Apple reportedly in talks to buy Intel modem-chip business

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While details of the unconfirmed deal talks are a little thin, it is thought that more than $1 billion could change hands, and it could be concluded as early as next week - if talks don't collapse, of course.

Intel declined to comment, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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 Inc. or others.

Intel told CNET in June it's seen "significant interest" in its 5G modem business, but didn't confirm which companies have been in contact.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is in advanced talks to buy chipmaker Intel Corp's (INTC.O) smartphone-modem chip business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

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Apple's latest iPhone models now use modems sourced exclusively from Intel, but the company settled its long-standing royalties lawsuit with Qualcomm in April amid plans to sell 5G iPhones in 2020.

A December report in The Information about a modem project within Apple was followed by a February report from Reuters, which indicated Apple had shifted modem engineering from its supply chain unit into its own hardware division.

Apple accused Qualcomm, which holds the most patents for chips, of taking advantage of its dominant position to charge exorbitant amounts for its chips or access to its patents. Intel's leaders are "assessing our options to realize the value we have created" in 5G modems, Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a previous statement.

Intel had been working on a chipset for the iPhone maker, with the chip expected to be part of iPhones by 2020.

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