Qualcomm and Apple Partnership Crumbled Over Fears Apple Would Leak Qualcomm Software to Competitors

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in a bitter legal battle over licensing and royalty fees that's lasted for two years now and has led to the breakdown of the relationship between the two companies, but there may have been other factors in the breakup.

    Leaked emails between Apple COO Jeff Williams and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf seen by Bloomberg suggest the two companies may have cut ties over software access.


    Williams wanted to continue to work with Qualcomm despite the legal battle, but Qualcomm accused Apple of leaking Qualcomm computer code needed to customize mobile chips. Williams offered to "firewall" the Apple engineers using the Qualcomm software and said nothing of value could be obtained from the code anyway.
    Mollenkopf told Williams that he was concerned about protecting Qualcomm's proprietary information, and while he offered to provide software access to Apple, he asked Apple to commit to using Qualcomm chips in at least 50 percent of iPhones over the next two years.

    Qualcomm in September 2018 accused Apple of stealing confidential information and trade secrets and passing it on to rival chipmaker Intel. From Qualcomm's lawsuit against Apple:
    As Bloomberg points out, it appears the software dispute was a key reason the two companies cut ties, as both were willing to continue to work together despite the legal battle. The fight has heated up since then, though, with Qualcomm winning import bans on iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in China and Germany.

    Qualcomm is in court this week facing an antitrust lawsuit levied against it by the FTC, with the FTC accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics and exorbitant licensing fees to remain the dominant baseband chip supplier.

    Executives from many companies have testified against Qualcomm, including Jeff Williams. Earlier this week, Williams said that Qualcomm had refused to sell Apple chips for the 2018 iPhone models.

    Article Link: Qualcomm and Apple Partnership Crumbled Over Fears Apple Would Leak Qualcomm Software to Competitors
  2. nviz22 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2013
    Qualcomm is a joke. The sooner the CDMA tech isn’t used in the US, the better.
  3. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    I could understand if this was the beginning of a partnership, but after so many years this is just strange.
  4. ike1707 macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2009
    The longer this goes on, the harder it is for me to even take anything coming out of Qualcomm's camp seriously.
  5. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Apple provided Qualcomm software development tools to Intel engineers.

    I wonder how Apple would feel sharing its own ARM SoC development tools with Qualcomm or HiSilicon.
  6. Emanuel Rodriguez macrumors member

    Emanuel Rodriguez

    Oct 17, 2018
    Are they not aware how secretive Apple is with everything? I’d expect Qualcomm to do that before Apple would.
  7. technole macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2017
    Apple looks better the more we hear from Jeff Wiliams. Seemed they made a good effort to have a relationship.
  8. dominiongamma macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
    Verizon was a major reason cdma wouldn’t die sooner
  9. Celtic-moniker macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    This sounds like a manufacturer verging on dying; zealously protecting basic functions as they see their competitive edge fading.
  10. Novus John macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2015
    I kinda understand Qualcomm's obsession with keeping their tech secret and proprietary, in the mobile industry there is Qualcomm and then there is everyone else. The problem is that Qualcomm's baseband processors and the software around them are so incredibly amazingly good they border on perfection. So, I really do hope that Apple and Qualcomm fix their squabbles and continue on the right track.
  11. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017

    This would carry a lot more weight if Jeff Williams were an electrical, software, or computer engineer. But he's not.
  12. Chloros macrumors regular


    May 4, 2016
    Apple is a joke.....they think they are the only company that can milk their customers?
  13. BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2014
    Apple claimed financial damages for Samsung "stealing" their rounded corners on phones but somehow Apple can't see how Qualcomm might sustain financial damages if Apple shared Qualcomm's proprietary software with a competitor?
  14. Cordorb macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    is this the same Bloomberg that came up with the spy chip story ?
  15. laptech macrumors 6502


    Apr 26, 2013
    I agree. Qualcomm's product works extremely well. Qualcomm know they have an extremely good product so they are rightly in my opinion, exploiting it the best they can. Apple have done the same with many of their products and technology and patents so why shouldn't other companies. Or is that because Apple is the one being affected, no company who deals with them is allowed to exploit their technology but Apple on the other hand is allowed to exploit theirs!!

    Apple do not like it that a company is doing to them what Apple have done to others. For decades Apple have gone to courts around the world fighting claims of other companies stealing their IP, stealing their ideas and stealing their technology. Along comes Qualcomm who have a superior product to anyone else and say's 'we have the best available, but it's gonna cost you' and Apple have turned round and said 'not fair, you cannot do this'.
  16. Joniz macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2017
    I can see Qualcomm’s point.

    Who likes finding their pockets full of 1s & 0s because of leaking software?
  17. nviz22 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2013
    Qualcomm owns CDMA patents, which forces Samsung to use Qualcomm processors in the States. It took overheating 820s to get Exynos in.
  18. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2015
    DC / Baltimore / Northeast
    CDMA is dying tech. This reminds me of all the efforts to salvage Apple ][ tech that Apple struggled through, even fighting Apple ][ clones at one point. Qualcomm's efforts seem like a desperate effort to survive with antiquated proprietary tech until they have newer tech making any money.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2019 ---
    CDMA patents are virtually worthless outside of America.
  19. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    It's not about CDMA. Intel modems already support CDMA, yet Apple still wanted Qualcomm modems for 2018 iPhones.

    Qualcomm simply has a lead in LTE technologies and 5G.
  20. heov macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2002
    What about 5G tech?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2019 ---
    Let's start tallying the users who are blindly going to say Apple didn't steal anything, despite them knowing literally nothing lol.

    Like those user who kept denying the sales slumps the last few months.
  21. abhibeckert, Jan 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019

    abhibeckert macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2007
    Cairns, Australia
    Everything related to cellular networks is covered in depth by industry standardisation documents and patents.

    They don’t have any trade secrets to protect, it’s all wide open with thousands of companies, universities and government departments involved, with flat rate licensing available for anyone who wants access to them.

    Their legal team are trying to create some sympathy for their otherwise weak legal argument.

    And remember this is a Bloomberg article, they’ve proven they’ll jump on a chance to publish without reliable sources - who’s to say the quotes are from actual emails? Or if accurate, were they quoted out of context?
  22. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    You couldn't be more wrong.
    Qualcomm's diagnostic software for tuning modems and antennas is proprietary.
  23. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    I guess that's why an Intel baseband performs as well as Qualcomm's. Oh wait.

    Implementation is entirely different from specs on paper.

    Intel and AMD have cross-licensing agreements on x86. But guess how each performs?
  24. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Apple has no monopoly, qualcomm on the other hand....:rolleyes:

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