When Apple does produce a 5G-capable iPhone, it could end up paying $21 or more to cover licensing fees for related 5G patents. The lion’s share of the fees would go to Qualcomm.
Nokia on Wednesday announced a flat, 3 euro ($3.48) per-device licensing fee for its 5G standards-essential patents, according to VentureBeat. That contrasts with Ericsson, which is charging on a sliding scale between $2.50 and $5 based on the cost of a device.
Qualcomm, however, is licensing its 5G patents at 2.275 percent of a single-mode phone’s total price, and 3.25 percent for multi-mode phones, albeit with a $400 price cap.
Any 5G smartphone manufacturer could potentially face over $21 in combined royalty payments, of which Qualcomm would skim $13 off of the top.
Not all of the patent holders have announced their licensing fees, so the figure could rise higher.
Apple likely is paying more than $21 for the 4G technologies used in current iPhones, as the licensing of that technology is more complicated than what is in place for 5G.
Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup is expected to continue to use 4G technology from Intel.
Apple and Qualcomm are currently embroiled in a legal battle over patents and royalties. Apple fired the initial salvo in the battle back in January 2017 when it filed a $1 billion lawsuit claiming Qualcomm abuses its monopoly to demand high royalties on license patents. Qualcomm counter filed in April, and the battle was on.