Apple reportedly wants its in-house-built modems ready to go by 2022

According to Fast Company, Apple is burning the midnight oil to have its in-house-built models ready and running by 2022. The article says that this is “a very aggressive timeline given all the development, testing, and certification work involved.”

In July, it was announced that Apple and Intel had signed an agreement for Apple to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business.  Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, including works council and other relevant consultations in certain jurisdictions.

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Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple’s existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, Internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles.

“Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s 5G modem business will not only allow the iPhone manufacturer to gain world-class expertise in cellular modems, which is one of the most challenging areas in R&D, but also allow it to strike better deals with other major 5G patent holders,” says Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at tech market advisory firm, ABI Research. “Apple will also potentially be able to negotiate better terms with its current 5G suppliers as well as integrate parts of the 5G modem into its existing processors.