Apple and Qualcomm end their long legal war

Ruben Fields
April 17, 2019

Updated Apple and Qualcomm today settled out of court all of their various patent and licensing legal battles against one another around the world.

Intel Corp, which had been Apple's sole iPhone chip supplier for the past year amid intensifying conflict with Qualcomm, said hours after the settlement was announced that it would exit the modem chip business. It also included a multiyear agreement for Qualcomm to supply chips to Apple. This means that the pair will stop any further litigation (as far as this particular matter is concerned). Apple and Qualcomm announced the deal as the two companies were simultaneously in federal court in San Diego, arguing their cases on day 2 of what was their ongoing trial.

Apple and American microchip manufacturer Qualcomm said Tuesday they have agreed to "dismiss all litigation" against each other worldwide in what had been a sprawling battle over royalty payments.

Neither Apple nor Qualcomm released statements illuminating why the settlement occurred so abruptly, however, according to Nikkei, Apple was growing concerned about Intel's ability to supply next year's iPhone models with 5G modems.

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Following this news, Qualcomm saw its stock price rise more than 20% to a total market cap of $85 billion. No matter the cost, at least Apple has made sure that won't be a problem.

In recent weeks, there have been a lot of rumors that Huawei may become a potential modem supplier for Apple's first generation 5G iPhone. Apple accused Qualcomm of charging "excessive royalties" and withholding payments in retaliation for Apple cooperating with a South Korean investigation into the chipmaker. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace. As you might imagine, billions of dollars are up for grabs in this case and both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf are expected to testify. While Apple claims some of Qualcomm's patents aren't valid, Qualcomm accuses Apple of violating them - and has sought to ban iPhone sales or imports in several countries, including the US.

Apple started using Qualcomm's chips, which allow the iPhone to connect to cellular networks, in 2011. Apple stock rose slightly on the news but has fallen to near its previous level. "The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm".

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