Apple and Qualcomm unexpectedly settle royalty dispute through new patent agreement

The feud between Apple and Qualcomm is already over

iPhone XS Max

Just as Apple and Qualcomm’s patent dispute was beginning to get interesting, it looks like the bitter battle between the two companies has come to an abrupt end.

The tech giants have settled their patent royalty dispute, halting all ongoing legal action between the two companies. Apple has reportedly agreed to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount of money, with both sides of the conflict agreeing to a six-year licensing deal and a multi-year chipset supply agreement. There is also a two-year option to extend this deal, according to Qualcomm.

As a result, this likely means that iPhones will once again feature modems supplied by Qualcomm. This could also change the timeline regarding the rollout of a 5G-capable iPhone, which Apple was previously rumoured to be preparing to launch in 2021.

While we’ll likely never know the exact reasons Apple decided to settle with Qualcomm, it’s likely Intel’s rumoured inability to deliver a 5G modem in time for the launch of the 2020 iPhone forced Apple’s hand.

The legal conflict between Apple and Qualcomm has been ongoing for the last two years, with Apple contending that the chip-maker was charging it expensive fees for patents and taking advantage of its dominant position in the smartphone modem supplier space.

Qualcomm has been sued over its licensing practices in the past. The company is currently waiting for the results of a lawsuit it fought against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Last month, Apple lost a case against Qualcomm regarding the infringement of the chip-maker’s patents. That case was settled in an agreement as well.

With files from Bryson Masse.

Source: Apple, Qualcomm CNBC 

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