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Apple and Qualcomm Reach Settlement

Just a day after jury selection was completed for their upcoming trial, Apple and Qualcomm have reached a settlement. The news came via an announcement by Apple in which the Cupertino company stated that all the legal battles with Qualcomm had been settled. While terms were not disclosed, the announcement indicated that Apple will pay Qualcomm and they have agreed to a six-year agreement for a licensing of the chip manufacture’s technology.

Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

Apple Newsroom

The agreement puts an end to all legal battles between the two companies, ending years of court battles both here in the United States and abroad. The agreement also covers Apple’s contracted manufactures as part of the settlement. All the companies involved have agreed to global licensing of Qualcomm technologies.

The case Qualcomm had brought against Apple involves infringement of six different patents. The suit was originally filed in July 2017. The patents involved are for graphics processing architecture, power consumption, and envelope tracking technologies. Qualcomm claims that Apple infringed on their patents in the design of the iPhone. 

Apple has also sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in unpaid royalty rebates saying that the chip manufacture “double dipped’ on royalties. The San Diego-based chip manufacture has denied they double-dipped and that the do not owe Apple the rebates. 

The announcement opens the door for Apple to once again return to Qualcomm chips for 5G modems. It unlikely that the 2019 iPhone lineup will sport the San Diego, California chip makers modems given that it is likely too late to make such a change. With the 2019 iPhone lineup expected to be announced in September or October of this year, it is likely that Apple has already finalized chip sets and designs. Those phones are expected to have Intel modems and chipsets. For 2020 however, Qualcomm chipsets will likely make a return to the iPhone lineup.

To this point, both companies had indicated that no settlement was in play or had been discussed. Clearly that wasn’t the case and the early indicators from reading the settlement statement suggests that Qualcomm had the stronger hand and Apple capitulated. With billions of dollars at stake, it was likely a wise move for the companies to settle. Not only were the potential judgments significant dollar wise, they would have impacted revenue for development on both sides.

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