Lawyer for Qualcomm have finally got Apple to admit that when 4G took off Apple didn’t have anywhere else to go for components because Qualcomm were the only Company in the word who could deliver the then new technology.
The admission in the ninth day of a feisty trial in the USA between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the big processor manufacturer was obtained from Matthias Sauer, Apple’s director of cellular systems architecture.
Bloomberg claims it is ‘the kind of point Qualcomm will have to score in front of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh as it continues its defence against antitrust allegations’.
Sauer testified that Apple considered the likes of Ericsson, Broadcom and Intel as component suppliers for devices as early as 2012 but none could deliver to Apple’s desired specifications.
It wasn’t until Apple launched the iPhone 7 in September 2016 that anyone other than Qualcomm supplied chips for an LTE-ready Apple device.
Qualcomm has been accused of bullying suppliers such as Apple.
Witnesses have claimed that Qualcomm has historically relied on its market dominance to lean on partners to agree to licensing payments when negotiating chip sales.
Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams told the court his former supplier had cut off the iPhone maker, forcing it to give all of that business to Intel.
Qualcomm now has the chance to undermine some of that prosecution testimony against it. In its first full day of defence, Qualcomm argued its leadership in technology led customers to become dependent on it — not illegal exclusionary practices.
The patents it owns — more than 120,000, with another 35 added every day — are fundamental to how all phones work.
Qualcomm is arguing it should be compensated accordingly. It’s also arguing that since chip competitors have now caught up, its market share has subsided.
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