Apple and Intel now need Qualcomm
The last few weeks were very active for Qualcomm, Apple, and Intel and the first two have finally settled their licensing differences. Intel decided to leave the 5G smartphone business due to the delays and business-related decisions, but FTC judge Koh is still expected to reach a verdict on the Qualcomm-FTC case.
That is why they walked away
In the last two weeks, there was much discussion about the possible reasons for Intel to walk away from 5G smartphone modems. The real reason is straightforward, the tape out of the 5G smartphone chip was not successful, and it would not be there in time for the 2020 iPhone. Another critical point was that Intel hasn’t made money on smartphone modems either.
Apple to go alternatives
In a surprising twist of events, Intel has just announced that it plans to exit the 5G Smartphone modem business. The surprising announcement happened just hours after Apple announced that it had settled its years of legal battles against Qualcomm.
Reuters confirmed what we said in December
Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, was rumored to become a new Intel CEO but instead he got a rocky ride to build a modem for Apple. This is again our "we told you so moment" as we suggested that this will happen and the last time we wrote about it was in mid-December, or months before Reuters.
Aicha Evans, EVP of mobile, confirmed to FTC
Intel is in the middle of quite a nasty fight where the Federal Trade commission in USA attacked Qualcomm for its business and licensing strategy. Aicha Evans, an EVP and general manager of mobile, who left Intel days after testimony confirmed that even in 2018, Intel's modem business unit was not profitable.
FTC Qualcomm trial
One of the interesting twists that has appeared in the FTC investigation into Qualcomm is that it transpires that Intel had an opportunity to invest in 4G and LTE and it confirmed to the court that it decided not to do it, as part of its business strategy.
Investigation: Chose Not To
Apple COO Jeff Williams’ testimony in the FTC Trial, that Qualcomm did not want to sell modems to Apple, appears misleading. Bloomberg’s Ian King viewed emails between Qualcomm’s CEO, Steve Molenkopf, and Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams, and from his article, it was rather clear that negotiations were ongoing, and that Qualcomm wanted to sell modems despite the licensing dispute.
From 2G to 5G in 2H 2019
Intel has announced its XMM 8160 5G modem that supports all the "Gs" from 2G to 5G NR and it plans to ship the modem in 2H 2019 so expect it in phones and PCs in early 2020.
Ahead of planned schedule
Intel has unveiled its latest XMM 8160 5G modem, which supports both the older standard but also brings 5G speeds with peak speeds of up to 6Gbps.