The Five-G-Modem Edition Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Apple And Qualcomm Reach Settlement In Patent Royalty Battle, Agree To Drop All Litigation, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says it has reached a deal with Qualcomm that will see it make a settlement payment to Qualcomm. Further, the two have reached a six-year license agreement effective as of April 1, 2019. There is a two-year option to extend the agreement, as well as a multiyear “chipset supply agreement.”

Apple Puts Need For 5G Ahead Of Legal Fight In Qualcomm Deal, by Ian King, Bloomberg

Intel, which dominates the market in personal computer chips, has struggled for decades in mobile. The company pledged that its 5G part was coming in phones next year. But within hours of Apple’s deal with Qualcomm, and with it the loss of its prime mobile customer, Intel announced it would end its effort to produce a 5G modem for smartphones.


“If they didn’t settle with Qualcomm soon they’d miss next year’s product,” said Mike Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity. “Building their own baseband will take years and Intel is behind. Maybe that was the final thing that got this done.”

Why Apple And Qualcomm Made Peace Now: A 5G iPhone In 2020, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

The two companies realized that the upside benefit from settling is far greater than the potential upside for continuing to fight.

“I believe both Apple and Qualcomm got deeper into this than they wanted to,” said Moor Insights & Strategy principal analyst Patrick Moorhead. “Apple was challenging Qualcomm’s most profitable business model, licensing, and Qualcomm was accusing Apple of IP theft and lack of payment.”

Here’s What Likely Happened Between Apple, Qualcomm And Intel, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Here’s my guess. Apple agreed to pay all the money Qualcomm had claimed for it during the time that it and its suppliers had ceased payments. Qualcomm agreed to offer a cheaper deal to Apple in return for the commitment of 6+ years. The chipmaker may have even agreed to drop the percentage terms in favor of a flat fee, provided that Apple signed a non-disclosure agreement on the deal. That way, its business model with other clients wouldn’t be threatened – and wouldn’t be tested in court.

It seems likely that Apple was only willing to go head-to-head with Qualcomm in the first place because it felt confident Intel would tide it over until the iPhone-maker was in a position to create an in-house radio chip. When that didn’t work out, it needed to return to Qualcomm to get back on track for 5G iPhones in 2020.

Coming Soon To A Display Near You

Apple Planning Luna Display-like Desktop Extension Feature For macOS 10.15, Codenamed ‘Sidecar’, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

The new feature – called “Sidecar” internally – can be accessed via a simple menu. This new menu will be opened by hovering over the green “maximize” button in a Mac app window for a split second. The menu will have options for making the window fullscreen, tiling and moving to external displays, including the user’s iPads and external displays connected to the Mac. Selecting one of the display options moves the current window to the selected external display or iPad, in fullscreen.

Apple Revamping Find My Friends & Find My iPhone In Unified App, Developing Tile-like Personal Item Tracking, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Apple is working on a new app that’s going to replace the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps. With codename “GreenTorch”, the app is currently being tested by engineers at the company.


Apple also wants users to be able to track any item – not just their Apple devices – using this new unified app. The company is working on a new hardware product, known only as “B389” by the people involved in its development.

Why iOS Apps Will Make The Mac A Better Place... Eventually, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Change is hard, and the next couple of years are going to be hard for Mac users, because things are going to be strange and different and we’re going to have to learn new ways of doing things. But in the end, I think we’re going to end up with a macOS that is more active and vibrant than it’s been since the day the iPhone was announced.


Apple Revises 2018 MacBook Air Display Brightness To Up To 400 Nits After macOS 10.14.4 Release, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

We've confirmed with Apple that this increase is tied to the macOS 10.14.4 software update released on March 25. Apple's release notes did mention that the update "corrects the default screen brightness" for 2018 MacBook Air models, although no specific details were known at the time.

Apple Shares New 'Shot On iPhone XS' Video Featuring Images Of Nature From Around The World, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Titled "Don't Mess With Mother," the one-minute video features various stark images of nature in action, captured from around the world, synced to the song "Last Rites" by Megadeth.

Apple’s Latest iMacs Are Fast And Familiar, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

Even more impressive than the raw performance is how Apple has managed to improve the noise levels and cooling efficiency, even though these computers use the same fans and designs as the older models. While it certainly is possible to get those fans to spin up under load, the latest iMacs remain surprisingly quiet the vast majority of the time. Since one of the biggest quality-of-life differences between the iMac Pro and the more pedestrian models is how quiet the Pro model is under load, the new iMacs’ reluctance to spin up their fans to obnoxious volumes is greatly appreciated. They still manage to keep the new processors cool enough to maintain performance and avoid excessive thermal throttling.

A Review Of The Twelve South BookArc, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

Like any good app or accessory, the Twelve South BookArc sets its sights on doing one thing extremely well: displaying your docked MacBook and getting it up and out out of the way to free up space on your desk. Not only does it meet and exceed this expectation, it does so with high-styling, chamfered-aluminum, and soft silicone inserts and feet to protect your expensive gadgets.

How To Make Music With An iPad And A ‘Classic’ Swedish Synth, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

The tiny device couples a short, piano-style keyboard with a screen. And it contains a drum machine, several synthesizers, a sampler, a handful of sequencers, a virtual four-track tape recorder and even an FM radio. You can create entire tracks on it with no other gear, or you can hook it up to electric guitars and microphones and bring the outside world in.

But it also pairs surprisingly well with an iPad. You can record audio back and forth, but things go much deeper than that. You also can use the OP-1’s hardware keyboard to play instruments on the iPad, and use iPad MIDI apps to control the synthesizers on the OP-1.


Apple Will Donate Money To Rebuild Notre Dame, by Jonathan Shieber, TechCrunch

Cook’s commitment comes as French companies and private families have rallied to the cause of rebuilding the centuries-old cathedral (and international symbol of Paris and France), which was largely destroyed in a fire yesterday.

The Time Tim Cook Stood His Ground Against The FBI, by Leander Kahney, Wired

The team came to the conclusion that the judge’s order was a PR move—a very public arm twisting to pressure Apple into complying with the FBI’s demands—and that it could be serious trouble for the company. Apple “is a famous, incredibly powerful consumer brand and we are going to be standing up against the FBI and saying in effect, ‘No, we’re not going to give you the thing that you’re looking for to try to deal with this terrorist threat,’” said Sewell.

They knew that they had to respond immediately. The writ would dominate the next day’s news, and Apple had to have a response. “Tim knew that this was a massive decision on his part,” Sewell said. It was a big moment, “a bet-the-company kind of decision.” Cook and the team stayed up all night—a straight 16 hours—working on their response. Cook already knew his position—Apple would refuse—but he wanted to know all the angles: What was Apple’s legal position? What was its legal obligation? Was this the right response? How should it sound? How should it read? What was the right tone?

Bottom of the Page

Death is on my mind these past few days, so everything else, all the bugs, all the tasks, seems to matter less.

Goodbye, my dear colleague and friend.


Thanks for reading.