Intel to Exit 5G Smartphone Modem Business
17 April, 2019
Intel CEO Bob Swan: "It has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns in the smartphone modem business”
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. “We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the ‘cloudification’ of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan (photo above).
“5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world.”
Intel said in a press release that it “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.”
Intel announcement came immediately after Qualcomm and Apple had announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.
For Intel it is a bad piece of news: During the two years struggle between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel was a major supplier of modems to Apple’s smartphones.