Following the settlement of a dispute between Qualcomm and Apple, Intel Corp. has announced plans to exit the 5G smartphone modem business.
Intel was slated to provide Apple with 5G modems in the 2020 time frame after Qualcomm and Apple went to court over royalties. Apple agreed to use the Intel 5G modems for its future 5G iPhone that would debut sometime in 2020.
However, not only did Qualcomm and Apple settle their dispute, but they also established a new licensing deal that would provide Apple with 5G modems. As a result, Intel is exiting the 5G smartphone modem business and will turn its full attention to its 5G network infrastructure products.
Additionally, Intel said it will complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs. Intel will continue to supply customers with its existing 4G smartphone modem product line but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020.
Intel rationalized the exit, explaining that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns in the smartphone modem business. Instead, the company plans to continue to prioritize 5G as a strategic focus, but in data-centric and device opportunities.