On the second day of the federal trial between Qualcomm and Apple, the companies unexpectedly announced that they have settled their wide-ranging legal disputes and agreed to a global patent license. Apple says that it is making an unspecified payment to Qualcomm, and will be able to source Qualcomm chips for six years starting April 1, 2019, with a two-year extension option.
The deal notably includes a multiyear chipset supply agreement, which will enable Apple to procure the modems necessary for iPhones, iPads, and potentially Apple Watches. Critically, Apple will now be able to purchase Qualcomm’s 5G modems, which the company has sourced to virtually all of Apple’s Android-based smartphone competitors, including chief rival Samsung.
Having been cut out of the 2018 iPhone supply chain due to the ongoing disputes, Qualcomm continued to supply Apple with components for legacy devices. After successful patent suits overseas, Qualcomm also forced Apple to stop selling older infringing iPhones made without Qualcomm parts, and begin selling models with Qualcomm chips instead.
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