Apple announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. The deal is worth $1 billion and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Included in the buyout are 2,200 Intel employees joining Apple, patents and other IP, equipment and leases.
Offering improvements in power, size and scalability, Intel’s new 5G-enabled modem supports theoretical peak speeds of up to 6 gigabits per second, or three to six times faster than the latest LTE modems available today.
Tensions between Apple and Qualcomm have been on the rise, which has in part caused Apple to look elsewhere for the iPhone’s upcoming 5G modem. Apple is aiming to include 5G in the iPhone by 2019-2020, which means they are getting close to choosing a manufacturer.