Qualcomm claims Apple lawsuit is a threat to smartphone competition

26 Jan 2017

Qualcomm stand at CES 2017. Image: Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock

Qualcomm president Derek Aberle is not holding back when it comes to the company’s ongoing legal dispute with Apple, as he accuses the iPhone maker of “withholding information” in regulatory disputes.

These statements were made during a call with Qualcomm investors following its Q1 earnings report that showed it did not meet analysts’ expectations of $6.12bn. It actually made $5.99bn, which has resulted in a 4pc decline in its stock.

During the follow-up call, investors appeared anxious to talk about the ongoing dispute between the chipmaker and Apple, one of its biggest clients, who has filed a $1bn lawsuit against the former.

Apple making a lot of assertions

Apple said it believes Qualcomm has “unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with”.

Now, according to Forbes, its top executives used the conference call to defend the company’s policy to charge royalties for its chips in products like the iPhone, taking a swipe at Apple in the meantime.

Qualcomm’s CEO Steve Mollenkopf said Apple’s claim has “a lot of assertions”.

“In the end, this is a commercial dispute over the price of intellectual property,” he said.

“They want to pay less than the fair value that Qualcomm has established in the marketplace for our technology, even though Apple has generated billions in profits from using that technology.”

An attack on smartphone competition

Qualcomm also accused Apple of using its influence to sway increased legal actions against the chipmaker in various jurisdictions across the globe, in addition to using false information to further its own aims.

“Apple has been actively driving regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in jurisdictions around the world, and misrepresenting facts and withholding information,” claimed Qualcomm’s president, Derek Aberle.

One of the biggest issues Qualcomm has with the lawsuit, Aberle continued, was that Apple has not only benefited greatly from using its technology, but this latest action is attempting to force a monopoly.

“Apple’s attack on Qualcomm’s business model is not only an attack on Qualcomm, but also an attack on the smartphone competition that Qualcomm’s business model enables.”

This dispute does not mean that the two will not conduct any further business however, as CEO Mollenkopf has said it will remain a “good supplier” to Apple.

Qualcomm stand at CES 2017. Image: Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic