Apple and Qualcomm may have legally settled their differences, but that does not mean they are suddenly best friends. In fact, an agreement means that some of the strategies that both parties have employed during the process can finally be discovered. Recently, it was reported that Apple would be preparing for the fall of Qualcomm long before its fight, but this latest rumor reveals how it may also be preparing for the end of Intel's 5G modem business.
It was almost a surprise that Intel immediately threw in the towel just after Apple and Qualcomm announced their agreement. Intel's official position was that this made the deal almost impossible. It probably did not help that weeks before that, the company lost a key engineer in charge of its 5G modems to Apple.
The Telegraph reports that Umashankar Thyagarajan was hired by Apple in February, two months before the high profile agreement. The job posting was, of course, public, but at that time no one paid any attention to the points. Turns out Thyagarajan was the design engineer for the Intel XMM 8160 chip and would play a major role in Intel's modems on iPhones last year.
This type of "poaching" is obviously not new in this industry, but sheds some light on Apple's long-term plans. The iPhone maker appealed to Intel concerned that Qualcomm could use its 5G modem monopoly to dictate terms of trade. Now, however, Apple has other plans.
It is also no secret that the company wants to manufacture its own 5G modem, just as it does its own A processors. This would reduce its reliance on external vendors, such as Qualcomm, and solve things on its own. While neither Apple nor Intel have commented on what Thyagarajan will do at Apple, it is expected to be at least for 5G support on future iPhones.