The feud between Apple and Qualcomm is over in an unexpected turn of events. The two companies have settled their patent royalty dispute and have ended all ongoing legal actions, including the ones with Apple’s manufacturing partners.
Apple has agreed to pay Qualcomm an unspecified amount, while both the companies have struck a six-year patent license deal along with a “multiyear” wireless chipset supply.
It is not clear what caused the sudden agreement between the two parties, although a federal trial has started thi week. Presumably, at least one party was not keen on seeing through the end of the legal battle. Qualcomm has registered some victories over the course of two years and so has Apple, but neither party seems to eager to reveal their inner workings in the courtroom. if Qualcomm was to win the patent royalty case, Apple could have had to ban current iPhones from the market, even if they don’t use Qualcomm chips. Qualcomm, on the other hand, is mostly concerned about antitrust actions that could lead the company to reduce the prices on its chips.
Apple might have a technical reason to settle the battle, given Intel, which has now retrieved itself from manufacturing 5G mobile chips, was not ready to manufacture modems until 2020. Apple risked shipping LTE-equipped iPhones and iPads at a time when 5G may be virtually mandatory for high-end mobile devices. With the agreement now reached, Apple has Qualcomm as an option again to manufacture chips for its iPhones without having to turn towards unfamiliar entities like Huawei.
The deal is not going to help Qualcomm get rid of antitrust action elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, it might help the company’s claims that it is not strong arming major tech companies like Apple into paying excessive royalties.
Following the news of agreement between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel-the company Apple opted for manufacturing modems for its iPhones after its legal battle with Qualcomm, has announced that it will no longer be working on 5G chips for phones.
“The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020,” Intel said in a press release.