Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
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Intel gives up on 5G modems because Qualcomm ate its Apple pie

Intel gives up on 5G modems because Qualcomm ate its Apple pie

This means that the pair will stop any further litigation (as far as this particular matter is concerned).

Apple had already lost an earlier battle with Qualcomm last month when a federal court jury in San Diego decided the iPhone maker owed Qualcomm $31 million for infringing on three of its patents.

Apple and Qualcomm have ended their contentious legal battle over microchip royalties with a surprise agreement to drop all litigation worldwide.

As part of the settlement, both parties also signed a six-year patent license deal and a supply agreement - which could pave the way for Qualcomm getting its modem chips back in the iPhone.

Apple and Qualcomm have kicked off their billion dollar antitrust trial in San Diego.


Qualcomm stock rose over 15% on the news of the settlement. No matter the cost, at least Apple has made sure that won't be a problem. The agreement opens up the possibility that Apple could release a 5G iPhone sooner than expected with Qualcomm's modem technology.

A US Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against Qualcomm over alleged anti-competitive tactics concluded in January, though a decision has yet to be announced. In addition to paying for the chips, Apple was supposed to pay Qualcomm a licensing fee based on the chips' underlying patents. Qualcomm countered that Apple reneged on its contracts. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace.

Apple accused chip-maker Qualcomm of overcharging, a claim the firm denied. Now that the settlement has taken place, it means that future iPhones may once again feature Qualcomm-branded 5G modem chips. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Apple stock increased by 2 cents to $199.25.

The loss of Intel as a pseudo-competitor in some ways plays into Apple's argument that Qualcomm has a monopoly on this technology, but frankly the issues with Intel being unable to compete on a basic technology performance level were bound to be there regardless. That non-jury trial examined Qualcomm's "no license, no chips" policy, and other controversial sales practices that Qualcomm uses to sell its chips.

Finally, the U.S. FTC case against Qualcomm that makes numerous same claims of anticompetitive behavior remains unresolved, with a decision expected at any time. With Apple and Qualcomm no reaching a settlement agreement, there should now be no doubt that Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will boast support for 5G networking technologies.

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