Qualcomm ruling may stall Apple iPhone ‘rivals’

“LG and Samsung, the Korean handset makers, are scrambling to ensure that their sales are not disrupted by a decision earlier this week by the US International Trade Commission to ban imports of all new phones containing chips made by Qualcomm,” Maija Palmer, Jung-a Song, and Chris Nuttall report for The Financial Times.

“Both LG and Samsung are key Qualcomm customers and seen as hardest hit by the ban,” Palmer, Song, and Nuttall report. “LG, which has the heaviest exposure to the US CDMA market, is pinning its hopes on getting the ban suspended until an appeal can be heard. It has joined Qualcomm, AT&T and Sprint in petitioning the courts to do this. The appeals process could take up to two years, giving the industry time to make alternative supply arrangements. Samsung, meanwhile, said it was “actively working with its suppliers and customers to ensure a continued uninterrupted supply of its future mobile phone models and is confident it will do so.”

“The company could either get Qualcomm to modify its chips to remove the technology under dispute, or change chip suppliers. However, analysts warned that either process could be long and costly,” Palmer, Song, and Nuttall report. “Redesigning chips is a process that could take up to a year or more.

“Motorola is less reliant on Qualcomm but would still be impacted with its 3G variant of the RAZR2 being affected,” Palmer, Song, and Nuttall report. “Nokia and Sony Ericsson, on the other hand, would benefit from a ban, as they do not use Qualcomm chips and would be able to continue introducing new products into the US market while rivals were blocked.

“The Apple iPhone, which is due to be launched at the end of this month, could also be boosted by the ban. It does not use Qualcomm chips and its chief rivals are high-end devices from Samsung and LG,” Palmer, Song, and Nuttall report.

Full article here.

The Associated Press reports, “If the hype surrounding Apple’s iPhone wasn’t enough, now analysts say the gadget may also benefit from a federal agency’s ruling to ban imports of certain cell phones that use Qualcomm chips.”

“Bear Stearns analyst Philip Cusick said if the ruling holds up and prevents the shipment of new handset models, ‘then we would see some new high-end handset launches in the U.S. frozen until there is a solution.’ While this could affect carriers that planned to launch new music devices to combat the iPhone, “volumes of these phones would have been small anyway,” he wrote. ‘We believe that iPhone sales for the next 3 to 6 months will be constrained by the number Apple can build and ship, not by competitive devices,’ he wrote.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “macvicta” for the heads up.]
If Samsung and LG with their so-called, but not very “high end” devices (throw HTC with their latest mess in the list, too) are Apple’s “chief rivals,” then Apple is going to alter the industry so profoundly that most observers are in for awakening whose rudeness they cannot fathom.

Tacking a junky non-multi-touch screen to something trying to run Windows Mobile or some other baby cell phone OS and pretending it’s “just like an iPhone” is going to turn out just like the iPod. This is 2007, not 1995. Consumers are more tech-aware now and can see fakes from a mile away and they stay at least that far away from the knockoff junk as a result. Regardless of this Qualcomm fiasco, Apple’s iPhone has no real competition. This is going to be a bloodbath.

41 Comments

  1. Okay, I need some honest feedback. You guys, of everyone I know, should understand my Apple obsession. Would it just be stupid to sell 5 shares of my Apple stock in order to buy the iPhone at the end of the month?

  2. Exactly, it’s not like they have anything to compare… Apple has 200 patents on the nuances of the iPhone’s technology… Samsung and LG have nothing that a) competes with the iPhone at a competitive price and b) skirts Apple’s massive IP holdings

    Blaming it on supplier issues is a nice way to get your ass kicked with a smile on your face, though.

  3. I’m not sure how this freezes development by companies that are Qualcomm clients. OK, I can see how it would stall their efforts, force them to go back and design around the problem, but that isn’t the same thing. And any other decision could be suicidal – something these companies are NOT.

  4. The blood bath occured after the MacWorld Keynote address, the evidence was seen at CES where every new technology was over shadowed by the iphone spectre.

    The media were unable to get over the keynote presentation and still haven’t.

    The FUD Mongers have been hard at work to no avail.

    This seems to be the dying throes of one last FUDscuse to explain why they have lost the war before the battle has began!

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