Apple is still trying to buy Intel's 5G modem development segment in Germany. A source from The Information said Apple is negotiating with Intel and if it succeeds, the deal will boost plans to research and develop a separate 5G modem for Apple devices in the future.
Intel is said to be selling off the modem business with its operating center in Germany, where it bought Infineon chip maker in 2011 for $ 1.4 billion. Many of Intel's senior employees (formerly of Infineon) have joined Apple, notably Bernd Adler – an expert in wireless architecture, about Apple in 2015 and most recently Stefan. Wolff – who used to manage Intel's modem development.
This is not the first time that Apple has offered to buy Intel's 5G modem array. Earlier in April, the WSJ said that Apple had sought to acquire but had no results. Many other big news sites like CNET also confirmed this while Intel itself said it found "great interest" in the 5G modem business but did not specify which companies or partners are interested. CNET quoted an Intel representative that: "We have hired outside consultants to help evaluate the strategic options for the 5G modem business for phones. We have also priced the portfolio. Wireless modem products and intellectual property. "
Although Intel invested heavily in the 5G modem array for smartphones, it had withdrawn in April. Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company did so because it no longer saw much profit from the market after Apple and Qualcomm reached an agreement to stop legal disputes, working together on the 5G modem array for phone. Apple plans to launch a 5G-enabled iPhone in 2020 using Qualcomm's chip chip solution.
Apple also built a 5G modem technology development team with the final goal of course being to make this chip themselves, no need to buy from partners anymore. Recently, Apple is recruiting more personnel in San Diego where Qualcomm is based. Not strange with this strategy because Apple often expands recruitment in places where competitors are based, using their leadership talents to attract talent.
Can't buy products? I bought the company!
Intel, after acquiring Infineon, the semiconductor industry giant has more than 1,000 engineers, allocated to the mobile chip array, increasing the number of employees to 7,000, spread across 32 offices throughout. world. And then Intel has a hard time managing an overcrowded and fragmented group because they are also tasked with developing Wi-Fi technology and other wireless technologies besides the 5G modem. As a result, Intel's mobile chip development department could not keep up with Qualcomm, delayed delivery operations that frustrated Apple.
Apple began using Intel's modem on the iPhone since 2016 when the relationship between the apple and Qualcomm showed signs of a crackdown due to the copyright war. All agreements signed by Apple with Intel include patents and products, just like the agreements Apple has with Dialog Semiconductor, a UK-based chip company. Last year Apple signed with Dialog a $ 600 million contract to get 300 employees along with several inventions. At that time, Apple had plans to develop its own power management chip.
The 5G modem self-development plan is part of the company's broader plan for many years to reduce dependence on supply partners for critical components on the device. However, the development of 5G modem – which helps devices connect wirelessly to the Internet and 5G network infrastructure is not easy, it takes a lot of time and effort. It is expected that until 2025, Apple will be able to launch a "home made" 5G modem and at that time 5G may have become "milk box scale" like the current 4G.