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  • Qualcomm pushed for iPhone exclusivity in response to $1B incentive payment demand, CEO sa...

    gatorguy said:
    acejax805 said:
    It sounds like Mr. Mollenkopf doesn't know his a$$ from a whole in the ground. Qualcomm has been in the business of gaining exclusivity through rebates. It has been documented several times by different Android manufacturers throughout the years. When I heard Huawei was being interviewed as part of the FTC's investigation, I knew Qualcomm would be in hot water. Huawei has done a great job documenting how Qualcomm attempted to gain exclusivity through these rebates (they called them financial bribes). 

    Huawei and Lenovo are both on record stating Qualcomm has in the past threatened retaliation against them if they attempted to challenge Qualcomm's legal terms by either delaying, or cutting off supply of chips.

    Qulcomm's refusal to license their patents is another dangerous game they are playing since most consider their patent holdings to be standard-essential patents. This is a clear violation of FRAND. 

    It takes a company like Apple to stand up to a company like Qualcomm and personally I am glad to see it happen. I'm sure many of the other OEM's who cannot sustain a fight against Qualcomm (or are unwilling to) are glad to see it as well, which can be confirmed by the support Apple is receiving by many of it's competitors (Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Sprint).

    You make the point well; that if the same rebates for exclusivity have been cut with multiple smartphone vendors, it’s more likely that it’s Qualcomm pushing this arrangement than it would be that each smartphone vendor happened to decide on its own to demand a large rebate, out of the blue, thus prompting Qualcomm to think up the idea of requiring exclusivity as a reaction to the rebate demand.  Common sense.  

    FWIW Mr Mueller whose opinion and articles have been mentioned a few times in this thread already believes it was likely Apple who offered to deal exclusively with Qualcomm in return for a lower royalty. He thinks  Apple is being disingenuous by saying they've always wanted to have multiple suppliers and leaving the impression it was Qualcomm saying that wasn't going  to happen. 
    Very strange summary of Mueller's opinions. I didn't see him stating anywhere that he thinks Apple is being disingenuous about having multiple suppliers. If I have missed that, I will be happy to stand corrected.

    You also left out his subsequent and final summary:

    I doubt that this question of who, under what circumstances, took the initiative to offer exclusivity has any weight. If this were a criminal price-fixing case, then the one who came up with the scheme might be sentenced to a couple more years than the other guy, but the latter would still go to jail, too. In price-fixing, they'd both have an anticompetitive benefit because they'd gang up on customers (the same group of customers, in fact). In the Qualcomm-Apple case, the benefit to Apple was a deal that an Apple witness basically described as "less bad" than the original deal, but still not fair in Apple's view, while Qualcomm had the benefit of raising the entrance barrier to its (Qualcomm's) competitors--with a customer the FTC argues (and Intel confirmed) is strategically extremely important for a component supplier to gain market share, build a reputation, and generate volume. By contrast, Apple didn't foreclose any market to its own competitors. And it certainly didn't leverage this deal to undercut anybody.
  • Qualcomm pushed for iPhone exclusivity in response to $1B incentive payment demand, CEO sa...

    Hmm...I am not sure why AI is presenting this (the incentive payment) as some kind of a bribe that Apple offered Qualcomm. Going by Florian Mueller's article on, it appears to be the other way around!

    That is, Qualcomm had a habit of negotiating incentive payments (by offering rebates) with device makers in return for strategic favours. So, there's really no wrinkle in the FTC case, as suggested by AI. On the contrary, it aligns with the testimony of Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins who said the rebate offered by Qualcomm made it very unattractive (read, financially unviable) for Apple to pursue a secondary chip supplier.

    In fact, the issue of such 'incentive payments' is one of four issues related to Qualcomm's conduct that are being investigated in the FTC trial. To quote:


    For the FTC, Jennifer Milici outlined the four key issues surrounding Qualcomm's conduct that the FTC is tackling (let's not forget that some other aspects are at issue in Apple v. Qualcomm in San Diego, where a trial will start on April 15), which are interrelated as she also explained:

    • the "no license-no chips" policy;
    • incentive payments (for a brief explanation, those incentives effectively reduce patent licensing fees in exchange for doing Qualcomm some strategically-relevant favors);
    • the refusal to license rival chipset makers (note that Judge Koh's summary judgment in this context was based on contractual obligations, while the focus at this trial is now on an antitrust duty to deal); and
    • past exclusive arrangements with Apple.

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  • Apple boycott by Chinese firms supporting Huawei is escalating

    To add to Tmay's list of links about countries taking Huawei out of their telco networks:

    Japan is asking its private sector companies to keep Huawei out of their power grids and railways:

    Indian Telcos have recently written to India's NSA, expressing grave concern about the potential security threats posed by Huawei telecom equipment: (quoting the article from Business Standard  that's behind a paywall)

    The allegations are serious enough that the Indian government is setting up inter-ministerial talks to take a final call on Huawei (second news items on the linked page). These talks will be held before the commercial roll-out of 5G in India.

  • Apple's Dan Riccio responds to bent iPad Pro reports, says device 'meets or exceeds' produ...

    Kuyangkoh said:
    Maybe the case meets that spec when it is milled but gets deformed during the rest of the assembly process?
    What are you even talking about. Return the thing if it appears bent to you.Why is this something you have to tell people.
    Why are you repeatedly saying "just return it"?  I think everyone here knows to return it if it bent.  But you seem hell bent (intented) on trying to down play the issue.  People hold Apple to higher standards because Apple holds themselves to higher standards.  They're responses to this issue, thus far don't reflect a high standard.  It smacks of legalese.  
    It's pretty obvious some of the bending is beyond 400 microns.  That's not explained by "tolerances".  The issue should be addressed properly so that people have confidence in the products they're buying.  "Return 'til you get a good one" isn't the solution.
    RETURNED THE DARN BEND THINGY, now go somewhere ie Microsoft or Google done w cry baby
    Your reaction is extreme too.All companies’ products can have issues. Do Ferraris have no issues just because they are ‘premium’.
    Exactly, but the “issue” is how you deal with it. I wonder if Ferrari would tell a customer not satisfied with fit & finish that it’s not an “issue” for them. 
    What customer has Apple told that to? Who was refused a right to return? Be specific. 
    Okay, here’s what Macrumors posted of the letter from Apple to complaining customer: 
    “Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled. 

    Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns which is even tighter than previous generations. This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won't change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way. 

    Again, thanks for reaching out and I hope the above explanation addresses your concerns.”

    Does that last part sound like an offer to return and replace? That’s as specific as I can get. 
    You’ve argued the wrong point.  The other commentor asked you to be specific about someone Apple has refused an opportunity to return a defective product.  What you’ve shown is only that  Apple took the time to educate and inform a customer, reassuring him that the product he purchased is fit for use and won’t degrade from that status over its normal lifetime.    

    How does that suggest Apple is refusing this customer a return of a defective product, when the product is not defective but is within its manufacturing tolerance and, while noticeably shows a curve, won’t be adversely affected by that curve, a curve that is within a tighter tolerance than any previous generation iPad’s tolerance?
    That's a really well-stated argument, and got me thinking about my own reaction to the news.

    As a thought experiment, I imagined taking a piece of paper and folding it twice. That gives me the equivalent of the four sheets of paper Riccio uses to describe the tolerance, in a form narrow enough to represent only the crest of the curve. Place that piece of paper on the table and set an iPad on top of it. With the paper near the middle of the iPad, try pressing on the screen near the top then near the bottom. Even just that 400 micron variance is enough to allow the iPad to rock back and forth like a seesaw. Certainly enough to be distracting and possibly disruptive to operation.

    To me the issue is that Apple's range of accepted deviation from flat is wider than what would make me happy. I consider that WORSE news than hearing a few freak bent units escaped unnoticed. It tells me that ANY given iPad Pro may not lie flat, and I need to be prepared to cherry pick if that matters to me.

    Whether or not this is actually a big deal or just over-reaction to a relatively minor issue obviously depends on how much curve a "typical" unit exhibits and how many are going out with enough curve to be bothersome. I have no idea how serious or widespread the issue is, but it wouldn't deter me from buying one. I wouldn't want one that doesn't lie flat though, so Apple saying "that's normal" makes me wonder how many I'd have to go through before I got one that's "good enough." Maybe only one, maybe several. Who knows?
    You seem to have missed Esquirecats' post (comment #51) that already shares his experience about this concern. To sum up, the iPad Pro doesn't rock back and forth, as you theorize. He said, 

    "Interesting about the curve, but I can see how this is a non-issue for real world users because the device has plenty of flex in it, which seems deliberate when you use the device. I.E. You can lay it flat on a table and despite the camera bump it won't rock back and forth as you draw on it.

    To me personally (speaking from the perspective of having one of these) I'm glad that it has that amount of flex because if it rocked back and forth like the iphone does it would drive me insane. It was the first thing I noticed when I used it, I literally said to myself "how does this lay flat even though there is a camera bump.""
  • Qualcomm blocked evidence in German Apple suit that previously led to non-infringement fin...

    larryjw said:
    flydog said:

    larryjw said:
    ktappe said:
    I wonder if a legal expert could answer this Q:   If the requisite evidence has already been presented in U.S. court, isn't it therefore available to the German court? Or are German courts willfully blind to previously available discovery? If the latter, that seems like a pretty f---ed up "justice" system Germany has.
    I'm retired attorney who had one case which crossed international boundaries (with India). I'm certainly no expert here and would be interested in the opinion of attorneys who have practiced in the international arena, particularly in intellectual property.

    Nonetheless, I can point to a recent (June 14, 2018) SCOTUS decision on Comity (this is the legal term for what we are discussing).

    In this particular case, the Federal Second Circuit (an Appeals Court) said that when a foreign government submits an official statement on the meaning and interpretation of its laws, federal courts are “bound to defer” to the foreign government’s construction of its laws, whenever that construction is “reasonable.” [

    See Animal Science Products, Inc., et al., v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al. 


    Is a court bound to defer to a foreign government’s interpretation of its domestic law when appearing before the court?

    Oral argument: 
    April 24, 2018

    On appeal of this decision to the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsberg, writing for the unanimous court, found that when determining foreign law under FRCP 44.1, “[a] federal court should accord respectful consideration to a foreign government’s submission, but is not bound to accord conclusive effect to the foreign government’s statements.” (FRCP is Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). 

    You should infer from this SCOTUS decision that it is highly likely the German courts would similarly view foreign court decisions (i.e., US court decisions). 

    From this I, and you, would be wise to conclude that the German justice system is not thereby "f---ed up". 
    That is a choice of law case, inapplicable here because neither Qualcomm nor Apple alleged that US patent law should apply, which would be a loser argument since the case concerns German patents. 
    I don't agree, at least from what I can tell, the same set of six US Patents are in dispute in multiple foreign jurisdictions. We are not talking about German patents here. 

    There is the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty). This allows a patent filing in one signatory country to simultaneously seek patent protection in the other signatories. Both the US and Germany are signatories, the US having signed on in 2012. 
    Indeed. A thorough reading of the articles on seems to suggest that it's the same set of patents in dispute in multiple foreign jurisdictions, although Florian Mueller mentions 10 patents being argued in Germany in the article that DED has linked to here and in his other previous articles.