U.S. Supreme Court again rejects Apple’s claim that Qualcomm’s 5G-related patents are invalid

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier rejected Apple’s request to invalidate two of Qualcomm’s patents related to 5G and wireless communications technology.

Prior to this, Apple had reached a settlement with Qualcomm in 2019 and entered into a chip supply and patent licensing agreement for the next few years. Apple also resumed using Qualcomm to provide data chips for subsequent iPhone models.

Qualcomm 5G DU X100

Image: Qualcomm

However, judging from the fact that Apple still hopes to build its own data chips to get rid of relying on Qualcomm, it is bound to avoid the content held by Qualcomm in technology patents. Otherwise, Apple still necessary to pay Qualcomm royalties, and even still needs to purchase data chips from Qualcomm to successfully obtain patent authorization.

Therefore, Apple is still trying to avoid Qualcomm’s patent holding restrictions through a court ruling that the patent held by Qualcomm is invalid. But apparently, the court still found that Qualcomm holds the patent valid and rejected Apple’s appeal.

There have been many rumors that by taking over Intel’s 5G network technology team for mobile devices and continuing to obtain resources, Apple is expected to launch its self-developed 5G network data chip in 2023. In this way, it can get rid of the current partnership between iPhone and other devices that still rely on Qualcomm to supply connected data chips, thereby making its own hardware and software integration more efficient.

Qualcomm is obviously not nervous about this, and even at the recent investor conference, Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala stated that it has planned to reduce the proportion of revenue from Apple. It is expected to be adjusted to below 20% in 2023, and to a single-digit percentage in 2024, which means that even if the partnership with Apple changes in the future, it will not be enough to affect Qualcomm’s revenue performance.

In addition, even if Apple can design its own 5G network data chip, it is still unavoidable to obtain Qualcomm’s patent authorization for CDMA, 3G, and 4G-related communication technology patents, so Qualcomm will not be nervous.