Apple Paid an Estimated $5-$6 Billion to Settle Qualcomm Dispute, Plus $8-$9 Per iPhone in Royalty Fees

Apple likely paid somewhere around $5 to $6 billion to settle its ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, according to estimates shared today by UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri (via CNBC).

The $5 to $6 billion payment would have been for royalty fees that Apple had stopped paying over the course of its two year legal fight with Qualcomm.

qualcomm iphones
Qualcomm may also be receiving between $8 and $9 per iPhone from Apple in ongoing patent royalties, a figure calculated based on guidance numbers that Qualcomm provided following the settlement. Qualcomm said that it expects its earnings per share to increase by $2.

Apple previously paid $7.50 in royalties, so at $8 to $9 per ‌iPhone‌, Apple would be shelling out more cash than it did before.

Apple appears to have had no alternative but to settle with Qualcomm, as it had no other way to source 5G chips for its 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup. Apple initially planned to use Intel chips, but rumors suggested Intel wasn't meeting development goals, leading to tension between Apple and Intel.

Just hours after Apple and Qualcomm announced a settlement deal, Intel said that it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business and would not be making 5G smartphone chips at all.

It's not entirely clear if Apple settled with Qualcomm because it knew of Intel's plan to abandon 5G chip development or if Intel made the decision after learning of Apple's settlement plans, but either way, it leaves Apple with no choice but to re-adopt Qualcomm chips for future iPhones.

Smartphone makers like Samsung will have 5G smartphones available starting this year, so Apple could not afford to delay the rollout of its 5G iPhones. Launching in 2020 already puts Apple somewhat behind, but 5G networks from U.S. carriers are still very much in development.

Following news of the settlement, Qualcomm's stock has gone up over 38 percent, marking a big win for the San Diego company. The agreement includes a six-year licensing deal along with a "multiyear chipset supply agreement."

It sounds like Apple will need to rely on Qualcomm for the foreseeable future, but Apple is working on its own modem chip technology, which may eventually allow it to drop Qualcomm as a modem chip supplier.

Top Rated Comments

mi7chy Avatar
25 months ago

Apple previously paid $7.50 in royalties, so at $8 to $9 per iPhone, Apple would be shelling out more cash than it did before.
So, it backfired for Apple and they're now worse off for trying to throw another partner under the bus.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
25 months ago
In other words, Charlie Demerjian was right:

"Qualcomm just pummeled Apple over patents and technology because, well, it appears the scales tipped in Qualcomm’s favor. SemiAccurate has been saying that Qualcomm would prevail and since we first started covering this suit and Apple’s tactics, and now they have. If you read our last piece on the suits it was pretty obvious that Apple was in the wrong, allegedly caught red handed, and dug the hole deeper with their petty and vindictive reactions. Qualcomm claims to have multiple emails where Apple gave sensitive trade secrets to a competitor, then refused to allow Qualcomm to exercise their contractual audit rights. While there may be some more evidence not presented publicly, it sure looks like Apple was in the wrong. So rather than fixing their alleged wrongs and making Qualcomm whole, they appear to have withheld legitimate royalty payments and launched a barrage of somewhat specious trade and patent related counter-suits along with lowball press sniping."

https://www.semiaccurate.com/2019/04/16/qualcomm-just-beat-apple-into-sumbission/
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realtuner Avatar
25 months ago
So, a completely made up number with no basis in fact whatsoever.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoN1NjA Avatar
25 months ago
Definitely seems like Apple won here ― Apple's lawyers should get a raise

it's a ****ing joke
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
25 months ago
I think the years of this “partnership” would be pretty much numbered. Apple is only paying for some more time to develop its own modem.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Intellectua1 Avatar
25 months ago
Only if you believe liars and their made-up numbers.

There's no way Apple would settle by paying MORE than previously. They initiated this case and they had the upper hand. This analyst just caters to the anti-Apple crowd (and the stock market manipulators/stock shorters) by trying to spin this as a Qualcomm win and Apple loss.
So if these numbers are made up like you say we can expect a write up from you a bit later with the real facts, right? These people crunch these numbers for a living, if the numbers aren't 100% accurate they aren't too far off. I know it hurts but just face it, Apple didn't have the upper hand and Apple knew they would've lost, that's why they settled out. The fact that Apple lied about having talks with Qualcomm says it all. Apple will never admit failure whether it's in faulty products or legal battles because their whole model is we're perfection and we know what's right. If Apple came out on top in this you'd dang well know it.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh rate, including display industry analyst Ross Young, leakers ...
unc0ver version 6 release

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 6.0.0 Released With iOS 14.3 Compatibility

Sunday February 28, 2021 9:26 am PST by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 6.0.0 of its software, which can allegedly be used to jailbreak any device running iOS 11.0 through iOS 14.3 using a kernel vulnerability. The unc0ver website describes how the tool has been extensively tested across a range of iOS devices running various software versions, including an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS ...