Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Apple says Qualcomm refused to supply chips for the next iPhone

Apple says Qualcomm refused to supply chips for the next iPhone

Qualcomm, however, also has a track record of losing against antitrust cases so the tables could turn soon.

Two years ago the FTC also filed charges against the chipmaker accusing it of anticompetitive tactics in an attempt to maintain a monopoly (Apple is officially cited in the complaint). And Williams believes the royalty rate Apple paid for using Qualcomm patents - $7.50 per iPhone - is too high. That's the FTC's case. "The cold war going on between the two has entered the year 2019 and Apple, one of the most powerful tech firms in the world, has admitted that Qualcomm refused to help them when it comes to the latest iPhones" processors. It wasn't, he claims, an effort to shut out rivals. According to Williams, Apple had originally planned to split my last order of modems between Qualcomm and Intel.

At a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Mollenkopf testified that Apple demanded the $1 billion without any assurance of how many chips it would buy, which pushed the chip supplier to pursue an exclusivity arrangement in order to ensure it sold enough chips to recover the payment. But the testimony by Tony Blevins, who handles the supply chain function at Apple, that the company was indeed trying to procure a chipset for 5G phones puts the issue in a different perspective.

How much was Apple paying Qualcomm? Such a deal is only possible because of its monopolistic position, the government argues [PDF].

The Cupertino company needed Qualcomm's chip supply (for the older models). Qualcomm has said it will appeal.

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" While we disagree with the Mannheim court of law's judgment and will certainly appeal, we will continue to enforce our (intellectual property) legal rights against Apple worldwide". The chip maker's "no license, no chips" policy could be shot down by Judge Koh; the company says that it needs those license fees for research and development.

It seems telling that Williams references 2018, when Qualcomm didn't have a 5G modem to ship.

In short, it's complicated.

So far at least, the FTC's strongest argument appears to be all the times that Qualcomm has managed to cut a deal that its competitors can not, and the fact that other companies like Apple have admitted that they wouldn't have signed those deals if they felt they had another option.

He said he contacted Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf to get him to sell chips to Apple.

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