Winner and Loser of the week: Intel, Qualcomm, and mixed modem fortunes
Winner of the week: Intel
So it’s official: Apple has bought Intel’s smartphone modem division. This certainly makes things easier for Intel, because the company has gotten rid of an unloved section of its business. In 2010, Intel acquired Infineon’s business and paid $1.4 billion for it. But lately, it hasn’t run so smoothly. It now receives one billion dollars to soften the blom.
Apple has been buying Intel modems for the iPhones for a while. But then rumors began to spread that Apple was starting to work on its own 5G modem. The reason for this is also said to have been that Intel did not deliver the corresponding prototypes on time and Apple thus lost confidence in its partner.
Then Intel announced that it would not be developing any more modem chips for smartphones and therefore would not be supplying a 5G modem. It wanted to divest the division, including patents, employees and contracts. This has now succeeded. Intel is rid of the load and keeps what it wanted to keep. Because the manufacturer can continue to work on modems for PCs, Internet of Things products and autonomous vehicles.
Loser of the week: Qualcomm
Apple and Qualcomm had been fighting for a long time. It was a back and forth for a while and Qualcomm even got a sales bans on iPhones. Apple, therefore, switched to modems from Intel completely in the meantime. The companies finally agreed on what would enable Apple to install Qualcomm modems again. The two companies entered into a six-year contract with the option to extend for a further two years, prompting Intel to drop out of the race.
And yet Qualcomm is on the losing side here, because in the long run, Qualcomm is losing a major customer. It is clear that Apple has bought the necessary know-how to develop its own modems in the future. After all, the iPhone manufacturer also develops its own processors. First of all, the two companies still have a partnership and it is, of course, unclear how far Intel has progressed with the development of a 5G smartphone modem, but in the long run, Qualcomm is out of the running. And that should certainly make itself felt, even if the company continues to supply other smartphone manufacturers.
What were your tops and flops of the week?