Apple will acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business, which is valued at $1 billion. According to the agreement, approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, including works council and other relevant consultations in certain jurisdictions.
With the acquisition of Intel’s modem business, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents (including Apple’s existing portfolio), ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles.
‘This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created. We have long respected Apple, and we’re confident they provide the right environment for this talented team and these important assets moving forward. We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers,’ said Intel CEO Bob Swan.
Earlier in April, chip maker Intel announced its plan to exit the 5G mobile division after Apple settled with Qualcomm. Soon after the surprise settlement, Intel CEO Bob Swan clarified that Intel is exiting the modem business directly because of the Apple settlement, and Intel is not seeing a path way forward.
‘We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users. Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward,’ added Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.