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Behind the Qualcomm settlement is the 5G battle that Apple can't afford to lose.

via:博客园     time:2019/4/17 13:01:42     readed:161

Apple and Qualcomm reconciled. One day ago, the two sides were still in court, and “your $27 billion, my $15 billion”, asked for mutual compensation, and now suddenly shook hands and said that Apple should make a compromise.

From the announcements issued by both parties, Apple agreed to pay patencies to Qualcomm, and the two companies have reached a six-year global patent license agreement and a multi-year chipset supply agreement. At the same time, all litigation between the two parties will be withdrawn, including the claims involved, and Apple will pay Qualcomm a one-time payment.

Judging from the conditions of reconciliation, Qualcomm presented the posture of the winner. In the announcement, Qualcomm said it expects earnings per share to increase by about $2 as product shipments increase. As of the close of the US stock market on April 16, Qualcomm's share price soared 23.21% to 70.45 US dollars / share, also increased 6.81% after the close, the stock price to 75.25 US dollars. Apple's share price on that day was basically flat.

Yesterday, a communications industry veteran told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter that it would take a long time to resolve the contradictions between the two parties through litigation, and this has been consumed for a long time, which is actually beneficial to Qualcomm because Apple There is not much time left in 5G to wait. So, if Apple doesn't have a better 5G chip alternative, the two sides are likely to reach a settlement.

I just didn't expect that the reconciliation came so fast, which actually reflected Apple's anxiety. This year's CES and MWC, 5G mobile phones have become the focus, and mobile phone manufacturers including Samsung and Huawei have announced their own 5G products, but Apple has been absent.

But this is not what Apple expects. Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO ranked in the top five on IDC's list of shipments in 2018. Huawei and Apple only had a difference of 2 million sales. In addition, according to IDC, smartphone sales will decline for the third consecutive year in 2019. It is estimated that sales will be 1.39 billion units in the whole year, down 1% from 1.419 billion in 2018.

It can be seen that in the global environment where smartphone sales are declining, 5G will be a battle that all mobile phone manufacturers are not willing to lose, because the change of the wave brought by 5G may reverse the smartphone landscape. . However, at this time, the relationship between Apple and Qualcomm had a problem, which made Apple ready to go to the battlefield and suddenly found that there was no weapon enough to defeat the opponent.

In terms of 5G chips, Apple has not many options. At present, there are only a handful of companies that master 5G chip technology, including Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel, Samsung, and MediaTek. From a product perspective, Apple's preferred partner will be Qualcomm and Samsung, but the patent lawsuit with Qualcomm makes both sides very embarrassed, and Samsung as a competing product, naturally will not sell weapons to opponents to fight themselves.

The rest is Intel. Although the two sides have had cooperation before, it is not pleasant. The iPhone products using Intel chips have been complained by many consumers, “Signal difference, bad call quality”. At this moment, Apple also hopes that Intel can come up with a quality 5G solution, but the gap between it and Qualcomm is still too big. So, after Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement, Intel announced its withdrawal from the 5G smartphone modem business.

Of course, the outside world also said that Huawei may sell 5G chips to Apple, but on the one hand, like Samsung, the two sides are competitors. On the other hand, Huawei's chips have not been used in other products, and the two sides have not cooperated. So this program will be passed on.

Perhaps after the trial of the patent licensing dispute on April 15th, Apple suddenly realized that if he really won the case and won the compensation, he might also bid farewell to the 5G battlefield, so it is better to pay the patent honestly. Fees, otherwise it will not be worth the candle.

According to Apple's 2019 first-quarter earnings, its revenue fell 5% year-on-year to US$84.3 billion, with revenue in Greater China decreasing by 27%. In addition, by product, iPhone revenue fell 15% year-on-year to US$52 billion.

Of course, the relationship with Apple is bad, and it also has an impact on Qualcomm. After all, Apple's revenue contribution is not small. The settlement with Apple will lay the glory of Qualcomm in the 5G era. Qualcomm said in the announcement that the settlement will help to improve the stability of the patent licensing business, and at the same time reflect the value and strength of Qualcomm's intellectual property. After this battle, no one should come out to challenge the rationality of “Qualcomm Tax”.

Next, everyone's eyes can be transferred from the upstream of the industry chain to the terminal, paying attention to what kind of 5G products will come out of the Apple that is out of the core.

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