Apple and Qualcomm met each other in court this week in what was supposed to be a brutal trial. Turns out that wasn’t the case, as the two companies surprisingly agreed to a settlement yesterday. This means three things.
Firstly, the settlement ends all ongoing legal action across the board—from Apple, Apple’s manufacturing partners, and Qualcomm. While it’s unclear why the two suddenly decided to settle, it’s very likely that neither wanted company secrets made publicly available in court. The longer the trial would’ve gone on, the more likely that would’ve been. Makes sense.
Secondly, Apple will pay Qualcomm an “undisclosed amount,” along with royalties going forward. The companies have also reached a six-year patent licensing agreement with the option to extend it an additional two years, as we as a multiyear chipset deal. In other words: it’s really a win for both companies…but mostly for Qualcomm.
Third, this puts Intel out of the 5G game completely. There’s been a lot of banter about Apple’s lack of confidence in Intel to provide the company with the 5G modems required for a 5G iPhone, which is likely another reason the company decided to settle. With Apple and Qualcomm on good terms and entering into a multiyear agreement for chipsets (read: modems), this means Apple no longer has to rely on Intel. As a direct result of the settlement, Intel has announced that it will be exiting the 5G smartphone modem market. Ouch.
So, what does all this really mean for you? It means that a 5G iPhone will be released sooner rather than later, with the possibility of seeing a model hit with the new iPhones this year (though still unlikely). Apple wouldn’t have been able to deliver a 5G iPhone in a timely manner if it relied on Intel’s 5G modems, which are still in development, while Qualcomm’s are already available. This settlement, well, settles that issue.
In other news, Verizon is going to start charging more to activate phones in stores, the disc-less Xbox One is official, Adblock could cause malicious code to be executed, and a lot more. Here are the biggest stories for this morning:
Following up on yesterday’s talk about Notre Dame, Digital Trends had a fascinating story about how the fire, while still terrible destructive, would’ve been significantly worse without the use of DJI Drones and a firefighting robot named Colossus. The drones were used to get an aerial view of the fire and how it was spreading, Colossus features a motorized water cannon, a 360-degree HD camera with 25x zoom and thermal imaging, and the ability to tackle nearly any terrain. So cool.