2 min read

Yesterday, Intel announced its decision to leave the 5G smartphone modem market and channelize its focus towards 4G and 5G modems for PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices. This news broke immediately after Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm with regards to the ongoing patent violation and royalty dispute because of Apple’s use of Qualcomm modems in the iPhone. None of the companies made a statement regarding the dispute.

According to a report by Nikkei, Apple had concerns regarding Intel’s ability to supply next year’s iPhone models with 5G modems. Also last year,  Intel became Apple’s sole supplier of smartphone modems as the dispute with Qualcomm got complex.

Apple might now use Qualcomm’s 5G modems with the iPhone in 2020 as it seems Intel has backed out of the modem business. This might put Apple in a tough situation to make a decision in the legal battle with Qualcomm.

Intel will continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business and will also meet the current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line. The company doesn’t have any plans to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space.

Bob Swan, CEO at Intel, said, “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns.”

Swan further added, “5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”

This month, Intel might provide more details about its latest development over 4G and 5G modems for computers and other IoT devices in its upcoming first-quarter 2019 earnings release and conference call.

To know more about this news, check out Intel’s official announcement.

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