Apple acquires majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business

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Apple has signed with Intel an agreement to acquire the majority of the latter’s smartphone modem business, covering about 2,200 Intel employees, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases.

The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple’s existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation.

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Intel will retain the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles.

“This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan.

“We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers,” Swan said.

Johny Srouji, Apple’s SVP of hardware technologies, said Intel’s engineers, together with Apple’s significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite the development on future products.