Published: Fri, November 03, 2017
Science | By Nancy Frank

Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Phone-Chip Software Contract Breach

The spat between Apple and chipmaker Qualcomm just keeps getting nastier and nastier, and apparently Apple may finally have had enough of it.

Qualcomm has sued Apple, alleging that it violated a software license contract to benefit rival chipmaker Intel Corp for making broadband modems, the latest salvo in the longstanding dispute between Qualcomm and Apple.

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Reuters reported earlier this week that Apple would drop Qualcomm's chips altogether from its iPhones and iPads beginning next year. "Apple copied an Intel engineer in the email for information". Qualcomm reckons that Apple used this access to help Intel in its quest to compete in the LTE modem market.

Qualcomm has raised the stakes in its ongoing legal battle with Apple by filing a new lawsuit with potentially enormous ramifications. The chipmaker also says that an Apple engineer who was working with a competitor (still probably Intel) requested protected information about data download tech. In July, Qualcomm filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission alleging that Apple has infringed on six Qualcomm patents that "enabled important features and functions in iPhones". Apple has accused its chip supplier of unfairly charging companies for using products from other manufacturers.

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We asked Qualcomm for a statement, but the company declined to comment on the speculation that Apple may stop using its chips.

Recent reports have claimed Apple is planning to ditch Qualcomm completely for the 2018 iPhone handsets, given the recent strife between the two firms.

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It's round two for the world's biggest internet companies as they face off against congressional lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Mark Warner , the leading Democrat on the committee, said he was frustrated with what he heard on Wednesday.

However, Apple has now cut off those payments, costing Qualcomm an estimated $2 billion a year in revenue.

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