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Qualcomm fires back, says Apple charges more for wall plugs than it pays in royalties

June 21st, 2017 at 1:52 PM
apple v qualcomm

Apple’s battle with Qualcomm is showing no signs of calming down. The companies have been frozen in a legal staring contest since January, when Apple slapped its foe with a massive $1 billion lawsuit over what it claims are unfair patent royalties. Now, after Apple’s recent shot against Qualcomm in which it alleged that the company’s business practices are illegal, Qualcomm is going on the offensive with a statement of its own, and it’s a doozy. 

In the statement, issued by Qualcomm’s legal team, the company attacks Apple’s own business practices, while taking credit for the iPhone’s most beloved features. What’s more, Qualcomm is using this opportunity to highlight Apple’s own pricing structure in an effort to put its own patent royalty fees into perspective.

“The per-device royalty Qualcomm charges Apple’s contract manufacturers for the right to use our licensed technologies in the iPhone is less than what Apple charges for a single wall plug,” the statement reads. Ouch!

This courtroom back-and-forth is something Apple is well versed in, and Qualcomm has no shortage of high-powered legal experts on their side as well, so don’t expect this kind of posturing to end any time soon. Still, it’s undeniably entertaining to watch two tech behemoths duke it out like a couple of kids spitting insults on a street corner.

Check out Qualcomm’s full statement below:

Apple is trying to distract from the fact that it has made misleading statements about the comparative performance of its products, and threatened Qualcomm not to disclose the truth. But Apple’s bigger distortions come in its depiction of Qualcomm’s technological contributions to Apple’s mobile products as well as our licensing practices for that technology. Apple says Qualcomm’s innovations are limited to technology implemented in the cellular modem, when Apple knows well that Qualcomm has been the de facto R&D arm of the industry. Qualcomm’s patented inventions make possible not only connectivity and high-speed data transmission across mobile networks, but also high-precision GPS navigation, app store operations, power management and battery efficiency, mobile video including advanced compression, graphics, camera imaging and facial-recognition technology, audio quality and audio file compression, and much, much more.

Qualcomm’s innovations are at the heart of every iPhone and enable the most important uses and features of those devices. It simply is untrue that Qualcomm is seeking to collect royalties for Apple innovations that have nothing to do with Qualcomm’s technology. Moreover, the per-device royalty Qualcomm charges Apple’s contract manufacturers for the right to use our licensed technologies in the iPhone is less than what Apple charges for a single wall plug.

As Apple recently acknowledged it is rarely first to market with any new technology, which shows it is relying heavily on the R&D investments in the most revolutionary technologies by companies like Qualcomm. We are confident these truths will prevail in our legal disputes with Apple.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

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