Apple had little choice but to settle, as Intel threw in the towel on 5G modem development when it learned that Qualcomm resolved its patent issues with Apple, while America's homeland security institutions would balk at Huawei's involvement due to geopolitical considerations. That left Apple with only one choice for the immediate future, as it was already falling dangerously behind the times in 5G connectivity.
Fast forward to today, and Apple's $4.5-$4.7 billion settlement and long-term contract outlay last year means that the big boys ironed out their differences quickly. In fact, Qualcomm's CEO is on record before Bloomberg, saying that "the discussion is really about products and how do we launch products as fast as possible. It’s much more natural."
Needless to say, said discussions concern the first 5G iPhone that is about to be announced this coming fall, in case you were wondering. Qualcomm's CEO also mentioned that its sales drop in China due to the coronavirus pandemic rebound surprisingly quickly.
"It took about five weeks for it to correct itself and get back to a level of sell-in that’s not too different from what it was a year ago. In the process of doing that, it actually transitioned more of the phones as a percentage to 5G," he mentioned, so the US carriers better continue building out those 5G networks, and fast, as demand seems bound to increase.