Apple held talks with chip-maker Intel about acquiring its smartphone-modem chip business in a multi-billion dollar deal to ramp up the development of wireless technology for iPhones, the media reported. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, the two companies were in talks since last year, though those conversations have now “stalled.”
Apple has been working on its own chips for quite some time. Acquiring Intel’s technology could have helped the iPhone maker accelerate its plans. “Intel is now exploring strategic alternatives for its modem chip business, including a possible sale,” the report added.
The chip-maker has received expressions of interest from a number of parties and has hired Goldman Sachs to manage the process. Intel has confirmed the “surprise” settlement between Qualcomm and Apple pushed it to exit the mobile 5G race. “In light of the announcement of Apple and Qualcomm, we assessed the prospects for us to make money while delivering this technology for smartphones and concluded at the time that we just didn’t see a path,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO.
Intel on April 16 said it plans to cease working on modems for 5G, the next-generation of wireless technology expected to supercharge mobile connections. The news that Intel had exited the 5G modem business came barely hours after the Qualcomm-Apple agreement was announced. Intel had been working on a chipset for the iPhone maker, with the chip expected to be part of iPhones by 2020.