E.U. fines Qualcomm for paying Apple billions to shut out rivals

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money
Qualcomm allegedly paid Apple billions to keep its business.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Commission has fined Qualcomm 997 million euros ($1.2 billion) for abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets, supposedly paying Apple billions of dollars in order to secure their business and stop Apple buying chips from rivals.

Such practice is illegal under EU antitrust laws.

Apple in 2017: A year of epic proportions

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Apple year in review 2017
Did any company have a better 2017 than Apple?
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's 2017 Apple year in review 2017 was a pretty damn good year for the world’s most profitable tech company.

Apple did much more than rake in more cash than any company this year. Cupertino also pushed out its most impressive product lineup ever, laid the groundwork for the future of augmented reality, moved into a new spaceship campus, battled other tech giants and got tossed into the political spotlight.

Apple dominated the tech scene in 2017 more than any other company. Here’s a recap of some of the year’s most memorable Apple moments.

Apple is searching for new modem chip suppliers to replace Qualcomm

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chips
Apple's feud with Qualcomm shows no signs of slowing down.
Photo: Intel

Apple has reportedly shifted half of its baseband modem chipsets for iOS devices to Intel from Qualcomm, and is now considering shifting additional orders to Taiwanese manufacturer MediaTek.

The news comes at a time when hostilities between Apple and former manufacturer Qualcomm continue to heat up, with no signs that they will come to a close soon.

Qualcomm seeks import ban on iPhone X

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iPhone X
iPhone X sales are booming.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The battle between Apple and Qualcomm and Apple is turning downright nasty.

Hot on the heels of Apple’s counter-lawsuit, Qualcomm has filed three new patent infringement claims against the iPhone-maker. It is also seeking a ban on the import of all AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone X and iPhone 8 units in the US which could cause major headaches for Apple.

Qualcomm targets iPhone X in its ongoing war with Apple

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Face ID
Qualcomm claims that the 2017 iPhones are violating its patents.
Photo: Apple

Hot on the heels of Apple suing Qualcomm over its Snapdragon processors, Qualcomm has fired back by filing a patent lawsuit (a counter-countersuit?) against Apple for technology in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Qualcomm filed its grievance with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. It singles out five patents that Apple is allegedly infringing on — including tech related to radio frequency transceivers, power management in mobile CPUs, image enhancement using depth-based data, and more.

Apple sues Qualcomm over its Snapdragon chips

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Qualcomm
The war between the two companies has raged throughout 2017.
Photo: Qualcomm

Apple has filed a countersuit against Qualcomm in the latest twist in the battle between the two companies, which has run throughout 2017.

What Apple is alleging is that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips, which power a range of Samsung and other Android handsets, run into conflict with Apple’s own earlier patents.

Affordable Android beats iPhone X in new speed test

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iPhone X
iPhone X wasn't the first, but it certainly boosted the trend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new A11 Bionic makes iPhone X blazing fast. It’s faster than its biggest rivals, despite fewer processing cores and slower clock speeds. But there’s a new Android that narrowly beats Apple’s latest in a real-world speed test.

And believe it or not, that Android costs half as much as iPhone X.

Qualcomm sues Apple again, accuses it of helping rival Intel

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Qualcomm
It looks like the battle between Apple and Qualcomm isn't close to over.
Photo: Qualcomm

In the latest twist in the Apple versus Qualcomm battle, Qualcomm has sued Apple yet again — this time claiming that it has taken advantage of its access to Qualcomm code to help rival Intel by giving it information about Qualcomm’s technology.

The lawsuit lends credibility to a previous story suggesting that Apple may be planning to drop Qualcomm chips for new iPhones and iPads which will ship in 2018, and replace them chips made by Intel and MediaTek.