Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Intel abandons 5G iPhone plans following Apple's Qualcomm settlement

Huawei talks of selling its 5G chips to Apple | Article Apple and Qualcomm Settle Sweeping Patent Suits - Thurrott.com
Katie Ramirez | 17 April, 2019, 13:32

Updated Apple and Qualcomm today settled out of court all of their various patent and licensing legal battles against one another around the world. New iPhone models released by Apple in 2018 used Intel modem chips instead of Qualcomm chips. This means that the pair will stop any further litigation (as far as this particular matter is concerned).

The two firms have also agreed a six-year global patent licensing agreement and also agreed for Qualcomm to supply parts to Apple for multiple years.

Earlier the same day, Apple had fired the first legal shots in a San Diego courtroom, accusing Qualcomm of abusing its market power.

Qualcomm stock was trading at roughly $58 per share before the news broke, and is now trading at nearly $70 per share.

The prospective jurors who didn't make it on the panel included a retired employment lawyer, a man who volunteered that he didn't like the direction Apple had been going, and a "private fiduciary".

More news: Penguins lose at home to fall into 3-0 hole

Inside the year 2019, Qualcomm's 5G modems for smartphones are made separate from their processors, in the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 and X55. The Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in January 2017 as well, and over the same complicated reason.

"The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020", Intel said in a statement late Tuesday. That means that we'll never see the XMM 8160 5G multi-mode modem, which would be competing against Qualcomm's second-generation Snapdragon X55 5G modem.

Qualcomm has an extensive patent portfolio covering numerous technologies used in smartphones and derives a significant amount of its annual revenue through licence payments from phone makers.

Of course, Apple could perhaps quietly buy up that 5G modem tech from Intel, giving the iGiant a few years to develop its own communications chips from the acquired blueprints, while rinsing Snapdragons out of Qualcomm. A separate chipset supply agreement has been inked; though the official announcement doesn't say for how long beyond the fact that it's a "multiyear" agreement. But this afternoon, the companies announced that they had reached a deal in the case. Apple stock rose slightly on the news but has fallen to near its previous level.

According to ZDNet's sister site CNET, an Intel spokesperson declined to comment on whether the decision behind Intel's exit occurred before the settlement or was in response to the new agreements between Apple and Qualcomm.

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