Apple and Qualcomm were involved in a series of lawsuits throughout the world, including one in San Diego in which Apple was ordered to pay Qualcomm $31.6 million for violating patents for Internet connection, shifting web traffic and graphics processing, and battery life. Interestingly the word "modem" does not appear once in the press release itself, but from the nature of the two companies' conflict and Apple's own needs, clearly Qualcomm is once again going to be supplying modems for Apple's iPhones and iPads. This means that the pair will stop any further litigation (as far as this particular matter is concerned).
Apple has been aggressively hiring RF engineers in San Diego, where Qualcomm is located.
Qualcomm stock soared as much as 22% following the settlement.
Following its initial United States lawsuit, Apple filed two more suits in China on the same basis. With a mobile network transition toward 5G technology underway and Intel's 5G modems stumbling, and Qualcomm's 5G Snapdragon family looking good, Apple may have chosen to pay Qualcomm rather than face potential supply chain problems with Intel.
Apple licensed Qualcomm's technology for the iPhone early on, helping the phone maker break into the wireless industry.
Apple's litigation chief Noreen Krall chatted privately with Qualcomm attorney Mark Snyder before Judge Curiel called the jurors back into the courtroom.
A jury of six men and three women was in the process of hearing opening arguments from Apple and Qualcomm when news of the settlement broke. Whereas Qualcomm wanted to charge Apple a royalty rate based on the overall cost of each device sold, Apple maintained that this approach was unfair. Either Qualcomm had evidence so strong that Apple didn't think it would win the case, or Apple needed something only Qualcomm could provide.
Apple later stopped paying license fees to Qualcomm, then completely stopped using its chips in iPhones in 2018. The rumor has been that Intel might not have a 5G modem ready for 2020, which would be a significant feature loss compared with its competitors.
As a result of this legal wrangling, Apple resorted to exclusively using communications chips from Intel. Apple was barely changed after hours. What's more, they have reached a new royalty agreement as well as inked a new deal for Apple to buy Qualcomm chipsets.
Legal troubles began when Apple started complaining that some of the technology in the patent bundle also is in its chips.