Apple and Intel are apparently in “advanced talks” over buying up the remains of Chipzilla’s defunct 5G modem business.
Sources close to the deal told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that Cook & Co were offering the x86 processor goliath a billion dollars for the intellectual property and staff behind its cellular modem business. The unit has been on hiatus since its primary customer Apple reached a smartphone modem supply deal with Qualcomm in April.
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Intel has plowed mega-millions into designing mobile modems ever since it wolfed down Infineon in 2010 for $1.4bn. The chip factory eventually won a contract to supply 4G/LTE modems for some Apple smartphones. At the time, Apple was fed up with its primary modem supplier Qualcomm, which it later sued, along with its manufacturing partners, for $30bn.
After plenty of money went up in smoke on lawyers' fees, Apple and Qualcomm agreed to settle their differences, with the Cupertino idiot-tax operation signing another modem supply contract with Qualy. The same day that deal was announced, Intel, having lost its only serious cellular modem customer, announced it was winding up its 5G unit.
As we said at the time, Apple is a logical choice to take over Intel’s business. Apple is notorious for wanting to control its supply chain and if it were to make its own 5G modems, it could dump Qualcomm and its ilk, and save itself a packet on royalties and licensing payments. It also has plenty of skilled in-house chip designers to bring Intel's blueprints to fruition.
Neither Apple nor Intel had any comment at time of publication. ®