Intel announces it is exiting 5G mobile modem market after Apple and Qualcomm bury the hatchet

Intel logo under magnifying glass

Intel has announced that it is to leave the 5G smartphone modem business and will assess the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, as well as data-centric and IoT devices.

While Intel has not indicated a link between the two announcements, the news comes just after Apple and Qualcomm said they are bringing their legal battles to an end. It means that Intel will not supply the modem for the 5G iPhone, but the company says it will continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business.

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Bob Swan, CEO of Intel, said: "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".

Swan added:

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 stresses that it is not abandoning its current range of 4G mobile modems, but says that it does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone market. This includes previously-planned products due for launch in 2020.

Image credit: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock

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