Apple & Qualcomm relationship broke down over concerns of proprietary code misuse

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 18
Rather than patent royalties, the ongoing fight between Apple and Qualcomm may have originated over concerns about code, according to leaked emails.

iPhone X Photo app


In September 2017, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams was involved in email exchange with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf about the prospect of continuing to use the latter's modems in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR -- despite a $1 billion lawsuit Apple launched in January the same year, Bloomberg said on Friday. Williams promised not to leak Qualcomm code needed to customize modems, something Qualcomm had accused Apple of doing. Specifically he offered to "firewall" engineers with code access.

"In my wildest imagination of some evil intention of Apple, I have trouble coming up with a real scenario where anything of significant value could be leaked based on this code," Williams wrote.

"I just hope the licensing dispute doesn't cloud good judgment in the team on a massive business opportunity," he continued, in fact adding that the plan was to buy about $2 billion in Qualcomm chips for 2018 iPhones. "I was hoping to keep some decent quantity of business flowing with hopes that the licensing stuff will get solved."

Mollenkopf responded that he hadn't seen much action in the past on earlier Qualcomm complaints about intellectual property. He offered to provide the software anyway, on the condition that Apple would use Qualcomm chips in 50 percent of iPhones for two years. Modern iPhones use Intel modems exclusively.

The emails haven't made an appearance at an ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission trial accusing Qualcomm of monopolistic practices, forcing chip buyers to accept patent licenses at the same time.

In testimony this week Williams did say he had talked to Mollenkopf by phone and email, trying to bring Qualcomm back into the supply chain for 2018 iPhones.

Friday saw Qualcomm CTO James Thompson confronted by a 2014 email sent to Mollenkopf in which he recommended "striking back at Apple while we're strong" in the context of license negotiations. Thompson saw Apple as vulnerable to losing business in China and North America if it continued resisting Qualcomm's "no-license-no-chips" strategy.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    flydogflydog Posts: 277member


    The emails haven't made an appearance at an ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission trial accusing Qualcomm of monopolistic practices, forcing chip buyers to accept patent licenses at the same time.

    And they likely won't since emails are hearsay and not admissible except for limited purposes.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Qualcomm will lose this case.  They are toast and they know it.
    Not sure what their punishment will be but they will not get a percentage of iPhone sales based on the price of the iPhone.
    Apple should stop doing business with them and never look back.
    chaicka
  • Reply 3 of 8
    mike54mike54 Posts: 328member
    The public have not be given the full story. I neither trust Apple or Qualcomm in what they say. Both are covering up many things.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 8
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 372member
    flydog said:


    The emails haven't made an appearance at an ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission trial accusing Qualcomm of monopolistic practices, forcing chip buyers to accept patent licenses at the same time.

    And they likely won't since emails are hearsay and not admissible except for limited purposes.
    Typically emails are let in as normal course of business records. Emails are routinely let in as evidence then. 

    Emails between individuals, for example, trying to meet to exchange money for drugs, would likely have difficulty coming in under the hearsay rule. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 8
    stompystompy Posts: 334member
    flydog said:


    The emails haven't made an appearance at an ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission trial accusing Qualcomm of monopolistic practices, forcing chip buyers to accept patent licenses at the same time.

    And they likely won't since emails are hearsay and not admissible except for limited purposes.
    Plenty of emails already presented in this case. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-11/qualcomm-casting-intel-as-hypocrite-backfires-in-antitrust-trial
    bshankGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 8
    flydog said:


    The emails haven't made an appearance at an ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission trial accusing Qualcomm of monopolistic practices, forcing chip buyers to accept patent licenses at the same time.

    And they likely won't since emails are hearsay and not admissible except for limited purposes.
    That’s completely inaccurate. 
    GeorgeBMacstompy
  • Reply 7 of 8
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    flydog said:

    And they likely won't since emails are hearsay and not admissible except for limited purposes.
    Nonsense.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member
    mike54 said:
    The public have not be given the full story. I neither trust Apple or Qualcomm in what they say. Both are covering up many things.
    Yes, probably true .  One thing that surprised me is that Apple started this over $7.50 modem.   I though it was hundreds.
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