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5G-ready iPhone may come sooner than expected as Apple and Qualcomm revive relations

It’s no secret that Apple and Qualcomm have been locked in a long, bitter legal battle involving royalty payments in the tune of billions of dollars.

On the one side, Apple claimed that Qualcomm was taking advantage of its dominant position as a mobile processor and modem supplier by charging high prices and licensing fees for its patents. While on the other side, Qualcomm claimed Apple didn’t make the payments that it had promised to.

But as trial proceedings on the matter were just about to begin in San Diego, Apple and Qualcomm today announced that both have agreed to an out of court settlement with Apple paying Qualcomm an undisclosed sum.

At the same time, Apple and Qualcomm have revived relations with a six-year global patent license and a chipset supply agreement that goes into effect from April 1, 2019. The partnership also includes a two-year option to extend the agreement, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

In a related development, Intel announced soon after that it will exit the 5G smartphone market completely and focus instead on 5G in laptops and IOT devices. Intel was a key 4G modem supplier for the iPhone.

This effectively cements Qualcomm’s position as a significant mobile chip manufacturer and one that will potentially enable Apple to deliver 5G devices into the market.

Prior to the Apple-Qualcomm announcement, it would seem that Apple was running out of options with regards to its mobile chipset supplier especially as it looks to introduce 5G-ready devices.

While Samsung and Huawei’s chipset divisions also make mobile processors and modems, especially 5G modems, it didn’t look like Apple was exploring opportunities with either.

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Huawei, for example, has expressed that they are “open” to supplying 5G modems to Apple, Huawei’s CEO, Ren Zhengfei was quoted saying but now it looks like Apple wouldn’t have to.

Via SoyaCincau BM

Amin Ashaari