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Apple is buying Intel's smartphone modem business

Posted at 2:19 PM, Jul 25, 2019

Apple just bought the bulk of Intel's smartphone-modem business in a deal valued at $1 billion.

The deal includes about 2,200 Intel employees who will now join Apple, as well as intellectual property, equipment and leases, the two companies said in a joint release put out Thursday.

Apple will now hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, according to the release. Intel will still be able to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs and autonomous vehicles.

The deal still must undergo regulatory approval, but both companies said it's expected to close in late 2019.

The acquisition will give Apple more of a role in developing key parts of its smartphones at a time when iPhone sales are faltering as devices last longer and people have stopped replacing them as frequently. The smartphone-modem chips allow phones to connect to wireless data networks.

In April, Intel said it would no longer make 5G modems for smartphones, citing "no clear path to profitability and positive returns" in the business. Going forward, it will continue to work on other products related to 5G.

Separately, Intel reported second quarter results on Thursday that beat analyst projections for both revenue and earnings. Its shares were up more than 5% in after-hours trading.