Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Helping Intel Using Qualcomm Software

Qualcomm on Wednesday filed yet another lawsuit against Apple, this time accusing the company of breaching software licensing terms and using Qualcomm code to help Intel, reports Bloomberg.

According to Qualcomm, Apple breached a contract that dictates the use of software that's designed to make Qualcomm chips work with other iPhone components. Qualcomm also believes Apple may have used its access to that software to help Intel with its own modem chip development.

qualcomm iphone 7
Since 2016, Apple has been using LTE chips from both Intel and Qualcomm in an effort to diversify its supply chain and move some production away from Qualcomm. The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus all use a mix of Qualcomm and Intel chips.

In light of the ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, Apple is said to be considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its devices all together, instead adopting chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek. Rumors suggest Qualcomm has been withholding software from Apple that Apple needs to test prototype devices for next year, forcing Apple's hand.

Qualcomm and Apple have been involved in an escalating legal fight since the beginning of the year after Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion. Apple has accused Qualcomm of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay for quarterly rebates.

Apple has since stopped paying royalties to Qualcomm until new licensing fees have been worked out, as have Apple suppliers, significantly impacting Qualcomm's profits.

Qualcomm has since levied several lawsuits against Apple, accusing the company of patent infringement and asking both the United States and China to block imports and exports of some iPhone models.

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
64 months ago
A frightened dog barks louder.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
64 months ago
Every time I see Qualcomm, I think of this. I’m forever tainted.

Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazuSnow Avatar
64 months ago
How to ruin your company 101
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
64 months ago
In light of the ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, Apple is said to be considering eliminating Qualcomm chips ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/10/30/apple-future-iphone-no-qualcomm-chips/') from its devices all together, instead adopting chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek.
Great. So Apple would basically be selling phones with the same chips used by iPhone clones in China.

Apple has since stopped paying royalties to Qualcomm until new licensing fees have been worked out, as have Apple suppliers, significantly impacting Qualcomm's profits.
Can you imagine Apple's reaction if their own retailers decided to stop making payments for millions of iPhones they've taken delivery of and sold, until "new fees had been worked out"???

It's over for these guys and they have got to be realizing that. I'd say Apple has been working on their own chips already. Once released, GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER!
It doesn't matter whose chips they use. They still have to pay Qualcomm (and Nokia, Ericsson, LG, Samsung, etc) royalties for the IP involved.

Forget that Qualcomm makes chips on the side. That's just a small part of their profit stream.

I honestly didn't know that Qualcomm is in such a bad shape ... sound like they are very desperate looking for a new business model and try to blame failures on Apple.
You've got it backwards. It's Apple who is acting like they cannot pay a few bucks royalty on phones they charge customers hundreds for.

Well, if you are not innovative any more and run out of products to sell, then you start to sue the big guys. Did they file in some district court in northern Texas?
Qualcomm basically invented the core of 3G, and is a major contributor to 4G (LTE) and beyond.

They spend billions each year on R&D, and get about 3,000 patents per year.

In other words, you can greatly thank them for the high data speeds you enjoy today and in the future.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
64 months ago
Why on earth would it make ANY business sense to rely on a SINGLE vendor that charges a percentage on the ENTIRE COST of the phone?
Yours is a very common mistake. You are mixing up two totally separate things (as Apple hoped you will), chips and IP.

CHIPS - The chip vendor side of Qualcomm sells each part at a fixed price. Apple can buy those chips, or chips from anyone else who sells a chip for less. Which they do already, having used chips from Infineon, Intel (who bought Infineon) and Qualcomm.

IP - But chips are just silicon, sold at a price reflecting what it took to design and manufacture them. They do NOT REPEAT NOT include all the IP surrounding them or software needed to run them, for which a device maker must pay all the companies who created that IP / software.

Think of it like the difference between selling an ARM chip and if Apple were to license iOS. They're not the same thing, and the chip would not include a license for the OS. Likewise a modem chip is just a fancy CPU (DSP), useless without code to run it.

Here are just some of the inventors whom a phone maker has to pay to utilize 3G:



And guess what? Most of them charge by the device cost. Just as with the App Store, everyone pays a percentage. In that way, higher cost products subsidize lower cost products, leading to more customers for everyone. It's a common way of licensing IP.

Apple is not just targeting Qualcomm. They want to shave royalties to everyone. Even though they've made hundreds of billions themselves selling phones that rely on the IP of others.

Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkukoc Avatar
64 months ago
When this is all over, they will get a big infusion of cash from back payments. How much that will be is yet to be determined. The continuing escalation is fascinating. I wonder how much it stands to lose if Apple does decide to build their own modem chip (ideally integrated in a future Ax SoC). Patent licensing is their largest revenue source, but losing the chip revenue would not be good.
It's over for these guys and they have got to be realizing that. I'd say Apple has been working on their own chips already. Once released, GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...