Simultaneously with its second-quarter financial results, Intel has announced that it would sell the majority of its smartphone modem business to Apple. The transaction is worth $1 billion and includes intellectual property, equipment and leases, and ~2,200 employees will join Apple.
The news confirms a report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. Intel disclosed that after the deal, Apple would hold 17,000 wireless technology patents. However, Intel will still have the option to develop modem for non-smartphone applications such as the PC, IoT, and autonomous vehicles. The sale of the business to Apple will allow the company to develop its own modem IP instead of using Intel’s or Qualcomm’s.
Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said in the press release: “Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.”
Intel will continue focusing on the infrastructure and baseband side of 5G, as Bob Swan, Intel CEO, said: “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.”
It is not clear if the $1 billion includes the money from Intel’s patent auction. Intel expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter, and it is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.