Apple, Qualcomm settle all legal disputes

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Apple and Qualcomm agreed Tuesday to dismiss all legal disputes between the two companies worldwide.

Qualcomm also held another bargaining chip: It makes the modem chips needed for future smartphones to work with the next generation of high-speed wireless networks known as "5G". Qualcomm contended that Apple owed it money for royalty payments related to its technology while Apple said the company was trying to try an unfair rate for essential technology. The iPhone's competitors would be able to offer 5G capabilities using Qualcomm chips, while Qualcomm could have denied Apple access to 5G chips as long as the patent battle continued.

The two companies entered federal court in San Diego this week.

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. Qualcomm's stock jumped about 25 percent after news of the settlement. "A settlement is a surprise to investors as ultimately Apple realized this was more about two kids fighting in the sandbox and they have bigger issues ahead with 5G and iPhone softness rather than battling Qualcomm in court".

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Today is a day few of us thought would ever come: Apple and Qualcomm have called a truce and ceased all litigation against each other around the world.

Since Apple originally filed suit in January 2017, the two USA firms have been suing each other in multiple countries in a multi-front battle.

According to reports, Intel is struggling to deliver a 5G modem within a time frame acceptable to Apple.

Qualcomm still faces accusations from the Federal Trade Commission that the company uses its royalty system to stifle competition in the mobile chip market. Intel's exit from the 5G space means that Apple will have to look elsewhere for the technology, which just so happens to be Qualcomm's current forte. We know that there have been rumors of problems between Apple and Intel, as relates to Intel's 5G modem, specifically.

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The not-so-surprising move, which likely explains the sudden settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, will also see Intel "complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices".

Qualcomm said the arrangements are expected to generate $2 per share in additional earnings, though analysts cautioned it was not clear how much of that was coming from the license deal versus the supply agreement.

Qualcomm had demanded Apple pay US$13 per iPhone in licensing fees.

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight said the settlement was "a huge vindication for Qualcomm". MediaTek was regarded not up to the mark, Intel reportedly was running behind deadline.

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