When Apple suddenly switched to Intel’s modem, not everyone thought it was a bad idea afterall the company is free to operate with whosoever it deem fit but what is even more eye opening is the fact that that the has filed a brief in support of the FTC in an ongoing appeal by Qualcomm of a decision it made back in May.
That decision found in favor of the FTC’s allegations that Qualcomm’s licensing arrangements for its IP around CDMA and LTE technologies have choked out other potential competitors.
Intel had tried making things clearer in it’s filing as well as a blog post in which it explained the filing from Intel EVP and General Counsel Steven R, Rodgers who says that “Intel suffered the brunt of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive behavior and was denied opportunities in the modem market, was also prevented from making sales to customers and was forced to sell at prices artificially skewed by Qualcomm.” It also specifically notes that it counts itself among the list of “competitors [Qualcomm] forced out of the modem chip market.”
In fact there had been a little bit of a grudge between Apple and Qualcomm earlier this year but then an agreement was reached leading both companies to drop lawsuits and settling their feud in the court. Apple accused Qualcomm of overcharging it for using it’s patent. Among the agreements reached includes Apple paying Qualcomm sone-time sum and the establishment of a six-year licensing agreement as well as a supply agreement for Qualcomm chipset to be used in Apple products.
While all these was going on, Intel then announced it was no longer interested in working with Qualcomm which was a timely announcement if you consider the fact that Apple has sought to use Intel modems in the recent iPhones which is meant to replace the Qualcomm modems. Qualcomm is world leader in the supply of wireless communication chips used in smartphones.
Then the biggest news came back in July when Apple made the announcement it would be acquiring majority of Intel’s smartphone business leading to people thinking Apple might start building it’s own wireless communication chips in-house on the long reduce it’s reliance on Qualcomm.
Intel clearly isn’t content to just let the situation lie, and since its blog post notes that it has invested “billions” in the modem business it built and then sold to Apple, you get a clear idea of why – definitely sounds like it didn’t recoup all of its sunk costs in the Apple deal, which was worth around $1 billion all told.
But with Qualcomm still being he biggest, the company will still move on to work with other corporations such as Samsung, Motorola and many more smartphone makers around the world. But at least Qualcomm’s empire won’t come crashing down just any time soon even if Apple eventually pull out completely.