Apple inked a $1 billion deal to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business, in a bid to boost future product development.

As part of the deal, Apple will take on around 2,200 Intel employees, as well as associated intellectual property, equipment and leases. The combination of Intel’s assets with Apple’s existing portfolio will leave the latter with more than 17,000 wireless technology patents spanning cellular standards, modem architecture and modem operation.

However, Intel will notably retain the right to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, including PCs, IoT devices and autonomous vehicles.

Johny Srouji, Apple’s SVP of hardware technologies, said in a statement the company is “excited to have so many excellent engineers join our growing cellular technologies group”.

“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.”

The move comes after Intel in April dropped plans to develop 5G smartphone modems, a decision which came in the wake of a surprise settlement between Apple and Qualcomm.

Though it signed a long-term supply deal with Qualcomm, Apple is reportedly aiming to develop its own 5G modems.

Intel CEO Bob Swan said the sale will allow his company to focus its energy on other 5G technology which “most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers”.

The deal is expected to close in Q4 2019.