Apple, Qualcomm go head-to-head -- with billions at stake
Apple and Qualcomm are two of the most important companies in the mobile industry.
They long worked together but now they're fighting over patents and licensing.
Apple has to pay Qualcomm a licensing fee for using its technology in iPhones, Apple has long paid for these licenses, but they disagree on how much they should be paying.
Apple initially suit Qualcomm two years ago, and we've since seen them fight in courts all over the world.
In January, the FTC took Qualcomm to trial, saying that they were a monopoly and that they force companies like Apple to pay unfair licensing fees and to only use their chips.
Apple wasn't actually a party in that case, but it was basically the whole foundation for the FTC's lawsuit.
That one, we're still waiting for a verdict from the judge.
then a second trial in March, the two companies fought over patents.
And in that one, Qualcom said that Apple infringed some of its power management patents.
A jury agreed with Qualcom and gave them $31 million.
Along with those battles, the ITC has also been looking at this issue.
There were two separate cases that Qualcom brought In one of them, the ITC decided that Apple didn't actually infringe, and they dismissed it.
In the other one, they said that there could actually be an iPhone ban.
So this could cover things like the iPhone 7 and some of Apple's other popular iPhones.
This upcoming trial is the big one.
There are billions of dollars at stake in this case.
This lawsuit involves, not only Qualcomm and Apple, but it also involves FoxConn, and some of the other Chinese handset manufacturers.
The way that this relationship works is Apple pays for the licensing by paying its Contractors, in this case, the issue is whether the contractors owe Qualcomm money for stopping to pay the licensing fees.
Whether Qualcomm charges too much for licensing fees which is what Apple.
Has said, and so the jury is gonna have to decide whether Qualcomm's listening fees are fair and whether Apple has to pay them, or whether they're not fair and whether Qualcomm needs to change its whole business model.
This is case between Apple and Qualcomm, but it's really kind of a look at the entire mobile industry.
What's decided here could have implications for basically every phone that's made.
It's not just Apple and its contractors who pay Qualcomm for licensing.
It's Motorola, it's Samsung.
It's literally every hand [UNKNOWN] maker on the planet.
So these companies are really closely watching this to see if a jury comes back and says, no Qualcomm, you are not doing this fairly.
You need to change your practices.
And in that case, it could completely change how all these other companies also deal with Qualcomm.
The trial starts April 15 with jury selection.
Then it will last for about five weeks with the jury deliberation.
So we could expect a verdict probably in mid to late May.
CNET will be on hand to cover the trial.
If you want to read more, go to CNET.com.