Apple claims that Qualcomm’s motivation for taking Apple to court is because it was upset that Apple had switched to using Intel chips in iPhones. Prior to 2016, Qualcomm had enjoyed five years of being Apple’s exclusive chip maker.
The suggestion was made by Apple’s counsel in closing remarks Wednesday during the patent infringement trial in San Diego.
“This case started when we started using Intel as a second source,” Apple counsel Juanita Brooks said. “… Qualcomm went into a drawer, dusted off some old patents, and threw them against the wall to see if they’d stick.”
The patent suit between Apple and Qualcomm concerns three patents. One of these allows smartphones to rapidly connect to the internet. The second involves graphics processing and battery life. Finally, the third one allows apps to download data more easily.
Qualcomm wants a total of $31 million from Apple for damages. This equates to $1.40 per iPhone which allegedly infringed on Qualcomm’s patents. These are iPhones sold from July 2017, which contain Intel chips. Intel has now replaced Qualcomm entirely as Apple’s wireless chipmaker.
Apple’s lawyers have argued that Apple owes Qualcomm “not one penny.”
Qualcomm vs. Apple
This is just the latest Qualcomm vs. Apple battle. The feud first started in January 2017. It was initially kicked off by Apple suing Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because Apple assisted South Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm’s business.
This latest case is just one piece of a bigger battle. The biggest issues at stake are the $7 billion in royalties Apple supposedly owes Qualcomm. Qualcomm also says that Apple has stolen its proprietary trade secrets and passed them on to Intel.
This clash between tech titans matters to fans for several reasons. Most notably, it could conceivably affect the availability of iPhones as Qualcomm has pushed for certain models to be banned as part of the legal battles. It may also affect the rollout of a 5G iPhone since Qualcomm is a pioneer in this area.
This current patent battle is unlikely to be the end of the battle, but it could help make clear which way the wind is blowing. A jury of eight people will now decide on a verdict.