Qualcomm CEO says war with Apple will end if the money is right

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Qualcomm patents
An end is in sight. Or at least it could be.
Photo: Qualcomm

Speaking on stage at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live tech conference, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that he thinks that the company’s feud with Apple can be resolved — so long as the right fee is negotiated.

“At the end, the important thing to remember is this is fundamentally a discussion about pricing over the fundamental technology that makes the phone the phone,” Mollenkopf said. “It comes down to, how much are you going to pay?”

He also noted that Qualcomm has, “a long history of providing value and settling these issues.” Finally, he argued that the current licensing standoff with Apple is, “more of an anomaly than anything” and doesn’t represent the first step in an era in which device makers won’t be willing to pay licensing fees to Qualcomm.

The Apple vs. Qualcomm war

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm started in January this year, when Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because Apple assisted South Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm’s business.

Qualcomm hit back by claiming that Apple was being purposely misleading, and that it had breached its contract. The subsequent decision by Apple to withhold royalty payments to Qualcomm then meant that Qualcomm was forced to revise its earnings forecasts to give a smaller number, due to Apple cutting off one of its major sources of revenue.

Apple’s manufacturers also got dragged into the fight, with even Apple’s biggest rivals stepping up to support Apple. Since then, the battle escalated — with Qualcomm attempting to ban iPhones being imported to the United States that use chips, “other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.”

Most recently, Qualcomm tried to sue Apple in China as well, trying to stop the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in one of Apple’s biggest and most crucial markets.

An end to hostilities?

The D.Live comments aren’t the first time that Steve Mollenkopf has discussed a possible end to hostilities. Speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen back in July, Mollenkopf said that issues such as the one between Qualcomm and Apple, “tend to get to resolved out of court, and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.”

However, he was keen to stress at the time that, “I don’t have an announcement or anything, so please don’t ask.”

Via: Fast Company