Is Apple planning to acquire Intel’s mobile business?
According to US media reports, Apple is currently negotiating the purchase of Intel’s mobile modem division. It is said that the talks are already well advanced. Apple is not only interested in patents and technologies from Intel, but would also take over employees of the chip giant. This would enable Apple to develop its own 5G radio modems.
For the first generation of its iPhones, Apple had used modem chips from Infineon, but had switched to chips from competitor Qualcomm in 2011 – although it was not a happy relationship: Apple and Qualcomm had long and intense patent disputes, which were occupied the courts. Also in 2011, Intel had taken over Infineon’s mobile business and its then manager Hermann Eul. Against the background of the dispute with Qualcomm, Apple has been using modem chips from Intel since 2016 and thus the Infineon technology, which has been further developed in the meantime.
In April 2019, Apple and Qualcomm settled their disputes and signed a six-year license agreement. As a result, Intel decided to withdraw from the mobile communications business. It is said that Intel is now looking for “strategic alternatives” for this business. One option in this context would be a sale.
However, there are also suspicions that Apple intends to develop its own modem chips for its smartphones. The company has already hired experts from Intel and Infineon for this area, reports say.