Apple resumes selling iPhones in Germany, but with only Qualcomm modems

“Apple Inc said Thursday that it will resume selling older iPhone models in its stores in Germany after they were banned last year, but only with chips from Qualcomm Inc, which is in a global legal battle against the Cupertino company,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “Apple said it had ‘no choice’ but to stop using some chips from Intel Corp in iPhones headed to Germany in order to comply with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against Apple there in December.”

“Apple began phasing in Intel’s modem chips in 2016 after years of using chips exclusively from Qualcomm. In last year’s iPhone models, Apple dropped Qualcomm’s chips completely in favor of Intel’s,” Nellis reports. “But Qualcomm has continued to supply Apple with chips for older models, and Apple on Thursday said it would use only those for German iPhone 7 and 8 models.”

“‘Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands,’ Apple said in a statement to Reuters,” Nellis reports. “Newer iPhones with Intel chips remain on sale in Germany.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple resumes selling iPhones in Germany, but with only Qualcomm modems” which perfectly highlight the issue. Qualcomm has won nothing but a very minor battle; selling a handful of extra modems inside older iPhones in Germany in exchange for losing their extortion racket when all is said and done.

South Korean Supreme Court upholds $242 million antitrust judgement against Qualcomm – February 12, 2019
Bad news piles up for Qualcomm in Apple dispute – February 10, 2019
Apple wins damages ruling against Qualcomm – February 5, 2019
U.S. FTC: Evidence is ‘overwhelming’ that Qualcomm engaged in exclusionary, anticompetitive conduct – January 30, 2019
Leaked emails reveal new reason why Apple went to war with Qualcomm – January 18, 2019
Apple’s COO Jeff Williams delivers blistering testimony on Qualcomm’s ‘onerous demands’ – January 15, 2019
Apple was paying Qualcomm over $1 billion per year in licensing – January 15, 2019


  1. Qualcomm definitely has Apple by the nether regions. It’s somewhat amusing how a small company like Qualcomm has so much power over Apple. I wish Apple were able to design its own baseband processors and eventually cut Qualcomm out of the loop if Qualcomm refuses to give Apple any licensing fee leeway. Qualcomm’s CEO seems to believe Qualcomm can win any court battle against numerous companies and that shows a lot of confidence. Extortion is good when you can get away with it.

    1. I disagree, mac7. Qualcomm may have temporary leverage is a couple of locations. But, overall, Qualcomm has lost much more power than it has gained. Qualcomm has had modest success in Germany, for instance, but appears to be losing badly in the U.S. so far.

      As the MDN Take states, Qualcomm is risking a lot in order to try to set up Apple as an example. In the end, Qualcomm may end up having to be a better partner when it comes to FRAND licensing.

      I strongly favor the idea of establishing FRAND licensing terms as part of the process of establishing an industry standard. That would provide incentives for industry partners to compete to have their IP included in a standard. In addition, the FRAND licensing terms would be transparent and publicly available, thus squashing this kind of corruption for good.

    2. Did you just call Qualcomm with its Market cap of $62,290,000,000, small? Granted, it is small compared with Apple, Inc. but then, everybody except ABC, Inc is small, compared to Apple. Qualcomm has bullied the entire communication industry for years and years. Apple is now big enough to stand up to it. They can put in escrow the incredible amounts of money required to keep the courts satisfied. Smaller companies just cough up the money to Qualcomm because fighting them would bankrupt them.

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