The Apple-Qualcomm deal instantly kills 5G competitor

The Apple-Qualcomm deal instantly kills 5G competitor
As we heard earlier today, the Apple-Qualcomm battle has ended. With those two companies making up, there were likely to be repercussions around the mobile world, but we didn't really expect the fallout to come so quickly. With Apple and Qualcomm striking a deal, Intel has announced that it will be quitting the mobile game.

Or at least, Intel said it will be exiting the smartphone 5G modem business. Intel put out a press release saying that it would continue to support its 4G modems, but it was cancelling its plans for 5G modems for smartphones, which were originally scheduled to be ready in 2020. Intel said it would still be investing in 5G infrastructure and making 5G modems for laptops and Internet of Things devices. 

Intel didn't mention Apple or Qualcomm in the press release, but the timing of the announcement is almost certainly no coincidence. Part of Apple's settlement with Qualcomm was to sign a new exclusive six-year deal for iOS devices to use Qualcomm modems. Intel might have been able to keep going with Android devices, but losing the Apple money seems to have been too much. 

While the Apple-Qualcomm deal wouldn't have impacted Intel's efforts in mobile processors, we can't say we weren't hoping a bit that Intel would give up on that business too. Intel's mobile processors in smartphones have been pretty bad, but to be fair their tablet efforts have gotten (somewhat) better. Still Intel has a long way to go before it's considered a major player in mobile. 

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29 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

As a PC enthusiast I'm really happy as Intel's smartphones modems were wasting Intel's fab capacity Now that freed up fab capacity for their upcoming dGPUs

3. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Intel wasn't making any money with Apple. In fact they said it. And if Intel had a ready modem, all the Android OEM's combined would bring far and away more cash than Apple would as a single company. The fact is, Intel stood zero change vs Qualcomm, because QC has worked with carriers closely to make sure their modem offers peak performance on their networks and neither Apple or Intel ever stood a chance. Apple found out the hard way! The soon fanboys wake up to the facts, the better everything will be. You all seem to have a hard time with reality. The reality is, as long as Apple has to depend on others for hardware, they are at their mercy. Gosh dude, the writers here are terrible. Intel makes great CPU's. That is what they are good at. Like McDonald's and hamburgers. When they try to dip into new territory, it fails. With Mickey D's trying to do chicken. Intel has zero on ARM when it comes to mobile, because ARM already has the lions share, just like Intel has on the desktop.

14. iczer

Posts: 150; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

You are so right! the writers here are terrible! They publish what they think it's true!

25. bashsnk

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 26, 2014

Qualcomm makes better modems quiet right , but they can’t lose doing business with Apple that’s why they strike an exclusive six year deal

5. RevolutionA

Posts: 390; Member since: Sep 30, 2017

Intel is not up to Apples standards

7. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1239; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

But Qualcomm is and that's why Apple went running back to them.

10. lyndon420

Posts: 6517; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apple's standards? Consumer: There's something wrong with my iDevice (connectivity/bending/bricked etc) Apple: It's within specs/or your fault as a consumer. But we'll sell you a new device ;)

22. whatev

Posts: 2135; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Like Samsung with their “extremely secure” locking methods on their almighty GS10 line, and battery life, and camera performance, and connectivity, etc., isn’t it? ;)

13. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1239; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Intel was a reluctant partner for Apple when it came to 5G modems. Intel wanted to quit the modem business last year, but couldn't because of their contract with Apple. 5G was never something Intel wanted to waste R&D money on, but had to do it anyway. With Qualcomm temporarily not an option to Apple, they were stuck with Intel. Intel was always behind Qualcomm, quality and performance wise. Apple had to cap performance of Qualcomm modems in past models so the experience was the same regardless of the modem inside.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Makes total sense. Apple needs to steal modem intellectual property for their future inhouse chip and stealing from Intel makes zero sense when their modems are crap.

18. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Makes sense for android butthurt that apple will use Qualcomm modem instead of second class intel, Huawei’s and samsung modem.

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're peaceboy LMAOOOO!

15. iczer

Posts: 150; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Makes sense the decision from Intel, Apple it's a terrible Partner and they are worried just about their profits! That's all!

16. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Mist be sad for Intel, this is what happen when they get behind of the tech, as apple wants the best chips in their smartphone

17. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If Apple wanted the best chips they wouldn't have dropped QC for Intel the last few years. Apple is about good enough for cheap.

19. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

They dropped Qualcomm because of unfair royalties. Yes apple is good enough with cheap especially iphone Xr with a low resolution and yet outselling any android flagship. It really hurts especially to tech geeks that do not know that most people doesn’t care about a thing inside except its logo, reputation, and good services.

26. sissy246

Posts: 7006; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Then they shouldn't have signed the contract.

20. aksa123

Posts: 365; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

YES! Good news.

21. mootu

Posts: 1421; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"It really hurts especially to tech geeks that do not know that most people doesn’t care about a thing inside except its logo" Typical American teenager, Dumb!

24. Georgio

Posts: 194; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Tech geeks care about logo as well, probably even more than average Joe.

28. Valdomero

Posts: 653; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

So this means no more reception drops, better signal strength and overall better connection speeds? When are we getting these new chips? 2020, 2021?

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Leo, your 2020 iPhone will have a Qualcomm modem.....bummer LMAOOOO!

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