US electronics giant Intel said Tuesday (16 April) it was withdrawing from the 5G smartphone modem business, hours after Apple and American microchip manufacturer Qualcomm announced they had clinched an agreement to end a battle over royalty payments.
The modems that connect smartphones to telecommunications networks were at the heart of the battle between Apple and Qualcomm.
Intel said it will “complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices,” while pursuing investment opportunities in its 5G network infrastructure business.
“5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property,” CEO Bob Swan said in a statement.
“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.”
The company said it would meet commitments to customers for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, though it has no plans to launch 5G smartphone modem products, including those previously set to premiere in 2020.
Currently under deployment, ultra-fast 5G wireless networks require terminals equipped with 5G models and specific network infrastructure.
Apple, which had fought a multi-front brawl with Qualcomm for two years, had turned to Intel before reaching the agreement with Qualcomm.