Intel tonight says it has decided to abandon the 5G mobile modem market to focus its efforts more on 4G and 5G modems for PCs and smart home devices, as well as its larger 5G infrastructure business. The announcement comes a few hours after Apple and Qualcomm reached an agreement by surprise in the dispute over patent infringement and royalties from the two companies in connection with the use of Apple's Qualcomm modems on the iPhone.
Intel's decision here is likely to be what drove Apple and Qualcomm's decision to resolve, which was a surprise, as it happened just as the lawyers presented the initial arguments in the last court case that began yesterday in Southern California. But it is not clear when Intel made this decision or when it informed Apple, and Intel declined to comment. Either way, phone makers like Apple will have to search their 5G radios now, and that means Intel has just sold that business to Qualcomm.
"We are very excited about the 5G opportunity and the 'cloudization' of the network, but in the smartphone business it has become clear that there is no clear path to profitability and returns. positive, "said Bob Swan, CEO of Intel. in a sentence. "5G continues to be a strategic priority at Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are evaluating our options to obtain the value we have created, including opportunities on a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world. "
Neither Apple nor Qualcomm published statements that illustrate why the agreement came about. So [abrupt] but Nikkei reported this afternoon that Apple was increasingly concerned about Intel's ability to supply next year's iPhone models with 5G modems – Intel became the sole provider of phone modems Apple's smart last year, as the dispute with Qualcomm spread and became more complex, with multiple lawsuits worldwide.
As part of the agreement, Apple will now pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount related to royalties that the chip maker accused Apple of deliberately holding back as part of the dispute. (Apple, in reverse, initially accused Qualcomm of co brarle in excess by the use of its technology and its components). The two companies have now signed a new six-year global patent license agreement that may be extended in the future for another two years.
It is almost certain that Apple will now resume the exclusive use of Qualcomm modems on the iPhone, including Qualcomm's 5G components that will likely reach Apple's smartphones next year. It is said that the iPhone manufacturer is working on 5G phones scheduled for launch in 2020.