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Tech giant Apple and telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm have ended their long-running legal disputes.
For years, Apple had purchased Qualcomm’s chips for the tech giant’s mobile devices. However, in 2017, Apple accused the chipmaker of overcharging. According to Apple, Qualcomm took advantage of its capacity as one of the few suppliers for cellular technology. The tech giant claimed that Qualcomm placed high prices on its modem chips, which enable phones to connect to mobile networks.
Qualcomm denied the accusation and fired back with a lawsuit, alleging that Apple breached the contract by withholding payment.
Apple and Qualcomm continued suing each other for two years over various allegations. One allegation was of Qualcomm accusing Apple of sharing confidential information with the chipmaker’s rival, Intel. Intel became Apple’s chip supplier when the legal disputes began.
After the two-year legal battle, the two companies announced their settlement. A press release published in April said that the settlement included an undisclosed amount of payment that Apple made to Qualcomm. Both parties agreed to drop all legal actions and closed a six-year licensing agreement, which will guarantee the launch of Apple’s first 5G iPhone in 2020. The agreement entails that Qualcomm will once again become Apple’s supplier of chips.
The Apple-Qualcomm settlement has not only ended one of the biggest legal conflicts in the technology industry but has also tipped the scales of power in Qualcomm’s rivalry with Intel.
Intel announced its exit from the production of 5G chips for smartphones following the settlement’s release. An Intel representative said that the company did not see viable income in producing 5G chips due to the terms of the Apple-Qualcomm agreement.