Apple's Beats brand in April unveiled the Powerbeats Pro, a redesigned wire-free version of its popular fitness-oriented Powerbeats earbuds.
Apple and Qualcomm Reach Settlement, Agree to Drop All Litigation
Apple announced the news in a press release this afternoon. Apple says the settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm and a six-year licensing agreement for Qualcomm's technologies.
Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.The settlement ends all ongoing litigation between the two companies, including with Apple's contract manufacturers. All companies involved have reached a global patent license agreement and a chipset supply agreement, suggesting Apple may be planning to once again use Qualcomm chips in its devices going forward.
The legal battle dates back to 2017, when Apple sued Qualcomm for over $1 billion in unpaid royalty rebates, accusing the San Diego chip company of anticompetitive patent licensing practices.
Apple in its lawsuit claimed that Qualcomm had "unfairly insisted" on collecting royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with," while Qualcomm said that its technology is "at the heart of every iPhone. The original lawsuit spawned a bitter legal battle between the two companies, which led to patent disputes and import bans in multiple countries, all of which will now be resolved.
Apple had also stopped using Qualcomm chips in its devices due to the ongoing legal troubles, opting for an all Intel chip lineup in 2018. Recent rumors have, however, suggested that Apple's plans to use Intel's 5G chips for its 2020 iPhones may fall through due to Intel's production delays, which may have been a factor in Apple's decision to come to an agreement with Qualcomm.