Apple closes in on $1 billion deal to buy Intel’s modem business: report

Apple closes in on $1 billion deal to buy Intel’s modem business: report

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook. (credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Apple is in the final stages of negotiations to buy the bulk of Intel’s modem chip business, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal says the deal, valued at $1 billion or more, could be finalized in the next week. The deal would involve the transfer of talent as well as modem-related patents.

Intel’s wireless efforts date back to at least 2011, when the company bought Infineon Technologies for $1.4 billion. Intel hoped to become a major rival to Qualcomm, which has long played a dominant role in the market for wireless chips.

But Intel has struggled to gain traction. That’s partly because Qualcomm negotiated restrictive contracts with potential Intel customers that effectively blocked them from considering a second supplier. After Apple began shipping iPhones with Intel chips inside them in 2016, Qualcomm declared war on

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Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 855+, Which is Probably Headed for the Note 10 and Pixel 4

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 855+, Which is Probably Headed for the Note 10 and Pixel 4


Qualcomm unveiled a new version of its Snapdragon 855 this morning, called Snapdragon 855+. Sort of like how we had the Snapdragon 820 and 821 back in 2016, this new 855+ is a slightly improved version of Qualcomm’s high-end mobile processor to help take us through the rest of the year.

What’s different? Qualcomm bumped the CPU up from 2.84GHz to 2.96GHz. They also boosted the GPU by 15%. That’s it. Those are the only two differences. Oh, they added a “+” or “Plus” to the name too.

It’s still a 7nm chip that is ready for 5G connectivity and will likely power the next wave of top tier devices. We have no official word yet, but one could assume that this Snapdragon 855+ will be in the Galaxy Note 10 next month, as well as Google’s new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Qualcomm says that this … Read the rest

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New Fossil, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, and Diesel Wear OS Watches Stop at FCC

Qualcomm Might Try and Save Wear OS Again With a New Chipset


Qualcomm released the Snapdragon Wear 3100 almost a year ago and I think it’s safe to say that the processor did little to help out Google’s Wear OS. It was most definitely not the savior we hoped it would be, as there are few Wear OS options to consider and only a handful that even run that new chip. Things could change in the next year, though!

According to a report from WinFuture, Qualcomm is in early stage development of a couple of chips currently called Snapdragon Wear 429 (WTP429W) and Snapdragon Wear 2700 (WTP2700). These chips appear to be customized versions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 chip, which is a low-end processor built for phones. Before you freakout, don’t take “low-end” as being bad for a watch. A smartphone processor, even on the low-end, would be far better in terms of performance versus the old-as-hell Wear 3100 Qualcomm gave Read the rest

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Qualcomm Says Wear OS Sports Watch Still Coming, Google Shrugs at Sports Mode

Qualcomm Says Wear OS Sports Watch Still Coming, Google Shrugs at Sports Mode


Almost a year in, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 hasn’t brought the new life to the Wear OS world that we had hoped for. I think we know why that is (it’s not really an upgrade over the Wear 2100), but during its unveiling, Qualcomm announced a feature for the platform that might have helped some. That feature was a Sports Mode that would extend battery life on Wear OS watches should they take part in longer sports activities. We aren’t sure who is to blame, but that mode still isn’t here.

What was Sports Mode supposed to be? Qualcomm was going to use the Wear 3100’s new coprocessor to take the load off its old-as-hell, inefficient A7 quad-core chip during extended athletic experiences. That would allow a Wear OS watch to track a marathon or more and not completely reduce a watch’s battery. Qualcomm estimated up to 15 hours of … Read the rest

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How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years

How Qualcomm shook down the cell phone industry for almost 20 years

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich Lawson)

In 2005, Apple contacted Qualcomm as a potential supplier for modem chips in the first iPhone. Qualcomm’s response was unusual: a letter demanding that Apple sign a patent licensing agreement before Qualcomm would even consider supplying chips.

“I’d spent 20 years in the industry, I had never seen a letter like this,” said Tony Blevins, Apple’s vice president of procurement.

Most suppliers are eager to talk to new customers—especially customers as big and prestigious as Apple. But Qualcomm wasn’t like other suppliers; it enjoyed a dominant position in the market for cellular chips. That gave Qualcomm a lot of leverage, and the company wasn’t afraid to use it.

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Google, Qualcomm Team Up to Make It Easier for Headphone Makers to Add Google Assistant

Google, Qualcomm Team Up to Make It Easier for Headphone Makers to Add Google Assistant


The adoption of true Google Assistant integration into headphones has never really picked up any steam. There are a handful of headphones with Google Assistant onboard, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I figured there would be so many more at this point. Today, Google and Qualcomm announced a new smart headset platform that will try and convince more headphone makers to get with it.

The new Qualcomm Smart Headset Platform uses Qualcomm’s low power Bluetooth audio chips and features both Google Assistant and support for Google Fast Pair. They’ve built a reference design too, one that offers push-button access to Google Assistant. You can see it above.

The hope here is that headphone companies will use this kit to add Google Assistant and Fast Pair, but also be able to create products in a “variety of product tiers and categories.” If anything, it should mean … Read the rest

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

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

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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

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