Apple in 'Advanced Talks' to Buy Intel's Smartphone Modem Chip Business

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is now in advanced talks to purchase Intel's smartphone modem chip business, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with Apple's plans.

    A deal that covers a portfolio of patents and staff valued at $1 billion or more could be established as soon as next week if the talks continue.


    Apple and Intel have reportedly been in on and off talks for approximately a year. As reported earlier, the talks ended right around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal disputes and reached a new supply agreement.

    Intel sought other buyers and found other interested parties, but discussions with Apple resumed shortly after they ended.
    As noted by The Wall Street Journal, purchasing Intel's modem chip business would provide Apple with a leg up on its efforts to develop its own modem chips in house, which would ultimately make the company less reliant on Qualcomm.

    Apple has been working on developing its own modem chips since at least 2018, but the technology isn't expected to be ready for use in iPhones and iPads for a few years.

    Intel in April announced that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business, sharing the news just after Apple and Qualcomm announced their new deal. Since then, Intel has been seeking a buyer for its smartphone modem business.

    Apple had been planning to use Intel's 5G chips for its 2020 iPhones, but rumors suggested Intel wasn't able to meet design deadlines, souring the relationship between the two companies. Apple now plans to use Qualcomm's 5G modem chips in its 2020 iPhones and has established a deal for chips for future devices as well.

    Article Link: Apple in 'Advanced Talks' to Buy Intel's Smartphone Modem Chip Business
  2. MecPro macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    Qualcomm maybe flustered! Intel on the SUPER cheap after Apple went with their competitors.

    Shrewd business move, Mr Cook!
  3. Goldfrapp, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019

    Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    Aren't Intel chips slower than Qualcomm?

    Why not just buy both?
  4. macintologist macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    What would Apple name the first chips?


    Any other guesses?
  5. kanki1985 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2013
    Very strange. It would be a great use case to see how Apple can succeed with what Intel failed and how..
  6. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    I just can’t imagine a scenario here where Apple buys Intel’s modem portfolio and stops paying Qualcomm royalties for theirs.

    Yeah, they’ll probably be able to make their own with this acquisition but Qualcomm will get some cash for every chip they make.
  7. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    so much corporate drama, should be adapted to a telenovela
  8. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2011
    Leeds, UK
    Gives Apple something to bring to the table when negotiating with Qualcomm. The value is in the swathe of patents rather than better than Qualcomm technology.
  9. littyboy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2009
    Because Qualcomm's is more expensive. Besides lawsuits between them, Apple does not want to pay that premium.

    Although I thought they dumped Intel since Intel was not goin to deliver 5G chips soon enough. I guess the price may be really low.
  10. Fixey macrumors regular


    May 16, 2017
    They plan on calling it the M1,
    may have traffic issues tho
  11. Kabeyun macrumors 68020


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Makes a lot of sense. One might even argue that Apple foresaw this opportunity catalyze as a result of its settlement with QC. Win win. Klevah.
  12. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    People keep saying that for some reason. I'm sure some of them are valuable, but to say the value is in the patents seems to overstate the quality of the portfolio without knowing what's in it. Google acquired a big ass portfolio of patents from Motorola and it turned out not to be that valuable in the end. To be fair, they acquired the patents primarily as weapons, but the point stands. The patents aren't inherently valuable just because there are a lot of them.
  13. 0815 macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2010
    here and there but not over there
    my guess it is mostly for the patents ... good protector against Qualcomm if Apple does their own modem some day and/or negotiation helper.
  14. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    the only modems iPhone users want is Qualcomm modems in their iPhones
  15. Tivoli_ macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2017
    1 billion is much cheaper than the 3 billion they paid for Beats headphones!
  16. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    Qualcomm pulled a Tim Cook and was essentially in control of Apples flagship product. They took a page from supply chain guru Timmy Cook.

    Apple has to buy Intel's modem business for this exact reason.
  17. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    Makes sense... unless there is some reciprocal licensing involved. At some point "I pay you and you pay me" is a wash.
  18. FFR Suspended


    Nov 4, 2007
    Hahaha i knew it.
    Settle with Qualcomm and get intels multi billion dollar modems business (&patents) for pennies on the dollar. Cook must have been planning this since Acquiring Intels lead 5g director in February.

    Wonder what Qualcomm gave away to seal the deal and get apple to pay a onetime up front fee.

    Can you say no more royalties.

    Can’t wait for the intel, i mean apple modem.
  19. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Soooo the iPhone would still be crippled with rubbish modems then. Stupid move to make if you ask me.
  20. jacks64 macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2017
  21. cmaier Suspended

    Jul 25, 2007
    Of course, Qualcomm may need a license from Intel/Apple, too, though presumably some money will still flow towards Qualcomm.
  22. FFR Suspended


    Nov 4, 2007
    Hahaha not anymore.
  23. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Yes, Qualcomm will still get some cash (from patent licensing, when Apple eventually starts making their own modem chips), but Apple will gain more control of the hardware they use. They have a long history of being pained by other's control of the hardware/tools they need - most famously when they switched to PowerPC, and then after a few years IBM stopped caring about making faster/better processors that Apple could use. Apple jumped to Intel CPUs because in the Intel pond at least they could get the same options everyone else was getting. Then they started making (yes, not fabbing, but designing) their own ARM CPUs, which does give them nearly complete control over the CPUs they need (for iOS), and now iPhones are shipping with CPUs that are perfect for them, and tend to beat the CPUs the Android manufacturers use quite handily. It's clear that eventually, the Mac will switch to Apple designed processors (I don't expect that any time soon).

    Apple did a great job on their ARM chips, if they can do similarly well on modem chips, they can get exactly the modem chips they want, and pay Qualcomm only for patent licensing.
  24. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    True, but with ownership Apple could potentially streamline and performance tune the Intel chips to run circles around Qualcomm.

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