As strange as it may seem, Apple and Qualcomm have made peace after years of litigation and a day after the latest court case, theorized to be worth around $30 billion, kicked off. The resolution sees the companies signing a six-year license agreement, appropriately the effective start is April 1, 2019, and it includes an option to extend the deal another two years beyond that, a multiyear chipset supply agreement and Apple is paying Qualcomm an undisclosed amount to boot.
The legal battle between the two since 2017 has reached heights that only past battles between Microsoft and various governments or Oracle against … well, just about everyone … previously reached. It was barely a week ago Apple was accusing Qualcomm of witness tampering, this is after years of billion dollar court battles.
There is a possible method to the madness we are presented with today, which involves about five G's. See, there has been a row going on since last year, when some benchmarks showed that Apple, whom chose to switch between Intel and Qualcomm cellular modems, were purposefully slowing the Qualcomm modems down so they did not outperform the Intel ones. This problem seems to have continued into the coming generation, as Apple seems to be lagging behind with no public plans to release a 5G phone until some time in 2020.
Making peace with Qualcomm could accelerate the arrival of a 5G iThang, theoretically this year but more likely early 2020; earlier than it would have been if they had to depend on Intel to supply them as would be the case while litigation continued to escalate. In the end this does seem like good news for both companies as well as the consumer.
When asked for comment certain Intel employees responded with an interpretive dance yours truly was unable to decipher.