Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would be buying Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Today, Intel confirmed that the sale is now completed, meaning Intel is out of the game when it comes to developing cellular modems for smartphones, after providing Apple with modems for the iPhone for some time.
The sale was originally announced after Apple and Qualcomm finally settled an ongoing legal dispute, with the Cupertino giant agreeing to use Qualcomm modems in its smartphones going forward. Losing one of its biggest customers forced Intel to drop development of 5G modems and then sell the entire business to Apple. More recently, it was announced that Intel-powered PCs with 5G will exist, but they will come with MediaTek modems, and they'll only arrive in a couple of years.
Late last week, Intel released a statement accusing Qualcomm's anticompetitive business practices of forcing the company out of the modem business. Intel accused the rival company of creating "insurmountable barriers" to competition. The statements were made in light of a recent court ruling, which also blamed Qualcomm for strangling its competitors in the smartphone modem market.
With Apple now owning Intel's modem business, it could potentially create a rival product that will help it avoid Qualcomm's products, but it could be some time before those products are ready. Meanwhile, since Intel PCs with 5G won't be out until 2021, Qualcomm is pretty much alone in the 5G modem market for computers, too.