Apple buys an Intel smartphone division for $1 billion

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Apple is paying Intel $1 billion for the chip maker’s smartphone modem division in a deal driven by the upcoming transition to the next generation of wireless technology.

The agreement announced Thursday comes three months after Apple ended a long-running dispute with one of Intel’s rivals, Qualcomm. That ensured Apple would have a pipeline of chips it needs for future iPhones to work on ultrafast wireless networks known as 5G.

The Apple-Qualcomm truce prompted Intel to abandon its attempts to make chips for 5G modems, effectively putting that part of its business up for grabs.

Once the sale is completed later this year Apple will be picking up about 2,200 Intel employees and 17,000 wireless technology patents. Barring any complications, the deal is expected to close sometime between October and December.

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