Published: Fri, November 03, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Phone-Chip Software Contract Breach

The lawsuit also claims Apple did little to stop the valuable Qualcomm information from being shared with Apple engineers who were working with Intel.

The spat between Apple and chipmaker Qualcomm just keeps getting nastier and nastier, and apparently Apple may finally have had enough of it.

In its complaint, Qualcomm alleged that Apple was required under its contract to ensure that Apple engineers working with Qualcomm did not communicate details about Qualcomm chips to Apple engineers working on competing chips from Intel.

Apple then made a decision to stop making licensing payments to Qualcomm, which led to a massive drop in revenue for Qualcomm. It's hard not to see the suit as a last-ditch attempt by Qualcomm to recoup potential future losses if Apple decides to use other competitor's chipsets in upcoming iOS devices. Intel, for example, is ramping up its own manufacturing ambitions, acquiring new firms to help make it an even bigger part of Apple's business. "Qualcomm's wireless solutions remain the gold standard for premium tier smartphones". The legal proceedings between the two companies started in January, when Apple sued Qualcomm, accusing them of overcharging for use of their patented chips.

It's already attempted to in the past, as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus carried both Intel and Qualcomm chips, as did this year's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

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Apple responded to this, saying that the company had tried to negotiate before suing and that Qualcomm is abusing its position.

Qualcomm has raised the stakes in its ongoing legal battle with Apple by filing a new lawsuit with potentially enormous ramifications. We also contacted Apple, but did not receive a response.

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