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Intel pulls out of the mobile 5G business

(Image credit: Michael Moore)

Intel has just announced that it is abandoning the 5G mobile modem market and focusing more on building 5G modems for PCs and smart home devices. It also said it would focus further on building 5G infrastructure.

In its recent statement, the company’s CEO said it’s not quite clear how the company could turn mobile 5G modems into profit, so it’s apparently looking for greens elsewhere.

“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,” Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement.

“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.”

Obviously, the media were quick to link this news with another recent and quite tectonic movement in the industry – the legal settlement between Apple and Qualcomm. The settlement means, among other things, that Apple will continue to use Qualcomm’s hardware in its mobile devices, probably including 5G modems, as well.

The interesting thing is that Intel announced it was pulling out of the mobile 5G business *before* the settlement. That made some conclude that Apple was left with no other options but Qualcomm, prompting the settlement.

Image Credit: Michael Moore