We’ve asked both Apple and Intel for comment.
There have been not-so-subtle hints this might happen. Apple poached Intel’s 5G leader weeks before the Qualcomm deal, for one thing. It has also signaled more than once that it wants to develop its own cellular chipsets between job listings and a decision to add jobs in Qualcomm’s backyard. The company wants all the wireless resources it can get, and it’s willing to go to great lengths to get them.
An Intel acquisition wouldn’t necessarily herald the return of Intel-style modems to Apple devices. Like with the acquisition of PA Semiconductor, this would be more about snapping up talent than anything. Any wireless chipsets coming out of an acquisition could take years to complete. Whatever complaints you have about signal quality on iPhones with Intel modems aren’t likely to apply here.