigation between them. Those talks reportedly broke down without a deal being reached.
Now, according to a report from The Information, Apple wants to buy a part of the Intel smartphone modem division, and that part is none other than the German team which reportedly plays the most important role in the development of new tech.
The German wing is comprised of engineers from Infineon’s wireless technology branch, which Intel purchased for $1.4 billion USD in 2011. This group is said to have provided baseband chips for iPhone from 2007 to 2010.
A deal, which the report notes could still be canned, would bring “hundreds” of engineers to Apple and could help it get its homegrown modem to market more quickly. Recent reports suggest that the firm might not have a 5G modem ready for its iPhones until late 2024 or early 2025.
Intel, on the other hand, decided to give up on the development of 5G modem chips after Apple reached a settlement with Qualcomm. In a statement offered to the source mentioned above, Intel says it’s indeed looking into several options for the mobile modem business but declined to offer any specifics on the parties that are interested in taking over parts of it.
“We have hired outside advisers to help us assess strategic options for our wireless 5G phone business,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying. “We have created value both in our portfolio of wireless modem products and in our intellectual property. We have received significant interest in the business but have nothing more to say at this time.”
The Information went on to say Apple has already hired several former Intel executives, including its lead 5G engineer, and also the head of its German modem team Stefan Wolff, who joined the iPhone maker several months ago.