Apple is already kind of a big deal in the chip space. The ARM-based processors that power iPhones and iPads consistently outperform the competition in benchmarks. And a few years ago the company strengthened its control over its chips when it brought the graphics technology in-house, ending a partnership with Imagination Technologies.
Now it looks like Apple is going to bring development of smartphone modems in-house as well. But this time the company is doing that by purchasing someone else’s smartphone model division.
Apple has announced plans to acquire “the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business” for about $1 billion.
The deal, which is set to close toward the end of the year if it’s approved by regulators, would make 2,200 Intel employees into Apple employees and Apple notes it also means the company would “hold over 17.000 wireless technology patents.”
It would also effectively spell the end of Intel’s ill-fated attempts to break into the smartphone space.
This doesn’t mean Intel is giving up on 4G and 5G technology though. It just means that the company will continue developing products for personal computers, self-driving cars, and IoT products — categories where the company already has a significant presence.