Intel ditches 5G modems following Apple & Qualcomm settlement

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In a shock move Apple and Qualcomm recently reached a settlement to their ongoing patent royalty dispute. While end to this saga is great news for both companies, one of the big casualties in all this appears to be Intel.

This as the firm released a statement in which it said it would no longer be dedicating any of its efforts on the 5G modem business, instead focusing on their network infrastructure and data centre opportunities.

“We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” explained Intel CEO Bob Swan.

While Swan did not explicitly mention the settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, all roads seem to point to the fact that the pair will once again begin working together, and 5G modems for devices will be one of the key areas.

Naturally this would put Intel in a difficult position, hence the decision to leave the 5G modem business, but prior to all of this, Intel was tapped by Apple to assist with bringing the broadband standard to iPhones.

Still some ways off from the likes of Huawei and Qualcomm, Intel’s roadmap meant that Apple would only have a 5G supporting device later next year or in 2020.

Now that relations with Apple can be broached once again, it’s only a matter of time before Qualcomm announces that they will be supplying the company with 5G capable modems.

“5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world,” concluded Swan.

While it appears as if Intel’s efforts have been for nought, the potential upshot for consumers will be the more likely prospect of a 5G supporting iPhone later this year.

There’s no official confirmation on that front yet, so we’ll have to watch this space.

[Image – Intel]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.

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