Hot on the heels of news that Apple and Qualcomm have made friends rather than going to trial over claimed patent issues, competitor Intel has announced that it will withdraw from the 5G smartphone modem business, instead focusing on network infrastructure.
The announcement comes at a time when Qualcomm is now the only major 5G modem provider for the likes of Apple, which isn’t as bad as it might have been prior to the pair agreeing a new payment plan relating to the use of Qualcomm parts in iPhones moving forward.
Intel says that it will continue to invest in its 5G infrastructure business, despite exiting the smartphone market.
Intel Corporation today announced its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices. Intel will also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business.
While Intel plans to continue to honor its commitments with regards to existing 4G products, it does not plan to launch any 5G modem products, including those that had already been announced.
The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for 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.
This now means that Apple will have to choose Qualcomm if it is to bring 5G to an iPhone, although that’s not expected to happen in 2019.
Apple was already said to be disillusioned with the quality of Intel’s work, so it may not come as a surprise to any inside the company that the chip maker has taken this route.
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