Qualcomm Q4 Profits Drops 90%, Loser In Legal Battle With Apple

Qualcomm has sued Apple, alleging that it violated a software license contract to benefit rival chipmaker Intel Corp for making broadband modems, the latest salvo in the longstanding dispute between Qualcomm and Apple. With that in mind, Apple apparently requires deeper access to Qualcomm's code in order to get the LTE chip communicating with the rest of the device, as well as networks.

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". Notably, the lawsuit comes days after a report that Apple is designing future generation iPhones that don't use a Qualcomm chip at all. In July, Qualcomm filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission alleging that Apple has infringed on six Qualcomm patents that "enabled important features and functions in iPhones". In addition, says Qualcomm, Apple requested proprietary information from Qualcomm and included an engineer from a competitor (read, Intel) in the email distribution list.

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Revenue from its Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) unit, which includes its chip business that supplies both Android smartphone makers and Apple, rose 13 percent to $4.65 billion. It widened its suppliers to include Intel for some versions of the iPhone beginning with the 7 model. The lawsuit was filed in California state court in San Diego and is another front to a massive legal battle between the two companies. Qualcomm's move was likely prompted by Apple's recent $1 billion lawsuit against the chipmaker in which it claimed it has "nothing to do with" technologies that Qualcomm was seeking royalty payments for.

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