Intel clarified that it pulled out of the 5G mobile market earlier this month, and now we know why: According to CEO Bob Swan, the company concluded that there was simply no money in the business after Apple and Qualcomm settled down. ongoing dispute: an agreement that meant that Qualcomm would provide modems to Apple once again.
"In light of the announcement from Apple and Qualcomm, we evaluated the possibilities of making money by delivering this technology for smartphones and concluded at the time that we simply did not see a way," Swan said in an interview. with The Wall Street Journal .
The news that Intel had left the 5G modem business came just hours after the Apple / Qualcomm agreement was announced. At that time, it was not clear if Apple and Qualcomm had recovered due to the fact that Intel had retired, leaving no other options for the iPhone to get 5G, or if Qualcomm had just robbed Intel's business by resolving its current lawsuits According to a report by Bloomberg was the last: Apple had decided that Intel modems were not up to providing 5G for the iPhone on time, leaving no other option but to take the PR hit the end of its long dispute with Qualcomm for the future of the iPhone.
Intel has not yet corroborated whether Apple reached that conclusion or not, according to the company's statements today, it seems that Intel will continue to provide 4G LTE modems for iPhones 2019 this year, at least, but Swan's comments They seem to fit that narrative. If Apple decided that it would have to leave Intel and re-use Qualcomm's chips, it would make sense for Intel to abandon its 5G mobile device business, given that Apple was the only major customer.
Intel is not completely out of the 5G game, the company is still creating infrastructure and networking products, as well as modems for devices that are not smartphones. The company also continues to decide what to do with its 5G modem business, in which it has invested a significant amount of time and money.
We have contacted Intel and Apple for more details.