Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple on Thursday agreed to buy the majority of Intel's smartphone-modem chip business for $1 billion.

Why it matters: Apple will get to control more of its own supply chain. It's also a disappointment for Qualcomm, which is just now getting back Apple's modem business after settling its long-running legal dispute with the iPhone maker.

Under the deal:

  • About 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple.
  • Apple will also acquire many of Intel's cellular-related patents, along with some leases and equipment.

The deal had been widely anticipated, though, after that settlement. The day the deal was signed, Intel announced it was ending plans to develop a 5G modem chip and weighing the future of its modem chip business.

With Apple being the only major customer for a standalone modem chip, it didn't make sense for Intel to keep going in the business. (Most phone makers either make their own modem chips or use an integrated processor and modem from Qualcomm.)

Yes, but: Qualcomm will still have Apple's modem business for a while, thanks to the multiyear chip deal it signed as part of the legal settlement. It will also take Apple's in-house team a while to get its own 5G modem chips ready.

Separately: Intel posted quarterly results that exceeded expectations and raised its full-year earnings estimate. Its stock price rose in after-hours trading.

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Trump refuses to answer question on whether he supports QAnon conspiracy theory

President Trump on Friday refused to answer a direct question on whether or not he supports the QAnon conspiracy theory during a press briefing.

Why it matters: Trump congratulated Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who vocally supports the conspiracy theory, on her victory in a House primary runoff earlier this week — illustrating how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within his party.

Postal workers' union endorses Biden

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing roughly 300,000 current and former postal workers, on Friday endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, calling him "a fierce ally and defender of the U.S. Postal Service," reports NBC News.

Why it matters: The endorsement comes as President Trump has vowed to block additional funding for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, linking it to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Lawmakers demand answers from World Bank on Xinjiang loan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. lawmakers are demanding answers from the World Bank about its continued operation of a $50 million loan program in Xinjiang, following Axios reporting on the loans.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is currently waging a campaign of cultural and demographic genocide against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, in northwest China. The lawmakers contend that the recipients of the loans may be complicit in that repression.