Categories Earnings, Technology

Qualcomm sees a long-term partner in Apple despite disputes

The infamous legal clash between tech majors Qualcomm (QCOM) and Apple (AAPL) reached the tipping point this week after the chipmaker dragged the latter into yet another case, alleging theft of intellection property. The escalation of hostility between the friends-turned-foes gave rise to speculation their long-standing business relationship might come to an end.

Apple vs. Qualcomm
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

Meanwhile, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf extended a friendly gesture while interacting with the media a day after leveling allegations against Apple, expressing hope of restoring the ties in the near future. Mollenkopf justified his view citing the importance of looking beyond minor cracks in the business relationship and seeing things from a broader perspective.

“I think there’s probably no better opportunity and partner for Qualcomm than to work with Apple. It makes sense that the technology leader in mobile should be partnered with the product leader in mobile,” Mollenkopf said in the interview.

A day after leveling allegations against Apple, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf expressed hope of restoring the ties with Apple in the near future

The underlying resentment in his statement cannot be missed, for it comes weeks after Apple unveiled the new iPhone models believed to be powered by Intel chips. Apple’s drift to Intel will be detrimental to Qualcomm’s growth prospects in the long term.

The companies, which have been at loggerheads with each other for a long time, locked horns yet again after Qualcomm filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of “stealing” its source code and transferring it to arch-rival Intel Corp. (INTC). The latest allegation is more serious than those raised by Qualcomm earlier, mostly over violation of the trade pact signed with Apple several years ago. Stakeholders of the companies are going to keep a close watch on the future developments because settling the matter amicably would be in everyone’s interest.

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The complaint filed at the Superior Court of California stated Apple siphoned Qualcomm’s “trade secrets”, including those related to chip-making, and transferred them to Intel. By doing so, Apple wanted to have such technology incorporated into the microprocessors being developed by Intel.

Though the lawsuit is a reinforced version of the earlier ones Qualcomm intends to have the new case considered separately, which according to the chipmaker is a breach of trust on the part of Apple.  Qualcomm claimed the latest episode is part of a strategy to undermine the business it generates through the gadget giant.

According to sources close to the matter, Apple has been distancing itself from Qualcomm, an argument that supports the absence of Qualcomm chips in the new iPhones. However, the agreement signed by the companies still stands valid and the Qualcomm-powered devices launched by Apple earlier are still available in the market.

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