Apple today has confirmed that it will acquire Intel’s smartphone modem business in a transaction valued at $1 billion. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2019 and is subject to regulatory approval.
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Through this acquisition, Apple will beef up its wireless technology patent portfolio to over 17,000 patents. Apple also says that approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, as will Intel’s equipment and leases that pertain to the smartphone modem business.
Apple and Intel have signed an agreement for Apple to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions
Furthermore, Intel will retain the ability to development modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices, and autonomous vehicles. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple couldn’t also develop those modems.
In the press release announcing the acquisition, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji said that Apple is excited to have Intel’s “excellent engineers” joining its cellular technologies group:
“We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies.
“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.”
The Wall Street Journal was first to report Apple’s looming acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem business earlier this week. Apple and Intel were reportedly in acquisition talks prior to Apple’s settlement with Qualcomm. After that deal, Intel is said to have shopped around but ultimately came back to Apple to close the deal.
Apple is believed to be in the process of building its own in-house modems, and this acquisition of Intel will likely significantly help those efforts. Prior to this acquisition, Apple is said to have had between 1,000 and 2,000 employees working on modem chips for future iPhones. This means that Apple’s team has more than doubled through its deal with Intel.
Read the full announcement here.
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