Apple to acquire Intel Germany modem division

Apple is expected to launch a 5G iPhone in 2020 using Qualcomm chips.

APPLE IS REPORTEDLY in talks to buy Intel's German modem biz, which effectively shut down after Apple and Qualcomm settled their legal disputes in April.

The Information says talks between the two companies started past year, with Intel eager to sell off its modem division.

Intel has supplied Apple with modem chips since 2016, supplanting Qualcomm, but has struggled to keep pace with its rival. The Information previously reported that Apple told job-seekers during an interview that it expects its own modem chip to be ready by 2025, much later than the industry estimate of 2021.

The Cupertino-based company has made its own processors for the iPhone and iPad since 2010, while in 2017, it announced it planned to stop including United Kingdom chip manufacturer Imagination Technologies' graphics technology in favour of an alternative developed in-house. It is this very division that Apple is now in talks to buy out, in what is being termed as an acqui-hire. If the deal goes through, Apple will also get access to the patents and products of this Intel unit.

Stefan Wolff, former leader of the Intel's German modem team, joined Apple earlier this year, after several other 5G engineers made the switch to the company too. In a statement offered to the source mentioned above, Intel says it's indeed looking into several options for the mobile modem business, but declined to offer any specifics on the parties that are interested in taking over parts of it.

In future, Apple is said to be working to completely cut off its dependence on third-party hardware maker.

According to a report in The Information (paywall), the acquisition is more of an acqui-hire, which means that Apple is more interested in the talent that will come along with the purchase.

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