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Qualcomm vs. Apple – Round 2

A new level in the fight between Qualcomm and Apple
has been reached. Qualcomm is seeking for a sale ban
of certain iPhone models. Affected are iPhone 7,8 and
the X. The XS, XS Max and XR are not affected.

In Germany, Qualcomm is seeking a ban on some iPhones with chips from Intel Corp. The judge ruled that phones that contain a combination of chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo Inc. violated one of Qualcomm’s patents around so-called envelope tracking, a feature that helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals.

Apple is embroiled in a global dispute with Qualcomm, as it argues the latter is trying to uphold unfair patent licensing royalties on standards essential patents. Qualcomm is seeking iPhone bans to try and force Apple’s hand.

However Qualcomm is required to place a 668 million US$ deposit for every case they’re filing to force the sale ban. In the “tracking envelope” case this would mean 3 separate cases as 3 iphone tyes are affected. If Qualcomm is really placing the deposit, is doubtful as it would mean 10 percent of Qualcomm’s revenues per year.

Apple already has pulled the affected iphone models from it’s stores however sale ban doesn’t affect third-party sales. So even if you’re not able to purchase an iPhone 8 or 7 at Apple directly, you will most likely be lucky to obtain one from the various resellers. As Apple has already pulled the X being sold with the release of the new XS models, Apple might be only unlucky with the 7 and 8 series iPhones if the ban should become active effectively. the court in Munich has confirmed the ban however Apple reserves the right to take the case to the next-level instance at the court in Karlsruhe.

So while Qualcomm thinks they have won the fight, they really have made a new enemy. After this escapade it’s unlikely that Apple will ever use any chips or technology from Qualcomm again. And as Apple sellls quite a lot of smartphones, this might also mean a big loss for Qualcomm here. As we say: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”

So let’s see if Qualcomm places the 2 billion US$ deposit to make the sale ban effective and if Apple is taking the lawsuit to the next instance.

Another lawsuit is basing upon a sale ban on all iPhones in China. A feature that relates to App closing and swipe gestures for that is violating one of Qualcomm’s patents. Apple has already taken action and releasing an update of iOS (12.1.2) addressing that feature. So Qualcomm won’t be able to make the sale ban effective in China anymore.

December 21, 2018 Netspark - 1593 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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