Apple-Qualcomm settlement led to Intel’s exit from 5G cellphone modem market

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Intel CEO Bob Swan confirms his firm’s resolution to exit the 5G cellphone modem enterprise was based mostly on Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm.


Intel

Simply hours after Apple and Qualcomm introduced a settlement of their long-running patent battle earlier this month, Intel mentioned it might exit the 5G cellphone modem enterprise. However the chip large did not say on the time whether or not its resolution was based mostly on the settlement.

It apparently was, in response to a Wall Avenue Journal interview with Intel CEO Bob Swan.

“In mild of the announcement of Apple and Qualcomm, we assessed the prospects for us to generate income whereas delivering this expertise for smartphones and concluded on the time that we simply did not see a path,” Swan informed the newspaper.

Intel on April 16 mentioned it plans to stop engaged on modems for 5G, the next-generation of wi-fi expertise anticipated to supercharge cellular connections. It had been engaged on a processor for Apple, with the chip anticipated to be in iPhones in 2020. Recently there have been worries the chip would not be prepared till iPhones launched in 2021.

The announcement got here the identical day that Apple and Qualcomm introduced that they had reached a settlement of their two-year authorized battle over licensing royalties. Apple in January 2017 had accused Qualcomm of anticompetitive practices which have raised chip costs, restricted competitors and harm buyer alternative. Qualcomm, the world’s largest cellular chipmaker, had countered that the iPhone would not be attainable with out its expertise, and it deserved to be paid for its innovation.

In an announcement on the time, Intel mentioned it might “full an evaluation of the alternatives for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, web of issues units and different data-centric units.” It additionally mentioned it is going to “proceed to put money into its 5G community infrastructure enterprise.”

When Swan was requested whether or not Intel was contemplating promoting its 5G smartphone modem enterprise, he informed the Journal that the corporate is “evaluating options on what’s the perfect course for our IP and our folks.”

An Intel consultant confirmed Swan’s feedback however declined to remark additional.

CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

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