Apple is reportedly thinking about buying out Intel’s 5G modem business. After the semiconductor and CPU maker announced its plans to shut down its 5G smartphone modem business and plans to exit that particular market segment.
According to The Information, the company from Cupertino had already entered into discussions with Intel to purchase the latter’s factories in Germany. The news site says the exact location of Intel’s factory in Germany is symbolic; it’s the same place where Intel acquired another chipmaker, Infineon, for US$1.4 billion (~RM5.8 billion) back in 2011.
Apple’s decision to purchase Intel’s 5G modem business clearly lines up with its intention of fabricating its own 5G modem in-house. Moreover, doing so would allow Apple to greatly reduce its dependency on third-party suppliers like Qualcomm. Should the deal go through, it’s also likely that Apple will be inviting hundreds of modem engineers into its fold, plus all of the technologies and most up to date IPs developed by Intel.
Of course, Intel isn’t about to sell away its 5G modem business for just a song to Apple. In light of the deal, Intel has hired a group of advisers from the outside to help it “assess strategic options for our wireless 5G phone business”.
For now, the talks are still on going, and even if the deal comes to a definitive conclusion by this year, Apple says that we shouldn’t expect to see its devices sporting its own in-house modems until the year 2025.