Qualcomm CEO fires back at Apple: Bring it on

“Bring it on, Apple — at least, that’s what Qualcomm’s top executives seemed to be saying Wednesday,” Shara Tibken reports for CNET.

“Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and Derek Aberle, head of the wireless chipmakers’s licensing business, fired back at lawsuits filed over the past week by Apple in the US and China,” Tibken reports. “Those suits, they said, are all about the money, an effort by Apple to squeeze as much money as possible from its supplier.”

“Qualcomm plans to keep supplying chips to Apple even as they battle in the courts. ‘I’m confident we’ll address and get through the legal challenges underway, as we have done many times in the past,'” Mollenkopf said,” Tibken reports. “The legal challenges he’s referring to included one filed last week by Apple in the US and two others filed this week by the iPhone maker in China. The US Federal Trade Commission also has accused Qualcomm of forcing Apple to use its chips exclusively in exchange for lower licensing fees.”

Tibken reports, “Apple referred CNET back to its comments and lawsuit from Friday. Its statement said, in part, that ‘Apple believes deeply in innovation and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Be careful what you ask for, Qualcomm extortionists. You might not like what you get.

Apple sues Qualcomm in China seeking 1 billion yuan – January 25, 2017
Qualcomm comments on Apple’s lawsuits in China – January 25, 2017
Apple’s rebellion against the ‘Qualcomm Tax’ – January 24, 2017
Despite lawsuit, Qualcomm wants to keep doing business – January 24, 2017
Why Apple, the FTC, and others are attacking Qualcomm’s royalty model – January 24, 2017
Here are the most damning parts of Apple’s blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm – January 23, 2017
Apple’s legal assault on Qualcomm part of iPhone margin grab – January 23, 2017
Qualcomm says Apple’s claims are ‘baseless’ in response to Cupertino’s $1 billion lawsuit – January 21, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion over onerous licensing practices – January 20, 2017
Qualcomm exec says FTC ‘rushed’ antitrust lawsuit before President-elect Trump’s inauguration – January 19, 2017
FTC alleges Qualcomm forced Apple into iPhone LTE chip deals – January 18, 2017
FTC charges Qualcomm with monopolizing key smartphone chip; alleges extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties – January 17, 2017
After eating Intel’s mobile lunch, Apple could next devour Qualcomm’s Baseband Processor business – January 20, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s going to dump Intel modems if they keep lagging Qualcomm – December 5, 2016
Yes, Apple is throttling download speeds for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Verizon and Sprint versions – November 19, 2016
Apple’s modem choices may leave Verizon iPhone users feeling throttled – November 18, 2016
Tests show iPhone 7 Plus models with Qualcomm modem perform significantly better than those with Intel modem – October 20, 2016


    1. Indeed.

      Apple’s lawyers have sucked pretty hard in the past. I guess they figured out that they can still get paid whether they win, lose or draw.

      Must be nice to always be on a retainer.

  1. 50/50 chance for Apple at best. As usual, only Apple has the chutzpah and the cash to challenge these ridiculous but legal, licensing anomalies that enable Qualcomm to charge a percentage of whole device cost whether it’s $100 or $1000 for exactly the same technology. They’re not uncommon throughout many industries and Qualcomm will point that out. Although Apple can point to the various FTC judgements and fines, no authority in any country has tried or dared, to challenge this type of FRAND interpretation.
    They need a very brave judge.

    1. I’m wouldn’t be so sure what Qualcomm is doing is legal. It has all the markings of anticompetitive behavior. The hard question that will be asked is, why did Apple and other Qualcomm customers agree, if fact collude, in this type of agreement for years?

  2. Not a lawyer and certainly don’t understand the intricate details, but if Apple is complaining that Qualcomm charges to much for the components you get, then Apple needs to look in the mirror.

    1. big difference is that with Apple you have ‘choice’ to buy Apple or not .

      With Quacolmm they agreed to everyone (manufacturers, governments, carriers etc) that they will sell certain of their components at ‘reasonable’ rates if the industry will make those things ‘standard’ for the industry and have them integrated into the eco system (i.e from then on using something else will no longer work with the standardized telecommunications eco system) . Then charging too much for them or ‘double ‘ charging : like charging Intel etc and THEN Apple as well for using Intel chips is wrong.

      1. Apple has the choice of suppliers too. So if you do business with a Trump-like entity, expect one-sided deals and price gouging, with all negotiations starting from a point of absurdity. But if you do business with reasonable people, then long term partnerships benefit both for the long run. Or Apple could use its enormous unused cash reserves to increase its vertical integration and not be reliant on outside parties if none currently exists.

        It all boils down to this: more proof that the so-called supply chain genius isn’t a genius and he has not built Apple for long-term hardware production success to the level that people assumed. Apple is too busy cashing in money from iOS app sales to manage the rest of the businesses properly.

        1. “Apple has the choice of suppliers too”

          not sure what you are getting at. Point of FRAND or Standard Essentials components where a corporation like Qualcomm own the industry standard there often ISN’T an alternate supplier. If Apple buys Intel, Intel still has to use the Qualcomm ‘standard’ patents to make it work with the telecom eco system . that’s what I’m trying to get at .

          To be adopted as ‘standard’ (by Government bodies etc) the corp. like Qualcomm had agreed to license their protocol or component at ‘reasonable’ rates which apparently it hasn’t.

          here’s how a Lawyer explains it:

          “A patent that controls any part of the technology used in a standard is called a standard-essential patent (SEP). And although these standards are critical to the modern world, they pose difficult patent-licensing problems. Once a standard is adopted, for example, the owner of an SEP will have a superior bargaining position that can be used to extract outsized revenues…

          … In order to prevent these types of licensing “holdups,” as well as ensure access to SEPs so that standards can be widely adopted, SSOs created FRAND — a requirement that SSO members license SEPs on “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” terms to other members of the SSO and, very often, non-members who use the standard”.

          1. Interesting, that’s not how industrial standards work in my industry. Standards literally mean that any company that produces a product that meets the interface / minimum performance agreed to by the governing industry association is free to go do it. It benefits everyone in the industry by keeping lawyers out of the system.

            If you are saying that Qualcomm has too high pricing for licenses to use their patented tech, well, tough. That’s how intellectual property laws work. Apple does exactly the same thing with Lightning and other proprietary design choices. Now if it was true that Qualcomm really is the only company that can enable cell phone communications, then the US government would have brought an antitrust suit long ago. Well, a prior administration might have. Komrade Trump is just fine with single party rule, all his friends are for it.

            1. “If you are saying that Qualcomm has too high pricing for licenses to use their patented tech, well, tough.”

              NO, go read the lawyers comment again.

              for Qualcomm to have their standard adopted they had AGREED to Frand (“Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory”) otherwise the consortium, govt. etc would have chosen ANOTHER standard. Usually there are competing standards from different companies, being chosen is big coup.

              Once a standard is chosen, it probably locks up the whole system, i.e your phone might not work without the component as it links to carriers or something.

              If after agreeing to FRAND they charge exorbitant rates then they are wrong. Problem with Qualcomm , Nokia etc is that the B.S when they go in front of the standards board saying they will cooperate with rates if their standard is adopted, then years later when it is inbuilt into systems they start charging ridiculous rates. I believe Apple is also suing Nokia which is surviving basically on their high patent rates.

  3. It’s all about the money, an effort by Qualcomm to squeeze as much money as possible out of its customers.
    Apple plans to keep using chips from Qualcomm even as they battle in the courts.

    There, that’s better.

    1. True. That statement describes every for-profit company on the planet. Apple will probably settle out of court since qualcomm needs Apple too. Not as much as Apple needs Qualcomm, but still enough to keep sleeping with the enemy

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