Netease Technology News, April 18 news, according to foreign media reports, Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement on Tuesday local time, ending a two-year patent law war. The move almost immediately prompted US chip giant Intel to announce its withdrawal from the 5G modem chip market.
According to sources, Apple and Qualcomm have been negotiating for several weeks on the details of the settlement. They agreed to abandon all litigation worldwide and signed a six-year licensing agreement that will ensure Apple will launch its first 5G iPhone in 2020. According to sources, the settlement agreement includes Apple's payment of an undisclosed amount to Qualcomm. And a few weeks ago, Apple asked its equipment founders to start testing Qualcomm's 5G modem chips.
After the settlement news was announced, Intel immediately announced its withdrawal from the 5G chip business and raised some doubts about the future potential of the 5G modem chip. The smartphone industry hopes that 5G technology will help revitalize the market that has been declining for three consecutive years.
Intel said in a statement, "The smartphone modem business has no clear road to profitability and return." & rdquo; However, 5G technology remains Intel's strategic focus and we will continue to invest in 5G network infrastructure business. The company also said it is evaluating opportunities to launch 4G and 5G modems on PCs, IoT devices and other data-centric devices. Intel intends to continue investing in its 5G network infrastructure business.
For a long time, Apple has been worried that Intel can't meet its 5G plan, which may also lead to a settlement between Apple and Qualcomm. In June last year, Intel admitted to the media that it started in the 5G category [late late].
Even with Qualcomm's agreement, Apple will have difficulty catching up with competitors who have already launched 5G phones.
A source who directly understood the settlement agreement said: "It is too late for Apple to use Qualcomm chips on new phones this year. But by 2020, after everything is finalized, Apple will purchase a modem chip for the iPhone from Qualcomm, including a 5G modem chip. ”
Due to legal disputes between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel has been the only modem chip supplier for the iPhone since 2018.
A person familiar with the matter said: “Apple has been a bit worried that only one vendor of the modem chip will affect the company’s plan to launch its first 5G smartphone next year. ”
Qualcomm shares closed up 23.2% on Tuesday, and Apple's share price was flat.
The financial terms of the settlement agreement are unclear. But in a lawsuit initiated by the United States, Apple and major foundries Foxconn, Heshuo, Wistron and Compal alleged that Qualcomm had charged too much for the use of chips for many years, requiring Qualcomm to compensate up to $27 billion.
Qualcomm has accused Apple of forcing its foundry to detain approximately $7.5 billion in royalties and demanding that Apple pay a fine of up to $15 billion or more.
Last year, Apple’s iPhone shipments fell for the first time, and Huawei’s global smartphone sales were almost flat. Although Huawei and Samsung will officially release their 5G phones this year, Apple's legal dispute with Qualcomm seems to make Intel the sole supplier of iPhone 5G modem chips next year. According to three industry insiders familiar with the Apple program, this situation prompted Apple and Qualcomm to negotiate a settlement agreement.
For a long time, Qualcomm has dominated the supply of modem chips. The modem chip is a key component in determining the quality of the phone and the speed of data transmission. In 2016, Qualcomm introduced the world's first 5G modem chip X50, which is nearly two years ahead of Intel and MediaTek. Recently, Qualcomm has released a more powerful X55 modem chip.
Intel has lagged behind Qualcomm in the smartphone market, but the world's largest maker of personal computer and server processors is eager to catch up.
Intel previously said that its 5G modem chip will be available in the fourth quarter of 2020. The settlement agreement between Apple and Qualcomm will undoubtedly frustrate Intel because Apple is the largest smartphone manufacturer customer of Intel's modem chips.
At the same time, Apple is also developing its own modem chip. However, many sources said that due to technical barriers and time-consuming and energy-intensive tests, the company is unlikely to start using its own chips until 2021. (晗冰)