Intel’s sale of its smartphone modem business to Apple is complete

When it comes to the smartphone market, Intel has not had the easiest of years. And before 2019 wraps up, it has officially closed the book on its smartphone modem business.

Announced today, Intel has completed its sale of its smartphone modem business to Apple. The sale is valued at $1 billion, and it was officially announced back in July of this year. With the sale now complete, Intel will refocus its attention away from the smartphone market from this point forward. However, it will not be giving up on 5G networks.

The sale to Apple means Intel can still develop 5G technologies for networks. And Intel can technically still develop modems, but those modems cannot be made for smartphones. Instead, Intel can develop modems (5G and otherwise) for non-smartphone applications, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, autonomous vehicles, and personal computers.

It’s a big change for Intel, and one that was in the works throughout 2019. The company has recently stated that Qualcomm’s actions “forced” it out of the market, saying Qualcomm’s “artificial and insurmountable barriers to fair competition” led to the current state of things. Including its sale of its smartphone modem business to Apple.

For Apple, the future is bright. It has been rumored for quite some time that Apple has been working on its own, custom 5G wireless modems for its devices. With the purchase of Intel’s smartphone modem business, development of that technology will get a massive boost. Indeed, the latest rumor suggests we could see an Apple-designed 5G modem in the iPhone lineup as early as 2022.

Are you looking forward to seeing what Apple does with its own custom 5G modems? Think Intel got an unfair result out of this whole sordid affair?