Qualcomm refused to supply modems for iPhone XS

Jan

15

2019

Apple CEO: Qualcomm refused to supply modems for iPhone XS and XR

Apple’s chief operations officer , Jeff Williams, said during a session in a lawsuit filed by the FTC against Qualcomm that his company wanted to use Qualcomm’s 4g modem chips for the latest iPhones, but Qualcomm refused.

Williams has stated that Apple will no longer receive Qualcomm support for new iPhone designs from early 2017, reports Cnet . The Apple Coo said he approached Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf directly with the request to sell the modem chips to Apple, but Mollenkopf would have refused. Williams said that his company “would have liked to continue using Qualcomm’s technology,” but that Apple had no choice as a result of the refusal and had to turn to Intel for the modem chips. According to Williams, Apple still uses Qualcomm chips with older iPhones.

The Apple CEO was also asked about why his company decided between 2011 and 2013 to continue the relationship with Qualcomm, while Apple was not happy with the way Qualcomm set up business. Williams stated that Apple had no choice but to sign a license agreement again, because otherwise a higher amount than $ 7.50 per device had to be paid in the form of royalties.

In 2013, Apple succeeded in blocking an increase in that price desired by Qualcomm, but that meant that Apple was stuck to Qualcomm and faced with all kinds of exclusivity clauses. “We would otherwise have to deal with a contractually fixed manufacturer’s rate of 17 or 18 dollars per device,” says Williams. According to him, this would have meant an annual cost increase of 1 billion dollars, which meant he described the situation as if Apple had a ‘gun against the head’. “We needed their chips and if we challenged them legally on this point, we would no longer have access to their chips, we had few options,” said Williams.

Apple and Qualcomm have been involved in a legal battle for about two years now. Apple sued Qualcomm in early 2017 due to a conflict over royalties . The iPhone maker wants a number of patents to be declared invalid and demands that Qualcomm refunds a billion dollars. Also, the amounts for license payments according to Apple down.

Meanwhile, the conflict is further deepened. In December it turned out that Qualcomm is trying to force a sales stop of the iPhone XS and XR in China . According to the American chip designer this is necessary because Apple would infringe on Qualcomm patents. At the end of December, it became clear that Apple was taking its iPhone 7 and 8 from German stores after it had lost a Qualcomm patent case. These are chips for wireless communication from Apple’s supplier Qorvo, which infringe Qualcomm’s patents on envelope tracking technology.

Williams’ statements were made at a court hearing that the US Federal Trade Commission filed against Qualcomm two years ago. According to the regulator, Qualcomm has in fact forced Apple to purchase Qualcomm’s wireless chips between 2011 and 2016, because only then could a lower royalty rate be paid. Apple has been using Intel modems since the arrival of the iPhone 7, but also used copies of Qualcomm for those devices.

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