Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Contractors alleged that Qualcomm violated 2 sections of the Sherman Act
  • The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm
  • The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales

iPhone chip supplier Qualcomm faces a fresh set of antitrust allegations from a group of four companies that assemble the iPhone and other products on behalf of Apple.

Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Wistron, Compal Electronics and Pegatron alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a US antitrust law.

The accusations, made in a filing late Tuesday in US District Court for the Southern District of California, are counterclaims to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in May seeking to force the contractors to pay Qualcomm licence fees that Apple directed them to stop paying.

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, said in a statement. “The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”

ALSO SEEQualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, which supplies so-called modem chip technology that lets iPhones connect to cellular data networks, over the nature of Qualcomm’s business model of linking the sale of chips and patent licences, which has come under scrutiny by regulators in South Korea, the United States and several other countries.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm alleging that the company had withheld nearly $1 billion of patent licence rebates it owed Apple in retaliation for Apple’s cooperation with South Korean regulators. Apple told its contract manufacturers to withhold licence payments from Qualcomm while the dispute played out, which prompted Qualcomm to sue them in May.

“Despite Apple’s claims against Qualcomm, Apple suppliers remain contractually obligated to pay royalties to Qualcomm under their licence agreements with us, including for sales of iPhones to Apple,” Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said of the dispute on the company’s conference call in April.

Much of the language in the contractors’ allegations mirror Apple’s objections to Qualcomm’s business model. A senior Apple official confirmed that the company is helping to fund the contractors’ legal defense as part of an indemnification agreement among the firms. Apple has also formally joined the contractor case as a defendant.

The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales. Analysts expect $5.2 billion (roughly Rs. 33,453 crores) in revenue for the June quarter, down from $6 billion a year earlier.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Qualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

Qualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mollenkopf says out of court settlement possible with Apple
  • Qualcomm asked US authorities to ban imports of some iPhone, iPad models
  • It has also accused iPhones, iPads of infringing 6 of its mobile patents

Global chip maker Qualcomm that recently filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple now expects ‘out of court’ settlement with the Cupertino-based iPhone maker.

According to a Fortune report on Tuesday, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said during the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, that “those things tend to get resolved out of court and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.”

He was comparing the dispute with Apple to earlier fights Qualcomm has had with other tech companies that were settled out of court.

Mollenkopf, however, added he didn’t have any specific news announcing a settlement was on the way.

“I don’t have an announcement or anything so please don’t ask,” he told the gathering.

Earlier in July, Qualcomm asked the US authorities to ban imports of some iPhone and iPad models.

Qualcomm filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, accusing Apple’s iPhones and iPads of infringing six of its mobile patents.

Qualcomm said all iPhones and iPads that contain competing mobile communications chips should be barred from the country.

Apple responded to this, saying that the company had tried to negotiate before suing and that Qualcomm is abusing its position.

In April, Apple stopped paying royalties to contract manufacturers for phone patents owned by Qualcomm over an “unresolved issue”.

Apple reportedly stopped paying royalties starting with devices sold during the March quarter.

Qualcomm is one of the world’s biggest provider of mobile chips and derives revenue majorly from licensing that technology to hundreds of handset manufacturers and others.

The US chip manufacturer had lambasted Apple for breaching deals between the two companies and urged that the lawsuit filed in January against them by the iPhone maker should be rejected.

Qualcomm also accused Apple of harming its business and sought unspecified damages.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January for nearly one billion dollars over royalties, with the Cupertino-based tech giant alleging the wireless chipmaker that it did not give fair licensing terms for its processor technology.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple, Huawei, Amazon Gain in Sluggish Tablet Market: IDC, Strategy Analytics

Apple, Huawei, Amazon Gain in Sluggish Tablet Market: IDC, Strategy Analytics

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Overall tablet sales dropped to 37.9 million
  • Apple saw nearly 15 percent boost in iPad sales from a year ago
  • Samsung remained the number two vendor with a 15.8 percent market share

Apple, Huawei and Amazon boosted tablet sales over the past quarter, despite the ongoing slump in the overall market for the devices, surveys showed Thursday.

Overall tablet sales dropped 3.4 percent from the same period last year to 37.9 million, according to a survey by research firm IDC.

Apple’s nearly 15 percent boost in iPad sales from a year ago gave it a 30 percent share of the global market, IDC said.

IDC said Apple’s gains came from consolidating its lineup and introducing new tablets, including a 10.5 inch iPad Pro, which encouraged some consumers to upgrade.

Samsung remained the number two vendor with a 15.8 percent market shares as sales dipped one percent, the report said.

China-based Huawei meanwhile bucked the overall trend with a strong 47 percent gain in sales, vaulting to the number three position with an eight percent market share, the research firm reported.

IDC estimated that Amazon – whose sales figures are not reported – boosted its Fire tablet sales by 51 percent from last year to capture the fourth spot at 6.4 percent.

China’s Lenovo was fifth with a 5.7 percent market shares as sales dropped 14.6 percent from last year, the report said.

A separate survey by Strategy Analytics estimated a seven percent decline in global tablet sales to 43.8 million units in the April-June period.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in the US with 3 new plants
  • Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund
  • Apple has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that US President Donald Trump said Apple has promised to expand manufacturing at home with three new US plants.

The Journal quoted Trump as saying that Apple chief executive Tim Cook committed to building “three big plants,” in the United States.

No details were provided, and Apple did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US to do “advanced manufacturing,” kicking it off with a billion dollars.

Apple building plants in the United States would come as rare common ground with Trump.

Cook has pointed out that Apple spent more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,22,155 crores) in the United States last year – buying from suppliers such as Corning Glass, working with developers behind applications for the California company’s devices and more.

Apple has about 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more “in the future,” according to Cook.

It is a sign of Apple’s success but also a thorny problem: a cash stockpile topping a quarter of a trillion dollars, sparking debate on what do with such massive reserves.

The tech giant has resisted the idea of bringing the cash home, because the US tax code allows multinational firms to defer profits while they are held overseas but taxes income at up to 35 percent when repatriated.

Trump vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.

Apple is not in the same position as automakers which relocated US factories overseas to cut costs, IHS manufacturing processes chief analyst Dan Panzica told AFP earlier this year. Apple never moved jobs offshore, it created them there.

“The Apple jobs were never here,” Panzica said.

“The entire supply chain grew in China.”

Apple benefits in Asia from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets or laptops. The firm relies on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices as well.

China also offers sources of important raw materials, along with cheap, flexible and abundant labor to keep iPhone assembly lines cranking along.

It would be challenging to replicate that situation with US workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating jobs here, according to some analysts.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs, which is not in Apple’s interests.

It was seen as more likely that Apple would make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in making Mac Pro computers here, or in a facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an “anniversary edition iPhone” to mark the handset’s 10th birthday this year.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]