After losing out 5G modem orders from Apple and withdrawing from the modem business, Intel will now reportedly auction off its entire IP range related to wireless networks. The company is looking to sell off around 8,500 patents, out of which 6,000 are related to 3G, 4G, and 5G standards. The remaining 1,700 patents relate to other wireless technology.
Intel is already looking for a buyer of its 5G modem business. There were reports of Apple interested in acquiring Intel’s German modem unit, though no further details have leaked on that front yet.
Intel is expecting bids from interested participants by early August. The report says that the auction process for the patents is separate from Intel’s efforts to sell off its smartphone business. However, it also speculates that the company could be selling off the patents in a bid to drum up the interest of buyers in its modem business. A potential buyer could snap up both — Intel’s modem business and patent portfolio, especially since it has a formidable patent portfolio related to 5G standards.
Intel currently supplies 4G LTE modem to Apple for its 2018 and 2017 iPhone lineup. While Apple was looking to source 5G modem for its 2020 iPhone from Intel itself, the latter was unable to stick to its promised development schedule and kept facing other engineering challenges which ultimately led Apple to settle its feud with Qualcomm. The Cupertino company will now be using Qualcomm’s 5G modem for its 2020 iPhones and other products. Following the settlement between the two companies, Intel announced that it is going to shut down its modem business.