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Intel abandons 5G mobile modem business as Apple and Qualcomm reach settlement

Intel is quitting its plans to incorporate 5G modem into smartphones such as Apple's iPhone devices next year. The American semiconductor giant has announced that it will depart the 5G smartphone modem business as it shifts its focus to 5G modems for PCs, internet of things devices, and data-centric equipment, among others.

The company's announcement comes a few hours after Apple and Qualcomm dropped all current litigation and reached a settlement after years of legal dispute involving patent infringement and royalties. That said, Intel's 4G smartphone modem production will continue to operate.

Intel CEO Bob Swan 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. 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.”

Apple and Qualcomm's new settlement involves a six-year licensing deal and a two-year option to extend the licensing agreement. Qualcomm will also supply chipsets to Apple for an unspecified number of years. Financial details of that agreement were not disclosed, however.

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