Acquiring majority of Intels Smartphone modem business is a massive step towards the goal of owning and controlling the primary technologies that are core to the operation of its product lineup that utilises modems, even more so for future products.
During the 2009 Earnings call to investors, Tim Cook reiterates Apples long term goal of being the sole proprietor of primary technologies that are the heart and soul of its products:
Tim Cook is a logistics guy, and it should come with no surprise that he is leading the charge in Apple being completely independent in owning and controlling the primary technologies in its products. In the grand scheme of things, financially, it is not a huge burden for Apple to enter licensing agreements with independent companies, like the recent six-year license and multi-year chipset supply agreement with Qualcomm.
The considerable benefit with Apple seeking ownership of intellectual property, however, is Apple, going into the future, will not have to rely on independent companies that may not be able to deliver on its promises. By safeguarding against such failures, Apple can control development pace to ensure its future product roadmap is in line with technological advancements, in this case, advancements in cellular technologies - 5G, which is essential.
No technology company should be too far behind such advancements; it is detrimental to business, and any company with the business acumen and vast workforce such as Apples should endeavour to be the sole proprietor of components that are core to its products.
Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, Johny Srouji:
Apple is excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group, and know they’ll thrive in Apple’s creative and dynamic environment. They, 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, by now, has the expertise to build its modems in-house based on the experience of working with Qualcomm. With the newly acquired Intel staff now set to work on Apple standards, and the continuity of receiving modem supplies from Qualcomm for the foreseeable future, it gives Apple time to independently custom make its modems ready for its future devices by the time 5G reaches maturity.
As a mobile tech consumer who mainly uses Apple products, I am glad to see Apple continue its stride towards controlling its destiny, which benefits both Apple and consumers.