Apple Shared Secret Qualcomm Chip Info With Intel, Suit Says

Qualcomm buildings is shown in San Diego California

Qualcomm buildings is shown in San Diego California

Qualcomm Inc. has sued Apple Inc., accusing the iPhone maker of failing to abide by the terms of a software license and said it may have used its unprecedented access to that code to help Qualcomm-rival Intel Corp. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday at the California State Court in San Diego. First, Qualcomm says its agreement with Apple required the latter company to avoid making such information accessible to engineers working on Intel products. Qualcomm is now the largest manufacturer of chips for mobile devices by far, but that could change in favor of companies like Intel and MediaTek if Apple decides to walk away for good. It also alleges an Apple engineer working with a competitor asked a colleague to request information from Qualcomm on data download technology.

Reuters reported earlier this week that Apple would drop Qualcomm's chips altogether from its iPhones and iPads beginning next year.

In its 2017 fiscal results, Qualcomm revealed that its Q3 and Q4 2017 results were "negatively impacted as a result of actions taken by Apple and its contract manufacturers".

Apple has relied on Qualcomm chips all along until iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 series, and the iPhone X, Apple started using a mix of Qualcomm and Intel chips.

If Qualcomm loses that business, it would cut the company's revenue by about 7.5 percent, Raymond James & Associates estimates. One of the most recent legal developments is between Qualcomm and Apple, where another lawsuit has surfaced as part of an ongoing fight between the two. The escalating dispute over technology licensing fees stems from Apple's initial accusation that Qualcomm charges too much, and unfairly leverages its strong market position.

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