Qualcomm’s 3D Sensing Technology Two Years Behind Apple’s

Apple's progress in 3D sensing design and mass production is 1.5 to 2 years ahead of Qualcomm's, according to a new investor's note released today by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo believes that Qualcomm is behind in both software and hardware development for 3D sensing, and won't be able to ship the technology until 2019. As Qualcomm is the "most engaged" company when it comes to 3D sensing components for Android devices, Android smartphones could lag behind Apple devices for some time.

An iPhone 8 dummy depicting the location of the front-facing camera and 3D sensors
While Qualcomm has excelled in designing advanced application processors and baseband solutions, it lags behind in other crucial aspects of smartphone applications like dual-camera (many Android phones have instead adopted solutions used to simulate optical zoom from third-party vendors such as Arcsoft (US)) and ultrasonic fingerprint scanner (while a new reference design has been released, there is no visibility on mass production). So while Qualcomm is the most engaged company in the R&D of 3D sensing for the Android camp, we are conservative as regards progress toward significant shipments and don't see it happening until 2019F.
According to Kuo, Qualcomm is dealing with immature algorithms and an unfavorable hardware reference design for smartphones due to form factor design and thermal issues. Qualcomm may also be impacted by Apple's choice of suppliers. Many key component suppliers have already allocated resources to Apple, so Qualcomm has to find different suppliers in order to obtain sufficient resources. Kuo also outlines the suppliers each company is using:


In general, Kuo says the "Android camp" appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach to 3D sensing, which also does not bode well for Qualcomm's 3D sensing technology. Android manufacturers are said to be waiting to see how Apple will use 3D sensing and whether it will offer an "innovative user experience" with features like facial recognition.

Xiaomi's 2018 flagship device is said to be the only potential adopter of Qualcomm's 3D sensing technology, and if the OLED iPhone doesn't see positive feedback following launch, Kuo believes Xiaomi may drop the project.

Apple is rumored to be introducing a front-facing camera with 3D sensing functionality that will enable a new facial recognition system to replace Touch ID, which the company could not build under the display of the device due to production issues. Apple's "iPhone 8" with 3D sensors is expected to debut in just a couple of weeks.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tag: Qualcomm

Discuss this article in our forums

Qualcomm Says Tech Group Supporting Apple is ‘Misdirecting’ ITC With ‘Coordinated Effort’

Last week, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying group representing Google, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Intel, Samsung, and other tech companies, asked the United States International Trade Commission to reject Qualcomm's request for an import ban on some of Apple's iPhone and iPad models that use Intel chips.

The group said that banning Apple products that use Intel chips would enable Qualcomm's anti-competitive behavior and cause supply issues, resulting in harm to consumers.


Qualcomm today responded to the CCIA in a court filing, accusing the group of launching a "coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting" the ITC, reports Reuters. Qualcomm also said that the import ban it requested is not focused on Intel's chips, but the patented technology used in iPhones with Intel chips.
In its filing on Monday, Qualcomm argued that its import ban is not actually about Intel's chips, but instead concerns the patented technology that surrounds the Intel chips in current versions of the iPhone. Thus a ban on importing the phones would not hurt competition in the long term, Qualcomm argued. "Apple can purchase and utilize any LTE modem it chooses so long as it does not infringe Qualcomm's asserted patents," the company wrote.
Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle following Apple's decision to sue Qualcomm in January for charging unfair royalties and refusing to pay quarterly rebates.

The fight between the two companies has escalated since then, most recently leading Qualcomm to file a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and request an import ban for some iPhone models.

In a statement to Reuters on Qualcomm's filing this afternoon, Apple once again complained that Qualcomm makes a single chip in the iPhone but "for years [has] been demanding a percentage of the total cost of [Apple] products - effectively taxing Apple's innovation."


Discuss this article in our forums

Tech Group Representing Samsung, Google, Microsoft and More Supports Apple in Qualcomm Fight

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying group that represents Google, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, Intel, Samsung, and other tech companies today asked the United States International Trade Commission to reject Qualcomm's request for an import ban on select iPhone and iPad models.


According to the CCIA, preventing Apple from importing iPhones made abroad would result in harm to consumers by enabling Qualcomm's anti-competitive behavior. CCIA President & CEO Ed Black gave the following statement on the issue:
"Qualcomm is already using its dominant position to pressure competitors and tax competing products. If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple, and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices.

"What's at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices. But even more critical is the principle of open competition that has been historically important to US economic success. The ITC has a choice whether to further reward anti-competitive behavior - or to reject this anti-free market, anti-consumer request."
In its ongoing legal battle with Apple, Qualcomm in early July asked the U.S. ITC to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models that use Intel modem chips instead of Qualcomm chips.

Qualcomm requested the partial ban as part of a patent lawsuit that claims Apple devices infringe on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while charging.

The lawsuit and import ban request were both filed in retaliation for an ongoing royalty dispute between the two companies, which saw Apple sue Qualcomm back in January for charging unfair royalties and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. Since that date, the legal fight between the two companies has continued to escalate.

Tag: Qualcomm

Discuss this article in our forums

Four Major iPhone Suppliers Join Apple in Countersuit Against Qualcomm

Compal, Hon Hai Precision/Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron have filed a countersuit against iPhone LTE modem supplier Qualcomm in an attempt to prevent Qualcomm from successfully forcing them to pay certain licensing fees related to the iPhone's assembly (via Bloomberg). The move is a response to a lawsuit from May when Qualcomm sued the four suppliers for "breaching their license agreements" by failing to pay royalties on the use of Qualcomm's technology in the assembly of Apple's devices.

Now, in a court filing today, the four companies have claimed that Qualcomm is asking for payments "massively in excess" of what it would normally receive. If the countersuit is successful, Apple said that it could cost Qualcomm billions in refunded fees and damages. For the manufacturers' part, the companies described the Qualcomm suit as "yet another...anticompetitive scheme" by Qualcomm.


According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is said to be covering the legal fees associated with the four manufacturers' defense, and that it would soon file a separate motion to combine the new countersuit with its own suit against Qualcomm, creating one unified case.
Apple’s key contention is that Qualcomm is asking the court to force the contract manufacturers to pay licensing fees due on iPhones above the level the chipmaker normally receives.

The manufacturers -- Compal, Hon Hai Precision and its Foxconn subsidiary, Pegatron Corp., and Wistron Corp. -- denied violating any payment agreements. They called the Qualcomm suit against them “yet another chapter of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive scheme to dominate modem chip markets, extract supracompetitive royalties, and break its commitments to license its cellular technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.”
Apple and its manufacturing partners have also responded to a separate Qualcomm court filing, in which the LTE modem supplier requested an injunction to force Apple's iPhone manufacturers to keep paying royalties during the legal battle. Apple, Compal, Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron have objected to the request, stating that "there's no harm to Qualcomm waiting to get paid" until the end of the case, when the court determines the correct amount.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that an out of court settlement for the case could still happen, although he had no specific confirmation or update on the legal battle that suggested a settlement was coming between Qualcomm and Apple. The two companies have been embroiled in the court case since January, sparked by an FTC complaint about Qualcomm's anticompetitive patent licensing practices, and continued with Apple's own lawsuit against the supplier, and then Qualcomm's countersuit response.

If there is no settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, the case is expected to continue for the next few years.

Tag: Qualcomm

Discuss this article in our forums

Qualcomm CEO Says Out of Court Settlement With Apple Could Happen

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, and though the fight has escalated in recent weeks, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf today told Fortune that an out of court settlement is not out of the question.
"There's not really anything new going on," Mollenkopf said speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. About the Apple dispute, he explained "those things tend to get to resolved out of court and there's no reason why I wouldn't expect that to be the case here."
Mollenkopf went on to say that he has no specific news of a settlement and that nothing new has happened in the case. "I don't have an announcement or anything so please don't ask, he told Fortune. Mollenkopf made a similar statement back in February, but that was before the legal battle between the two companies intensified. At that time, he also said he didn't expect a public fight, something Apple and Qualcomm have not been able to avoid.


Today's interview suggests Qualcomm is still open to settlement talks, but whether that will happen remains to be seen. If Apple and Qualcomm do not settle, we can expect a legal battle that will continue on for several years.

The fight between Apple and Qualcomm started in January, after the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices. Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion just days later, accusing the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and refusing to pay quarterly rebates.

According to Apple, Qualcomm has overcharged it by billions of dollars by "double-dipping" with unfair patent licensing agreements, while Qualcomm claims its innovations are "at the heart of every iPhone" and that the royalties are fair.

Qualcomm went on to countersue Apple in April, accusing the company of breaching licensing agreements, making false statements, and encouraging regulatory attacks against Qualcomm, which prompted Apple to stop making royalty payments to Qualcomm entirely until a court can determine the proper amount due.

Apple in late June expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm, and at the beginning of July, Qualcomm filed a separate patent lawsuit against Apple and asked the International Trade Commission to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models.


Discuss this article in our forums

Qualcomm Seeks iPhone and iPad Import Ban in the United States

The legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple continues to escalate, with Qualcomm asking the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models, reports Fortune. Qualcomm also wants to stop sales of devices that are already in the United States and has filed a new patent infringement case against Apple in the Southern District of California.

According to Qualcomm, Apple is infringing on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies that are designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while communicating. The six patents cited by Qualcomm were granted between 2013 and 2017 and are not licensed or standard-essential patents that are part of the ongoing Qualcomm v. Apple battle over royalty payments.


Qualcomm is asking the ITC to block all iPhones that are equipped with LTE chips from competing mobile communications companies, which would include AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models equipped with Intel chips, along with some iPad models. In an interview, Qualcomm lawyer Don Rosenberg said Qualcomm is pursuing another lawsuit and an import ban because Apple is not willing to pay for the technology it uses.
"If Apple was a willing licensee and Apple was someone who was, like everybody else, willing to pay for what they use, we wouldn't be suing them on these patents," Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel, said in an interview. "But they're not, and we felt we were put in a position, given all the lawsuits they've brought against us around the world, of not simply having to defend ourselves but having to take some affirmative action ourselves."
As noted in Qualcomm's ITC request, a possible ban on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and future iPhones wouldn't happen for approximately 18 months, so it would not affect the devices Apple plans to release in September of 2017. Qualcomm expects the ITC to look into the complaint in August and schedule a trial for 2018, and it believes the new patent infringement case filed today could be put on hold until the ITC makes a decision on the import ban.

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm kicked off in January, when the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices. Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion shortly after, accusing the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and refusing to pay quarterly rebates.

Qualcomm countersued in April, accusing Apple of breaching licensing agreements, making false statements, and encouraging regulatory attacks against Qualcomm, which prompted Apple to stop making royalty payments to Qualcomm entirely until a court can determine the proper amount due.

Since then, the two companies have been fighting a bitter public battle. Apple in late June expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm and accused the wireless chipmaker of "double-dipping" with unfair patent licensing agreements. According to Apple, Qualcomm has overcharged it by billions of dollars, while Qualcomm says its innovations are "at the heart of every iPhone."

Alongside its dispute with Apple, Qualcomm is also now facing an FTC lawsuit for using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors for smartphones.


Discuss this article in our forums

Qualcomm Now Facing Lawsuit From U.S Regulators in Addition to Ongoing Apple Feud

In January, the United States Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Qualcomm that accused the company of using anticompetitive tactics to remain the dominant supplier of baseband processors for smartphones, violating the FTC Act. This week, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose, California ruled that the FTC's antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm can proceed, forcing the supplier to face legal battles both from U.S. regulators and in an ongoing $1 billion lawsuit from Apple (via Reuters).

Judge Koh denied Qualcomm's motion to dismiss the FTC's lawsuit, because the FTC had so far "adequately alleged" anticompetitive tactics were being used by Qualcomm. Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said that the "FTC will have the burden to prove its claims, which we continue to believe are without merit."

The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc can proceed, a federal judge ruled late on Monday, meaning the iPhone chip supplier must now wage a fight with U.S. regulators even as it contests a separate $1 billion lawsuit filed by Apple Inc.

The FTC highlighted Qualcomm's "no license, no chips" policy under which the San Diego company refuses to sell chips unless customers also sign a patent license agreement and pay Qualcomm fees. Qualcomm refused to grant licenses to its rivals in order to keep a monopoly, the FTC alleged.
Although a final ruling is still far away, Rosenberg mentioned that Qualcomm looks forward to "further proceedings in which we will be able to develop a more accurate factual record." In response to the FTC's original complaint from January, Qualcomm cited a "flawed legal theory, a lack of economic support, and significant misconceptions about the mobile technology industry" in its first legal defense.

For Apple's lawsuit, the Cupertino company sued Qualcomm for $1 billion days after the FTC filed its first complaint in January, arguing the company had charged unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." As the case continued throughout the year, in mid June Apple broadened its claims against Qualcomm, stating that Qualcomm wrongly bases its royalties on a percentage of the entire iPhone's value, despite supplying just a single component of the device.

Referred to as Qualcomm's "double dipping, extra reward system," Apple argued that these tactics were the same kind that the U.S. Supreme Court recently forbade in a lawsuit between Lexmark and a small company reselling its printer cartridges. After Qualcomm set its sights on four major Apple suppliers for failing to pay royalties on the use of Qualcomm's technology in the assembly of Apple's devices, Apple said that Qualcomm had revealed "its true bullying nature."


Discuss this article in our forums

Vivo Unveils Screen-Embedded Fingerprint Sensor Technology at MWC2017 Shanghai

As predicted, Vivo showcased fingerprint sensor technology embedded in a smartphone screen on Wednesday at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Shanghai. The 'Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution' is based on Qualcomm technology and was demonstrated running on prototype devices based on the existing Vivo Xplay 6 phone.

Vivo claimed the under-display fingerprint solution, which doesn't require a physical button for the sensor, is "the first to be demonstrated by a smartphone manufacturer". The technology enables the use of a "true full-screen display and an integrated unibody and mechanical waterproofing design", said the company.

"In Vivo's R&D plan, fingerprint scanning will not be carried out by an independent button or region. It will be realised more subtly under the screen, behind the metal shell, or even in the frame.

"Based on ultrasonic technology, the fingerprint recognition technology can be further expanded to realize user interaction, such as gesture recognition, security verification and other fields, which will greatly enhance user experience."
Vivo told Engadget that while the fingerprint scanning function was limited to a small region on the prototype devices, in theory the same sensing technology could be applied across the entire screen, but that it would significantly increase production cost.

Following the unveiling, Qualcomm issued a press release announcing the development of new fingerprint scanners that work through displays, thick glass, and metal, with underwater operation, heartbeat and blood flow detection.
"We are excited to announce Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors because they can be designed to support sleeker, cutting-edge form factors, unique mobile authentication experiences, and enhanced security authentication," said Seshu Madhavapeddy, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "This provides OEMs and operators with the ability to offer truly distinct, differentiated devices with added value on truly groundbreaking new devices."
Qualcomm claimed the technology was capable of scanning through OLED display stacks "of up to 1200um", and was the first commercially announced to scan through up to 800 µm of cover glass and up to 650 µm of aluminum, an improvement over the previous generation's 400 µm capability for glass or metal. The company said it had designed the technology as an integrated solution with Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platforms, and as standalone sensors that can be used with other non-Snapdragon platforms.


Qualcomm said the fingerprint sensors for glass and metal will be available to OEMs this month and should arrive in commercial devices in the first half of 2018. The sensors for displays are expected to be available to OEMs for evaluation in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" is rumored to include a fingerprint-sensing display, but the company has reportedly faced significant challenges in its efforts to develop the technology for its radically redesigned flagship device, due to release in the fall.

Apple is currently in a major legal battle with Qualcomm over its LTE modems, so it seems unlikely the company would consider offering its technology for inclusion in future iPhones. However, the announcement at least demonstrates that the technology is viable, which lends further credence to reports that Apple has perfected its own screen-embedded fingerprint recognition solution. The technology will give Apple's OLED iPhone a significant advantage over its biggest rival, Samsung, which is expected to stick with a rear fingerprint scanner for this year's Galaxy Note 8.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 8 and more traditional "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" models around the usual September timeframe for iPhone updates, although rumors have suggested supplies of the more expensive OLED handset could be tight for up to several months after the official debut.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8
Tags: Qualcomm, MWC17, Vivo

Discuss this article in our forums

Qualcomm Says Its Innovations Are At the Heart of Every iPhone as Battle With Apple Intensifies

Apple this week expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the wireless chipmaker of "double-dipping" by allegedly refusing to sell chips to manufacturers unless they also pay separate royalties and enter licensing agreements at unreasonable rates, according to court documents filed electronically.


Qualcomm has since responded to the amended complaint, claiming that Apple is "trying to distract" from the fact that it has made alleged "misleading statements" about the comparative performance of its Snapdragon X12 modem, used in select iPhone 7 models to enable Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity.

Apple dual sources wireless chips from Qualcomm and Intel for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Qualcomm's Snapdragon X12 modem is used in CDMA models, such as those sold by Verizon and Sprint, while Intel's XMM7360 modem is used in GSM models, such as those sold by AT&T and T-Mobile.

New York-based Cellular Insights last year found Qualcomm's modem to significantly outperform Intel's modem in the iPhone 7 Plus, based on simulated testing of LTE performance at different distances from a cellular tower.

Apple, however, publicly stated there is "no discernible difference" in performance between the Qualcomm and Intel modems in any of the models. Apple also threatened Qualcomm not to disclose the truth, according to Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

Rosenberg said Apple's bigger misconception is that Qualcomm's innovations are limited to technology implemented in the cellular modem, when in fact its patented inventions are supposedly "at the heart of every iPhone" and "enable the most important uses and features" of those devices.

An excerpt from Qualcomm's statement obtained by MacRumors:
Apple says Qualcomm's innovations are limited to technology implemented in the cellular modem, when Apple knows well that Qualcomm has been the de facto R&D arm of the industry.

Qualcomm's patented inventions make possible not only connectivity and high-speed data transmission across mobile networks, but also high-precision GPS navigation, app store operations, power management and battery efficiency, mobile video including advanced compression, graphics, camera imaging and facial-recognition technology, audio quality and audio file compression, and much, much more.

Qualcomm's innovations are at the heart of every iPhone and enable the most important uses and features of those devices. It simply is untrue that Qualcomm is seeking to collect royalties for Apple innovations that have nothing to do with Qualcomm's technology.
Rosenberg added that Apple is "rarely first to market with any new technology, which shows it is relying heavily on the R&D investments in the most revolutionary technologies by companies like Qualcomm."

Apple argued that Qualcomm has been unfairly "levying its own tax" on the iPhone's innovations by charging royalties on a percentage of the entire smartphone's value, despite supplying just a single component of the device.

An excerpt from Apple's amended complaint:
As Apple innovates, Qualcomm demands more. Qualcomm had nothing to do with creating the revolutionary Touch ID, the world’s most popular camera, or the Retina display Apple’s customers love, yet Qualcomm wants to be paid as if these (and future) breakthroughs belong to it.
Qualcomm said the per-device royalty that it charges Apple's contract manufacturers for the right to use its licensed technologies in the iPhone is "less than what Apple charges for a single wall plug." The only first-party wall plug that Apple sells is a 5W USB Power Adapter for $19 in the United States.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January for $1 billion in alleged unpaid royalty rebates. Qualcomm countersued Apple for breach of contract, encouraging regulatory attacks on its business, and failing to engage in "good faith negotiations" for a license to its wireless patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.

Qualcomm was the exclusive supplier of 3G and LTE modems for iPhones until last year, when Apple began dual sourcing from Intel.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says Qualcomm Has Overcharged Billions of Dollars By ‘Double-Dipping’ on iPhone’s Innovation

Apple has expanded its lawsuit against Qualcomm, accusing the wireless chipmaker of "double-dipping" by way of unfair patent licensing agreements, according to an amended complaint filed with a United States federal court in San Diego today.


The complaint broadens the claims Apple made in its original lawsuit against Qualcomm in January, when it sued the chipmaker for $1 billion in alleged unpaid royalty rebates. Apple also accused its longtime supplier of the iPhone's wireless chip of engaging in anticompetitive licensing practices.

Since the original iPhone, Qualcomm has supplied Apple with modems that enable the smartphone to, for example, connect to a Wi-Fi or LTE network. But as the iPhone has gained more features, Apple argues that Qualcomm has been unfairly "levying its own tax" on those innovations through "exorbitant royalties."

Apple said Qualcomm wrongly bases its royalties on a percentage of the entire iPhone's value, despite supplying just a single component of the device.
As Apple innovates, Qualcomm demands more. Qualcomm had nothing to do with creating the revolutionary Touch ID, the world’s most popular camera, or the Retina display Apple’s customers love, yet Qualcomm wants to be paid as if these (and future) breakthroughs belong to it. Qualcomm insists in this Court that it should be entitled to rely on the same business model it applied over a decade ago to the flip phone but while that model may have been defensible when a phone was just a phone, today it amounts to a scheme of extortion that allows Qualcomm unfairly to maintain and entrench its existing monopoly.
The licensing agreements are in addition to paying for the wireless chips themselves. Apple said Qualcomm's "double-dipping, extra-reward system" is precisely the kind that the U.S. Supreme Court recently forbade in a lawsuit between Lexmark and a small company reselling its printer cartridges.
If that were not enough, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., condemned Qualcomm’s business model as a violation of U.S. patent law. The Supreme Court flatly rejected Qualcomm’s business model, holding that a patent holder may demand only “one reward” for its patented products, and when it has secured the reward for its invention, it may not, under the patent laws, further restrict the use or enjoyment of the item. Qualcomm, by its own admission, will not sell chips to manufacturers who do not also pay separate royalties and enter Qualcomm licenses at usurious rates. This is precisely the kind of double-dipping, extra-reward system that the Court’s decision in Lexmark forbids.
Apple said it has been "overcharged billions of dollars" due to Qualcomm's so-called "illegal scheme," including the $1 billion in unpaid royalty rebates that led Apple to sue Qualcomm in January.

In its countersuit, Qualcomm accused Apple of failing to engage in good faith negotiations for a license to its 3G and 4G standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

Apple, however, argues that Qualcomm's monopolistic licensing demands violate its FRAND obligations.
By tying together the markets for chipsets and licenses to technology in cellular standards, Qualcomm illegally enhances and strengthens its monopoly in each market and eliminates competition. Then, Qualcomm leverages its market power to extract exorbitant royalties, later agreeing to reduce those somewhat only in exchange for additional anticompetitive advantages and restrictions on challenging Qualcomm’s power, further solidifying its stranglehold on the industry.
Apple also claims that Qualcomm has never made it a worldwide offer on FRAND terms for a direct license to its patented technologies.

Apple said Qualcomm subsequently filing lawsuits against iPhone manufacturers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal reveals "its true bullying nature," calling it "a blatant attempt to exert pressure on Apple to acquiesce to" its "non-FRAND royalty demands" by attacking its smaller contract manufacturers.
Qualcomm knows that these are companies who have been effectively coerced by its monopoly practices in the past. Qualcomm knows that these companies merely pass through the usuriously high royalty demanded by Qualcomm and so have little incentive to resist its monopolistic tactics.
Apple has called for the court to declare Qualcomm's patents in the lawsuit unessential to 3G/4G standards used in the iPhone and its other products, and to prevent Qualcomm from taking any adverse or legal action against Apple's contract manufacturers related to the allegations in today's amended complaint.

Tag: Qualcomm

Discuss this article in our forums