Apple reportedly discussed buying Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business


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Apple and Intel have talked about a possible business deal between the two companies that would have Apple acquiring parts of Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, the talks began last summer but stopped recently around the time that Apple and Qualcomm settled their patent dispute.

Intel gained more of Apple’s business when it began supplying smartphone-modem chips while the iPhone maker feuded with Qualcomm. That legal battle over patent royalties raged on for years until Apple and Qualcomm were set to meet in court earlier this month. On the first day of the trial, the two companies announced they reached a deal “to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide.”

Qualcomm agreed to continue to supply Apple with smartphone chips under the deal, and Apple agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for the six-year licensing agreement. On the same day, Intel announced it would discontinue its 5G chipmaking efforts, an operation that Apple encouraged it to pursue for use in future iPhones. It’s unclear which decision came first—Apple’s and Qualcomm’s decision to settle or Intel’s abandonment of 5G modems—but it’s likely that the two were in some way related.

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