Apple confirmed Thursday that it will buy Intel’s smartphone modem division for $1 billion, adding more resources to the tech giant’s bid to build in-house the chips that power its iPhones.
The deal, expected to close by the end of this year, includes 2,200 former Intel employees as well as patents, equipment and leases.
Although Apple agreed in April to resume buying phone chips from Qualcomm as part of a legal settlement, the purchase could fuel its longer-term ambitions for more control over the hardware that will connect its devices to the next generation of wireless service, 5G.
“We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users,” Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, wrote in a statement.
“[The incoming engineers], together with our significant acquisition of innovative IP, will help expedite our development on future products and allow Apple to further differentiate moving forward.”
Apple had previously tapped Intel to develop chips for its first 5G-enabled iPhones—then rumored to be on track for a late 2020 release—but reportedly later decided the company wouldn’t be able to supply them in time.