Apple, Qualcomm settle bitter dispute over iPhone technology

The deal requires Apple to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount

In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo a sign advertises 5G at the Qualcomm booth at CES International in Las Vegas. Apple and mobile chip maker Qualcomm have settled a bitter financial dispute centered on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet. The surprise truce announced Tuesday, April 16, came just as the former allies turned antagonists were facing off in a federal court trial that was supposed to unfold over the next month in San Diego. The resolution abruptly ended that trial. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Apple and mobile chip maker Qualcomm have settled a bitter financial dispute centred on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet.

The surprise truce announced Tuesday came just as the former allies turned antagonists were facing off in a federal court trial that was supposed to unfold over the next month in San Diego. The resolution abruptly ended that trial, which also involved Apple’s key iPhone suppliers.

READ MORE: iPhone sales are falling, and Apple’s app fees might be next

The deal requires Apple to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount. It also includes a six-year licensing agreement that likely involves recurring payments to the mobile chip maker.

Investors reacted as if it were a resounding victory for Qualcomm. The San Diego company’s stock soared 23% to close Tuesday at $70.45. Apple shares edged up 2 cents to $199.25.

Neither Apple nor Qualcomm would comment beyond a brief statement announcing they had resolved their differences. Details about how much Apple and its iPhone suppliers will be paying Qualcomm could emerge in court documents or when the companies announce their latest financial results. Apple is due to report its quarterly results on April 30 while Qualcomm is scheduled to release its numbers on May 1.

Apple had been seeking at least $1 billion for money that Qualcomm was supposed to rebate as part of an earlier licensing agreement. Apple had begun to have misgivings about that deal as it added more features to its increasingly popular line-up of iPhones.

Qualcomm was seeking $7 billion for unpaid royalties it contended it was owed for its patented technology in the iPhone. Apple’s iPhone suppliers, including Foxconn and Pegatron, wanted another $27 billion from Qualcomm.

The dispute was clearly beginning to hurt all parties involved, motivating them to settle, said technology industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

“Both Apple and Qualcomm got deeper into this than they wanted to,” Moorhead said.

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.” Two of Apple’s biggest rivals, Samsung and Huawei, are already getting ready to introduce 5G models. The iPhone would have been at a disadvantage if it didn’t have a pipeline to Qualcomm’s chips.

Falling behind the competition isn’t something Apple can afford with its iPhone sales already falling .

“Ultimately, Apple realized this was more about two kids fighting in the sandbox and they have bigger issues ahead with 5G and iPhone softness versus battling Qualcomm in court,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote in Tuesday research note.

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.

Qualcomm still faces other potential fallout from its demands to be paid royalties in addition to the fees it charges for its mobile chips. The Federal Trade Commission has accused the company of using its royalty system to stifle competition in the mobile chip market in another case in which Apple played a central role.

A trial about the FTC’s lawsuit wrapped up in a San Jose, California, court in January, but the judge still hasn’t issued a ruling.

Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Upper Clearwater naturalist helps name national lichen

The votes are in for Canada’s proposed national lichen and the Star-tipped… Continue reading

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

38 ladies had plenty of room to social distance

A couple of years ago hubby and I purchased 600 (yes, 600)… Continue reading

Invasive Mussel Defence program launches in B.C.

Boat inspection stations are now open at various locations throughout the province… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Most Read