Qualcomm claims Apple has dudded it US$7 billion
Qualcomm has aired its grievances with Apple in a federal court in San Diego accusing the Cupertino giant of stiffing it of US$7 billion in royalty payments it believes it is owed. The battle is an interesting one for several reasons, not least of which is that it has seen Apple shift to Intel for its iPhone modems. However, it also pits former high-ranking Apple and Palm executive John Rubenstein, who sits on Qualcomm’s board of directors, against his old company.
Apple, for its part, denies that it owes Qualcomm anything like the US$7 billion that Qualcomm is asking. Instead, it has accused Apple of double-dipping on the royalties that it is demanding. According to Apple, Qualcomm has charged Apple once, for using its chips in its designs, and then again for the technology that they contain. Qualcomm says that this is standard practice and that Apple previously paid these royalties without issue.
Moreover, Qualcomm has gone one step further and has also accused Apple of stealing its IP and sharing details with Intel so that it could count on Intel as a supplier. Qualcomm says that proprietary technology that Apple shared with Intel included source code, software development tools and log files so that Intel could get a deeper understanding of Qualcomm’s methods.
Undoubtedly, the biggest loser in the breakdown of the relationship is Qualcomm. Once for years a leading components supplier to the iPhone, it has now been largely sidelined in Apple’s future product plans.