On Tuesday, local time, San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm announced a new patent license agreement with LG Electronics. Qualcomm said on Tuesday that the five-year agreement will allow LG Electronics to develop and sell 3G, 4G, and 5G single-mode and multi-mode smartphones. Although the financial terms of the new agreement have not been disclosed, Qualcomm said that LG Electronics will pay the patent license fee, and the agreement is consistent with Qualcomm’s existing global license terms.
According to market research firm IDC (International Data Corporation), LG Electronics ranked ninth in the global smartphone company rankings based on shipments in the first half of 2019, with a market share of 2.4%. IDC analyst Ryan Reith said the deal was “a big win for Qualcomm, in the smartphone market, where head effects have intensified. Qualcomm has once again locked in one of the top ten mobile phone manufacturers in the world. The rest of the brand is more the less you come.”
This agreement is of great significance to LG. 5G will support faster, more robust connectivity, giving smartphone manufacturers unprecedented growth opportunities.
Qualcomm said last year that a number of smartphone companies have chosen its latest chip, and LG Electronics is one of them. In May of this year, LG released the first 5G smartphone with Qualcomm chips. The license agreement between LG Electronics and Qualcomm expired on December 31 last year, and the two parties have been negotiating on the new agreement this year.
Just a few months before the agreement with LG, Qualcomm and Apple reached a settlement agreement for more than two years of patent warfare. The settlement included the rejection of all litigation between the two companies worldwide, and Apple will pay Qualcomm an authorization. The fee, the two sides reached a six-year direct licensing agreement.
Sharing research and development results to meet the 5G era
At present, the 5G era has arrived. In the competition of the 5G era, technology research and development has become increasingly important. Through technological breakthroughs and product innovations, Qualcomm actively embraces 5G opportunities with a wide range of eco partners, accelerating global 5G commercial deployment through comprehensive advanced 5G solutions (modems, RF antenna modules, mobile platforms, reference designs, etc.).
At present, North America, South Korea, China, and other places have opened 5G commercial, and Qualcomm is also following the market requirements, small-step running, and intensively launched three generations of 5G chip products. Qualcomm’s first generation of 5G chip products is the Xiaolong X50, which is the world’s first commercial 5G modem. The world’s leading manufacturers have launched the corresponding products based on the Xiaolong X50. 5G design is very complicated, and there are many application scenarios. Considering the pressure of OEM products and the challenges in terms of power consumption, area, debugging, etc., Qualcomm’s strategy is to provide a complete 5G from the modem to antenna as a solution.
In addition to smartphones, Qualcomm also announced 5G platforms for other terminal types such as mobile computing, automotive, and XR (Extended Reality). Qualcomm’s 5G solution has become the standard for most 5G terminals this year, and more than 150 terminals using Qualcomm’s 5G solutions have been released or are being designed worldwide.
It is worth mentioning that Qualcomm also shares research and development results and technology through more close cooperation methods such as technology licensing, and provides support and services to manufacturers in the field of 5G antenna design, EMI diagnosis, camera analysis, and intelligent link aggregation. With the help of Qualcomm, Chinese terminal manufacturers are constantly moving overseas and expanding into new markets. It is reported that in 2010, among the top ten mobile phone manufacturers in the world, there is only one Chinese manufacturer. In 2016, 7 of the top ten global manufacturers have come from China. Behind this leap-forward development, Qualcomm’s contribution to the Android camp and even the entire Chinese mobile industry cannot be underestimated.
In early 2018, Qualcomm and a number of domestic terminal manufacturers jointly announced the launch of the “5G pilot program” to help Chinese manufacturers become the forerunners of the 5G era, providing 5G smartphones with extraordinary experience for global users. Through close cooperation with Qualcomm, leading Chinese mobile phone manufacturers have taken the lead in releasing 5G commercial mobile phones, and some have successfully entered the first-generation sequence of 5G deployments of foreign operators.