Apple’s biggest rivals back fight against Qualcomm

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Red iPhone in hand
Other tech companies aren't happy that Qualcomm's trying to ban the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has some serious backup in its battle against Qualcomm, as a lobbying group representing some of tech’s heaviest hitters (including a handful of Apple’s biggest historic enemies) have called on regulators to reject Qualcomm’s bid to ban the importing of iPhones.

Some of the names in said group? Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung — all of whom have filed official comments in support of Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Apple funds suppliers who fight back against Qualcomm

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apple-fbi-gavel
And just when we thought this case was calming down!
Photo: orangesparrow/Flickr CC

Apple is reportedly paying the legal costs of four of its assemblers, Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal, as they challenge Qualcomm in court.

In a filing made late Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the Apple suppliers allege that Qualcomm has violated two sections of the U.S. antitrust law, the Sherman Act.

Qualcomm CEO hints that Apple feud could be settled out of court

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apple-fbi-gavel
Things may not wind up in court after all.
Photo: orangesparrow/Flickr CC

It seems that the once-rapidly escalating war of attrition between Apple and Qualcomm may be coming to an end.

Speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen this week, Qualcomm CEO Steve 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.”

Qualcomm demands ITC ban iPhones powered by Intel

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iPhone 6s teardown
The 2017 iPhones are all getting big internal upgrades.
Photo: iFixit

The ongoing fight between Apple and Qualcomm could result in an import ban on all new iPhones powered by Intel.

Qualcomm requested today that the U.S. International Trade Commission place a “limited exclusion order” on all iPhones that use Intel’s 4G wireless modem. iPhones powered by Qualcomm’s chip would be excluded from the ban.

You’ll have to wait for Qualcomm’s fingerprint-scanning displays

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Touch ID
Touch ID sensor embedded in the display may be a while coming.
Photo: Apple

Qualcomm may have cracked the problem of putting a Touch ID-style sensor beneath the glass of a smartphone display, but that doesn’t mean that we can expect it to ship any time soon.

The new technology was demoed last week at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 conference, raising hopes that Apple may also be able to debut similar technology in its next-gen iPhone 8. However, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Qualcomm’s technology still is “not perfect,” and there’s no clear timetable on its release.

Qualcomm has the tech to put Touch ID in an iPhone display

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Touch ID
Embedding Touch ID under the iPhone 8's display is one of the big rumors for this year's handset.
Photo: Apple

Whether Apple will be able to deliver on the rumor that it will be embedding its Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the display of the iPhone 8 remains to be seen.

However, a new demo coming out of the currently-happening Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 demonstrates that it is indeed possible — with Qualcomm showing off ultrasonic technology that allows fingerprint unlocking even through OLED displays.

Apple asks court to block Qualcomm double-dipping

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iPhone 7 red
Apple doesn't want to pay twice for Qualcomm chips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm just got even more interesting after the iPhone-maker branded its partner’s license agreements invalid.

Cupertino is fighting to prevent Qualcomm from taking a cut of every iPhone sold, and to prevent the chipmaker’s alleged double-dipping to maximize revenue it earns from its modem chips.

Intel is reaping the rewards of Apple’s scrap with Qualcomm

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intel
Intel has gained unexpectedly high iPhone chip orders.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Intel is benefitting from Apple’s current standoff with Qualcomm, with Apple reportedly upping its wireless “baseband” chip orders from Intel for the iPhone.

Apple first added Intel as a second baseband supplier in 2016. This was part of its strategy to diversify the number of suppliers that provide each of its components, to allow Apple to lessen its risk and negotiate more favorable terms for components.

Android creator takes wraps off new Essential Phone

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Essential Phone
Essential Phone will expand its reach to new markets.
Photo: Essential

Android creator Andy Rubin has finally unveiled his new Essential Phone, a device that aims to break barriers with a unique design and support for modular upgrades.

Its edge-to-edge display and sleek form factor make the iPhone look even more outdated, while its internal specifications give even the Galaxy S8 a run for its money.