Apple looks to acquire Intel's German phone modem business, report says

Joanna Estrada
June 13, 2019

One of those was supposed to Intel, which found itself constantly defending its ability to deliver a competitive 5G modem in the face of understandable scepticism from the industry and, increasingly, from Apple itself.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in April that Apple had considered acquiring Intel's smartphone modem business, but this is the first time it's been reported that Apple is specifically interested in the chipmaker's German operations.

Having recently ditched Intel's modem business like a bad habit, gadget giant Apple is reportedly now thinking of buying it.

The Cupertino-based company has made its own processors for the iPhone and iPad since 2010, while in 2017, it announced it planned to stop including United Kingdom chip manufacturer Imagination Technologies' graphics technology in favour of an alternative developed in-house. The staff from Infineon was absorbed in Intel's German arm. Apple has been in talks about this deal since a year ago, and according to the report, the deal could also fall apart. The company's 300 employees and patents were assigned to Apple.

Stefan Wolff, former leader of the Intel's German modem team, joined Apple earlier this year, after several other 5G engineers made the switch to the company too.

An Intel spokesperson said that: "We have hired outside advisers to help us assess strategic options for our wireless 5G phone business ..." Apple has already set up shop in San Diego, hoping to attract engineers over from Qualcomm, but it might not be until 2025 that the first iPhones with Apple-designed modem chips will appear.

In more recent Apple-related news, the company is looking to buy autonomous vehicle startup Drive.ai thereby adding more talent to its self-driving tech ambitions. The final acquisition agreement is similar to Apple's acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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