Apple was apparently in talks to buy Intel’s 5G modem business, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Intel seemingly abruptly left the market when Apple and Qualcomm settled their respective differences recently.
As the report goes, Apple and Intel had been in talks about the latter’s 5G modem business since last summer, with those talks only really ending when the deal with Qualcomm was made.
Intel now hopes to sell to someone else, and said to be “exploring strategic alternatives fro its modem chip business.” If Intel is indeed able to find a buyer, it could bring in multiple billions of dollars.
To help get a deal over the line, Intel has taken on Goldman Sachs to manage the process of selling that chip business, according to the report.
Intel is now exploring strategic alternatives for its modem chip business, including a possible sale—to Apple or another acquirer, the people said. It has already received expressions of interest from a number of parties and has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage the process, which is in an early stage. Should there be a deal, it could yield as much as a few billion dollars for Intel, some of the people said.
Despite walking away from the 5G modem market, Intel will continue to sell 4G chips to its customers, with Apple likely to continue to use Intel for its 2019 iPhone lineup.
There is still of course the possibility of Apple picking up the 5G business from Intel, something that would allow it to bring the manufacturing of its 5G chips in-house, something the company will always favor.
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