Feb 18, 2020

Agreement Shows Apple Will Purchase Qualcomm's Chipsets In The Next Four Years

Last April, Apple announced that it had reached a settlement with Qualcomm on the patent dispute over unpaid royalty rebates. The settlement includes payment from Apple to Qualcomm and a six-year licensing agreement for Qualcomm's technology, which encompasses a two-year extension option, and a multi-year chipset supply agreement, but did not specify how long the chipset supply agreement will last...


However, less than two months before the agreement officially enters into force, the US International Trade Commission announced Apple's "chipset supply agreement", which documents that the company will continue to purchase Qualcomm's cellular chipsets in the next four years.

Specifically, models released between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021 will use Qualcomm X55 chipsets, and models released between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 will use Qualcomm X60 chipsets; models released between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2024 will use Qualcomm X65 or X70 chipsets.
Apple intends to commercially launch (i) New Models of Apple Products during the time period between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021 (the “2020 Launch”), some of which use the SDX55 Qualcomm Chipset, (ii) New Models of Apple Products during the time period between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 (the “2021 Launch”), some of which use the SDX60 Qualcomm Chipset, and (iii) New Models of Apple Products during the time period between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2024 (the “2022/23 Launch”), some of which use the SDX65 or SDX70 Qualcomm Chipsets (each a “Launch” and collectively the “Launches”). *
It should be noted nevertheless, that the labels of these Qualcomm modems may only be identifiers, and that specific names may still prevail. But it is certain that the iPhone modems will be printed with the "Qualcomm made" mark in the next four years.

Recently, it has been reported that, owing to dissatisfaction with Qualcomm's QTM 525 millimeter wave antenna design, Apple is looking for more antenna design, materials, and supply channels for components, and to re-determine how to get there.

*Certain Mobile Electronic Devices and Radio Frequency and Processing Components Thereof, 337-1093, No. 684857-1 (U.S.I.T.C. Aug. 8, 2019) (available at https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/International_Trade_Commission/337-1093/Certain_Mobile_Electronic_Devices_and_Radio_Frequency_and_Processing_Components_Thereof/684857/1/)

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