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Intel Axe 5G Phone Modems After Apple-Qualcomm Truce

Intel has axed its plans to produce 5G smartphone modems, following news Apple and rival component giant, Qualcomm, have ceased their long-running legal dispute.

“We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” asserts Intel CEO Bob Swan.

The news follows concern Apple would not have a 5G-compatible iPhone ready by 2020, citing potential production delays with Intel, and lack of another substitute vendor.

As previously reported, Apple has reached a deal with Qualcomm – ending their long-running feud – with some commentators asserting the iPhone manufacturer was left with no other choice than to ‘mend fences.’

The deal includes a six-year licensing agreement and multi-year chipset supply arrangement.

Apple will reportedly remain with Intel chips for 2019 iPhones, as it’s too far along the production line, however, consensus is Qualcomm will be used in 2020.

Whilst ditching its 5G smartphone project, Intel affirms it’s committed to 4G and 5G modems in PCs and IoT devices.

The company will continue servicing existing customers’ 4G smartphone modems, however, will steer clear of the 5G market.

“5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property,” remarks Mr Swan.

“We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”

As previously reported, Apple is also developing its own chip technology, in a bid to reduce reliance on other vendors.

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