iPhone manufacturers join hands with Apple in Qualcomm spat


This tiny little chip is behind all that drama that’s been going on for several months.


More are joining Apple’s court battle against Qualcomm.

Four iPhone manufacturers have filed a suit against the US chipmaker, alleging it used its market position to charge excessive royalties, Reuters reported Wednesday. They are Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry, Wistron Corp, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Corp.

The move is a rebuttal to Qualcomm’s suit in May, which sought to press the contractors into paying license fees after they refused to do so. Until earlier this year, Apple paid its manufacturers’ Qualcomm royalty fees, so when Apple decided it would no longer pay up, the manufacturers stopped paying that fee. Apple said it won’t resume payment till its problem with Qualcomm — it brought the chipmaker to court in January, accusing it of unfair licensing terms — is settled.

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer representing the four companies, said in a statement seen by Reuters. “The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”

Apple isn’t the only one claiming Qualcomm engages in anti-competitive behaviour. Previously, courts in China and South Korea found the chipmaker guilty of antitrust violations, and each imposed a penalty of almost $1 billion on the company. It’s also in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commision over the same problem.  

Separately, Qualcomm is upping its game against Apple, filing new suits against the latter in Germany on Wednesday, according to a Bloomberg report.

The filing accused Apple of infringing on patents for ways to transmit information without draining battery life, and are similar to those it filed in Washington seeking a ban on Apple products that aren’t equipped with Qualcomm chips in the US.

CNET has reached out to Apple and Qualcomm for comments.

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