Intel has decided that it wants out of the 5G phone modem business, and is looking to sell it to prospective buyers. Prior to that, Apple has also called for peace with Qualcomm, in addition to signing a six-year agreement. But it looks like Apple has made its move quite a bit earlier before any of this happened.
According to a Telegraph report, Apple poached Intel’s 5G modem lead, Umashankar Thyagarajan back in February. The report also states that Thyagarajan was also the project engineer for Intel’s XMM 8160 5G chip, and played a key role in making the 5G modems of the iPhone XS and XR.
Thyagarajan’s new role at Apple is described as “Architecture” according to his LinkedIn bio as spotted by Engadget. Considering Apple has had plans since November last year to make its own 5G modem, it seems highly possible that he would be involved with the said project.
All that said, it remains to be seen if Apple can get the 2021 iPhone to use its own 5G modem give the company’s recent deal with Qualcomm. Nevertheless, the recruitment above provides some possibility that Apple is committed to having its own in-house 5G chip, regardless of when it’s going to happen.