The end of a protracted legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm paves the way for the chipmaker to supply Apple with 5G modems for the 2020 line of iPhones.
Highly-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made the prediction in a research note.
Neither Apple nor Qualcomm disclosed the settlement total, but analysts guessed Apple likely paid some $6 billion in back royalty payments to end the lawsuit.
Qualcomm’s 5G chips may have been a carrot to settle. Tech observers see Apple as lagging behind other companies which have been bringing its products up to date as the infrastructure for 5G continues to grow.
iPhone 5G in 2020
“Apple and Qualcomm’s end of a patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G,” Kuo wrote in a researched note. “Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers: The market was worried that Intel’s disappointing 5G baseband chip development might be the most severe uncertainty for the new 2H20 iPhone models’ adoption of 5G.
“But we believe the uncertainty has been removed after Apple and Qualcomm’s end of patent dispute and entrance into (the)… deal, and Intel’s announcement that it will exit the 5G baseband chip business. We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.”
Kuo expects 2020 iPhone shipments could reach 200 million units with as many as 75 million of those being 5G models.