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Qualcomm still positive on Apple relationship

By Jules Wang September 27, 2018, 7:00 pm

Qualcomm’s protracted legal sparring with Apple has hopped between the realms of allegation: a CDMA technological monopoly on the chipmaker’s end to code theft with the purpose of cutting costs at the iPhone producer.

But the San Diego-based semiconductors company has remained confident, in spite of mounting global litigation, that Apple will remain one of its biggest clients.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV’s “Studio 1.0,” CEO Stephen Mollenkopf was still optimistic.

We have a dispute over the price of [intellectual property]. We think that’s moving now into a period of time where our strategy is unfolding and the environment is such that I think we’re in a position where a deal could get done.

At the same time, I think there’s probably no better opportunity and partner than to work with Apple. It makes sense that the technology leader in mobile should be partnered with the product leader in mobile and those things tend to work out.

But the way that we think about the business is that eventually, you get the disputes worked out and you move on to a different period.

We infer that Qualcomm is in a predicament where it needs to keep its number one positioning alive. That’s hard to do with a multitude of clients as a components maker unless one of them, a trillion-dollar elephant in the room, floats a good share of that business.


Host Emily Chang asked how, if Apple alleges that Qualcomm’s lifeblood patents are invalid, that the two can get back together again and Mollenkopf responded that the company has had prior disputes on the price of IP.

“But those things get resolved. I mean I think sometimes they get resolved on the courtroom steps, sometimes they don’t,” he said. “We don’t know which way it’s gonna go here, but the strategy’s playing forward the way that we always thought.”

One of the most prominent examples was with Chinese phone makers when a Beijing court ruled that Qualcomm had to create a lower-rate standard essential patents package that those manufacturers can opt for.

You can also hear Mollenkopf’s perspective on the failed takeover attempt by Broadcom at the source link below this story.


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