Qualcomm sues Apple for making its modems look bad

- Adrian Ungureanu

The war between Apple and Qualcomm just became more fierce as the chipmaker sued the iPhone maker for making its modems used on iPhone 7 to look bad.

This is just another step towards total war between the two tech giants. Everything began after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed its own litigation against Qualcomm in January. The FTC also took umbrage against Qualcomm’s use of its patents: specifically, how it wouldn’t sell modems to companies who didn’t also agree to pay royalties on phones that didn’t use Qualcomm modems.

Soon after this Apple hit Qualcomm with a barrage of lawsuits. Apple sued Qualcomm in January, in the United States, and claimed $1 billion from the chipmaker, arguing that it had been drastically overcharging for the use of patents. That was followed up by two additional suits — one in China and one in the United Kingdom — that also focused on patents and designs. A case filed in Beijing claimed 1 billion yuan ($145 million) for Qualcomm’s abuse of China’s monopoly laws.

Now Qualcomm filed its Answers and Counterclaims to Apple’s January lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of California. The chipmaker has five key complaints — including the claim that Apple deliberately didn’t use the full potential of Qualcomm chips in iPhone 7 phones so that they wouldn’t perform better than the modems provided by Intel.

Qualcomm says that Apple “chose not to utilize certain high-performance features of the Qualcomm chipsets for the iPhone 7 (preventing consumers from enjoying the full extent of Qualcomm’s innovation),” and when Qualcomm iPhones supposedly outperformed Intel iPhones, “Apple falsely claimed that there was ‘no discernible difference’ between” the two variants.

Qualcomm also says that Apple “threatened” it to keep quiet about the differences between Intel and Qualcomm iPhones, preventing Qualcomm from “making any public comparisons about the superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones.”

All of this do not serve anybody. Most likely both companies have their sins and the worst part of all this accusations is the both have issues with business ethics, as in not being ethical at all. Abusing their power, their connections with other tech companies and doing almost anything to make the other look bad.

It’s more like both companies are engaged in a war in which the purpose is not to win, but to make the other lose.