It only escalated from there-Apple was accused of telling its suppliers to withhold royalty payments from Qualcomm, which attempted to bar iPhone imports around the world, and so on.
Qualcomm stock was trading at roughly $58 per share before the news broke, and is now trading at nearly $70 per share.
Just hours after Apple and Qualcomm announced that they'd finally settled their long-running legal battle, Intel says it's abandoning its plans for a 5G smartphone modem. It was expected that the trial would last until May, but here we are. In addition to paying for the chips, Apple was supposed to pay Qualcomm a licensing fee based on the chips' underlying patents.
Apple alleged that Qualcomm - which has made crucial chips for the iPhone - charged an unfair amount to license its patents to place calls, connect to the internet and for other technologies, including audio and video.
Of course, Apple could perhaps quietly buy up that 5G modem tech from Intel, giving the iGiant a few years to develop its own communications chips from the acquired blueprints, while rinsing Snapdragons out of Qualcomm.
Qualcomm initially filed its first patent infringement back in 2017 arguing that Apple was using patented technology without properly compensating Qualcomm. Qualcomm stock has exploded upwards on this guidance, rising 20 percent. Apple executives testified in January at a trial between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Qualcomm that Apple's policy is always seek several suppliers.
On Tuesday, just one day after Apple and Qualcomm's court battle officially started, Apple announced that a settlement between the two companies has been reached. Apple is due to report its quarterly results on April 30 while Qualcomm is scheduled to release its numbers on May 1.
This means that Qualcomm's modem chips are likely to be used again in Apple's newest iPhone models.
Apple licensed Qualcomm's technology for the iPhone early on, helping the phone maker break into the wireless industry.
The story behind Intel leaving the smartphone 5G modem market might be related to the fact that Intel's 5G modem tape out wasn't successful. Either Qualcomm had evidence so strong that Apple didn't think it would win the case, or Apple needed something only Qualcomm could provide. Details from Apple and Qualcomm's court case revealed that the former had explored the use of Samsung and MediaTek chips but despite the Samsung Exynos Modem 5100 going into mass production, it is unclear if either company is a realistic option.