Qualcomm will get at least $4.5 billion from Apple as part of its patent settlement


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Nov 10, 2017
How much is an apology worth? Well, if you’re Apple, it turns out the number is at least $4.5 billion, which is the amount that Qualcomm revealed in its Q2 earnings it will get from the settlement agreement between the companies, which had previously been embroiled in an ugly patent dispute for the past few years.

The Apple / Qualcomm settlement was an unexpected shift that came early in the trial between the two companies. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple had decided that Intel’s modems (which Apple had been exclusively using in the interim due to its fight with Qualcomm) wouldn’t be ready in time for a 5G iPhone, leading Apple to pony up the newly revealed sum of between $4.5 to $4.7 billion to make up with Qualcomm. That amount of money is separate from any future royalties that Apple will pay for using Qualcomm chips in its devices going forward, too.

As for Apple, its billions have bought the company a six-year global patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm, with an option to extend it for another two years after that, ending the legal fights with the chip company around the world and gaining Qualcomm’s services as a parts supplier for future devices. That’s critical for Apple, given that with Intel’s withdrawal from the 5G modem market for phones, Qualcomm is essentially the only game in town — until or unless Apple begins producing its own.

“We are also pleased to have reached multi-year agreements with Apple and look forward to continuing to support them as a customer,” reads a statement from Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

In case you’re wondering how much $4.5 billion really is to Apple, CNBC reports that Apple now has roughly 50 times that amount — $225.4 billion — of cash on hand alone.