“Intel recently scrapped its plans to sell 5G modems for smartphones, shortly after its top customer, Apple, announced that it would start using Qualcomm’s modems again,” Leo Sun reports for The Motley Fool. “Apple previously used Qualcomm’s modems, but it started using Intel’s modems exclusively amid legal disputes with Qualcomm over unpaid rebates and high licensing fees. However, Intel’s 5G technology efforts consistently trailed Qualcomm’s.”

“Let’s take a look back at Intel’s past mobile failures, and what they might mean for its future,” Sun reports. “Intel once claimed that Apple wouldn’t sell meaningful quantities of the iPhone, and refused to produce CPUs for the first device over a decade ago. Apple eventually bought CPUs from Samsung before designing its own A-series processors… Intel actually owned an ARM chip producer, XScale, but it sold the unit to Marvell in 2006. Intel thought it could leverage its leading positions in the PC and data center markets — which mainly use x86 CPUs instead of ARM ones — to promote the use of its Atom x86 CPU for mobile devices. Unfortunately, Intel’s x86 CPUs weren’t as power efficient as ARM CPUs, and mobile device makers — which prioritized battery life over horsepower — flocked to ARM chipmakers.”

“In mid-2016, Intel finally discontinued its production of Atom SoCs for smartphones. That same year it started supplying 4G modems to Apple, which split its orders between Intel and Qualcomm,” Sun reports. “Yet Intel’s 4G modems were consistently slower than Qualcomm’s, which forced Apple to cap the speeds of Qualcomm’s modems to eliminate disparities between its own phones.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Next up: Apple dumps feckless Intel for superior Apple-designed SoCs in Macs.

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