Apple is once again reported to be "in advanced talks" to buy Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business, both the the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The deal, valued at $1 billion or more, could be reached in the next week, according to the WSJ. It would give Apple key engineering talent and patents that would help it develop new devices to connect to the mobile internet.
Both Apple and Intel declined to comment.
Intel announced it would exit the 5G modem chip business in April, hours after Apple settled a longstanding legal dispute with Qualcomm, a key supplier of iPhone modem chips.
Apple is building its own cellular modems for devices like the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch in part to eventually reduce its reliance on buying parts from Qualcomm or others.
Apple’s latest iPhone models currently use modems sourced exclusively from Intel, but but future iPhones are expected to support 5G networks (2020).
Qualcomm’s 5G modems are widely regarded to be superior to those from Intel. However, Apple’s licensing and royalties agreement with Qualcomm ends in six years and Apple appears intent on eventually replacing the Qualcomm parts with modems developed internally.