Qualcomm files countersuit against Apple

James Pearce
Published on:

The chipset-maker has accused iPhone-maker Apple of accusing Apple of playing down the power of its processors

Qualcomm has hit back at Apple, launching a counterclaim to the $1 billion lawsuit launched by the iPhone-maker earlier this year.

Apple brought a lawsuit against the chipset maker in January, accusing Qualcomm of anti-competitive practices. But Qualcomm has launched a scathing reply against the US smartphone maker, accusing Apple of making false statements to regulators.

Apple accused Qualcomm of withholding money owed to the manufacturer worth almost $1 billion.

In its counterclaims, Qualcomm accuses Apple of downplaying the performance of its chipsets in iPhones when compared with rival Intel. It also said Apple had ordered Qualcomm not to compare performance between Qualcomm-powered and Intel-powered iPhone 7 handsets.

In its filing, Qualcomm cited research from Cellular Insights which claimed its chipsets offered better performance than those provided by Intel. It was one of five claims made by Qualcomm in its filing.

On top of accusing Apple of limiting the performance of Qualcomm’s chips, it also accused the manufacturer of breaching and mischaracterising a number of agreements between the partner companies.

Qualcomm’s fourth accusation claims Apple encouraged regulators to attack its business across the world. Qualcomm has recently come under scrutiny from a number of regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission and the European Commission. 

Finally, Qualcomm also claims Apple “interfered with Qualcomm's long-standing agreements with Qualcomm licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads” for the Californian manufacturer.

The lawsuit is set to be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Qualcomm said it is seeking damages from Apple for “reneging on its promises in several agreements”.

“Over the last ten years, Apple has played a significant role in bringing the benefits of mobile technology to consumers with its popular products and services,” claimed Qualcomm EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg. “But Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm's fundamental cellular technologies.  

“Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies.  It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm.  We intend to vigorously defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry."