Displaying items by tag: iPhones

Apple executive blasts Qualcomm during antitrust lawsuit trial

Written on Thursday, 17 January 2019 10:28

A prominent Apple executive has testified that Qualcomm refused to let the US technology behemoth use its chip technology in their latest line of iPhones due to an ongoing dispute between the two companies over licensing fees.

The admission was made by Apple COO Jeff Williams, during court proceedings in relation to an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Williams told the court that the global smartphone manufacturer expressed a desire to use both Qualcomm and Intel chips in its 2018 iPhones, but stated that Qualcomm withdrew support for Apple by refusing to sell them chips.

In addition to this, he disclosed that Apple has not been able to reach an agreement with the US chipmaker in relation to a new design since it filed a lawsuit in January 2017, which accused Qualcomm of using anticompetitive licensing tactics.

Williams also detailed the company’s fee negotiations with Qualcomm, noting Apple repeatedly traded exclusivity for a lower chip cost in order to keep the latter’s technology in its devices. Williams said, “We needed their chip supply, and we didn’t have a lot of options.”

Qualcomm has yet to mount its full defence in the litigation proceedings. However, it must be said that the claims made by Williams come in stark contrast to testimony provided by Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf last week.

Reuters published a report which claimed that the Qualcomm CEO declared that the chipmaker had sought an exclusivity arrangement not to shut out the competition, but instead to ensure it would recoup a $1 billion “incentive payment” made to Apple in 2011 in an effort to help cover technical transition costs incurred in switching chip suppliers from Infineon.

Williams’ statements were also contradicted by comments made by Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon during an earnings call in July 2018 noting the company would gladly be an Apple supplier again if the opportunity presents itself.

Mollenkopf also stressed that there was no reason the pair could not work together again noting that it makes sense that the technology leader in mobile should partner with the product leader.

Published in Devices

US chipmaker Qualcomm has reignited its ongoing dispute with Apple following its decision to call on the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the sale of certain iPhones. Qualcomm is calling for the prohibition of sales on the devices because it alleges that Apple has infringed up to six of its patents.

Qualcomm issued a direct and blunt statement in which it claims Apple had ‘engaged in the unlawful importation and sales’ of some iPhones – and confirmed that it is currently in the process of filing an official complaint with the ITC. Qualcomm which unveiled its Snapdragon 835 processor at CES 2017 in January, has argued that the patents in question involve ‘key technologies’ that enable important features and functions in iPhones, which includes the capacity to prolong battery life and overall efficiency of the devices.

Qualcomm has urged ITC to begin an investigation into Apple’s conduct, infringing imports and that they issue a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar importation of the devices into the US. It stressed that the ITC must stop Apple’s unlawful and unfair use of Qualcomm’s technology. This row is the latest in a long-running feud between the two technology titans, and Qualcomm added that it’s also seeking an LEO against iPhones that used cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.

Analysts have suggested Qualcomm are talking about Intel indirectly, although they never name Intel in its official statement. But it is widely known that Intel began supplying chips to some iPhone 7 devices in September 2016.

Through a Cease and Desist order, Qualcomm is also attempting to block the sale of devices already in the US it believes infringe on its patents. Apple’s iPhones are assembled in Asia. Don Rosenberg, EVP and general counsel at Qualcomm said: “Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”

The row began in January when Apple sued Qualcomm alleging them of being guilty of overcharging them for chips, and refused to pay $1 billion in rebates. Qualcomm hit back in a counterclaim against Apple for breaching agreements and a number of other allegations.

Qualcomm then subsequently initiated legal proceedings against four Apple iPhone manufacturers for failing to pay royalties and breaching licensing agreements, before Apple launched a legal attack on Qualcomm’s business at the start of this month. Despite Qualcomm’s latest onslaught, the short-term impact on Apple is expected to be limited. Qualcomm has indicated that it expects the ITC to begin an investigation in August, but the case will not be tried until next year.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Apple to begin building iPhones in India later this year

Written on Monday, 06 February 2017 07:29

Government officials in India have announced that US tech giants Apple will start building iPhones in the country later this year. It is believed the company’s decision to do so is in order to tap into a booming middle class while sales in China slow. The IT minister for Karnataka confirmed that Apple agreed to assemble its hugely popular iPhones in the southern state, whose capital Bangalore is recognized as India’s technology hub.    

Apple did not comment on the press release issued by the Indian Minister, and the company remains a small player in India, where sales of its smartphones trail behind rivals Samsung. However, Apple CEO, Tim Cook said earlier this week that he would ‘invest significantly’ in the country which has a population of 1.25 billion people.

Minister of Information Technology and Biotechnology, Priyank Kharge said he expected Apple to begin manufacturing operations in April. He said: “We have an understanding with Apple and we expect them to start manufacturing in Karnataka by the end of April.” He added that the operation would likely produce iPhones for the domestic market.

Research conducted by Canalys has established that Apple has only 2% of the Indian market, while rivals Samsung have 23%, by pricing itself exclusively at the luxury end, Apple has distinguished its brand from Samsung, which produces both low-cost and high-end smartphones.

It emerged last year that Apple had a 48% share of the premium sector in which phones sell for $450 and above, the US tech firm also applied to open Apple Stores in India, but it was rejected because of a rule which states that foreign retailers must source 30% of its products locally.

Those rules have since been relaxed, with New Delhi allowing companies up to eight years to meeting the required sourcing demands in order to attract foreign investment in the hope to boost job creation.

It has not been disclosed whether or not the Karnataka plans would enable Apple to clear that hurdle, but some experts are suggesting that manufacturing locally would significantly reduce the company’s costs and enable to sell at lower prices.

Apple enjoyed a brilliant 2016 in India, and shipped more than two million devices to the country – and now with the plan to manufacture there it will give them greater flexibility to respond to market changes. Apple sells through third-party retailers in India, which accounts for only around 1% of global iPhones sales. However, experts insist that India’s massive population and low number of smartphones users relative to its size means it represents a huge potential market.  

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited India last year and met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and presented him with a gold iPhones to launch the premier’s new app. If the move is confirmed, many analysts see it as a coup for India’s government which has been trying to persuade foreign companies to manufacture in the country.

Reports in Indian media said Wistron Corp, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, was lined up to assemble iPhones at a plant on the outskirtsof tech hub Bangalore.  Apple outsources all its manufacturing globally.


Published in Telecom Vendors

Apple dismiss safety concerns after iPhones combust in China

Written on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:18

US electronic giants Apple have shrugged off safety concerns over its iPhones following reports that a number of phones spontaneously combusted while being used or charged. It is reported that in one incident an iPhone actually exploded which left the back of the phone and battery completely blackened.

A consumer watchdog in Shanghai disclosed details of at least eight incidents which have been reported in relation to iPhones catching fire, combusting or exploding in China. However, Apple dismissed safety concerns over its products and blamed external damage for the flaming iPhones.

Apple’s problems have emerged hot on the heels of Samsung’s disastrous worldwide Galaxy Note 7 safety fiasco in which it was forced to recall 2.5 million units of the phone due to serious issues and concern following reports of it catching fire. Apple firmly declared that safety is treated as a top priority for the company, but insisted that following analysis and tests on the iPhones they found no concern with the products.

In statement a spokesman for Apple said, "The units we've analysed so far have clearly shown that external physical damage happened to them which led to the thermal event. We treat safety as a top priority and have found no cause for concern with these products."

Apple also vehemently denied in accusations that it was very slow to respond to the issues raised, after the state-run Shanghai Consumer Council had reportedly urged it to address consumer complaints immediately.The watchdog's report quoted one woman as saying her iPhone 6s exploded in August, shattering the screen and leaving the battery and back of the phone blackened.

The council said it had received a six-fold surge in total complaints against Apple in the past two months, including sudden shutdowns of the iPhone6 and 6s even though batteries still had enough power.The council did not say where the complaining iPhone users were located. Apple last month offered to change iPhone 6s batteries for Chinese users who complained of the sudden shutdowns, but said the problem did not constitute a safety issue.

Published in Devices

Apple violated design patents of Chinese rival

Written on Monday, 20 June 2016 10:15

Apple Inc. has reportedly violated the design patents of a rival device-maker based in China. Apple may have to halt the sales of its latest iPhones in Beijing, according to the city’s intellectual property authority, because the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus infringe on Shenzhen Baili’s patent rights because of the similarities to its 100C smartphone.

Kristin Huget, spokeswoman for Apple, said in a statement: “IPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE models are all available for sale today in China. We appealed an administrative order from a regional patent tribunal in Beijing last month and as a result the order has been stayed pending review by the Beijing IP Court.”

A Bloomberg report says Apple is appealing to the Beijing Intellectual Property Office who wrote the decision, hoping to continue to sell various iPhone 6 models during the process. It comes as another major setback for Apple, having had its book and movie services blocked in April for violating foreign publishing regulations.

Apple also lost its fight to keep the iPhone exclusive to its products recently, after a Beijing court ruled that a small accessories manufacturer could use the label for a range of wallets and purses. Furthermore, in 2012, Apple had to fork out $60 million to Proview International Holdings Ltd. to end a dispute over the right to the name “iPad” in China.

Baili, whom Apple is in its current dispute with, is just one of many Chinese smartphone brands attempting to penetrate China’s mobile boom. The looming issue for Apple is that this current decision only applies to Beijing, but in the future, lawsuits against Apple could influence the outcomes of litigation in other areas of China, affecting its product distribution in the massive nation. Apple has relied on China, the world’s second-largest economy, to sustain its pace of growth, though it has begun to experience a slowdown.

But Bloomberg quoted Tim Long, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets in New York, as saying he doesn’t think the impact of Chinese ruling will do any damage. He wrote in a note to clients: “We believe there have been several prior cases against U.S. companies ruled in favor of local companies by lower courts that were later overturned by higher courts. We have seen dozens of court decisions banning different smartphone products over the years in many different countries. We are not aware of one ever that has resulted in an actual injunction.”

Published in Telecom Vendors