Qualcomm Demands Information About Intel’s Chips in 2018 iPhones
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While Apple and Qualcomm’s ongoing legal battles rage on, the San Diego, California-based chip-maker this week filed yet another motion seeking documentation from rival chip-maker, Intel, regarding the design of its cellular modems in some iPhone and iPad models.
Specifically, in a motion filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on July 27 by Qualcomm’s legal team, the Snapdragon-maker accused Intel of dragging its feet in procuring the aforementioned documents, which Intel allegedly agreed to provide earlier this year, according to a report published by The Register.
In the motion, Qualcomm noted that it asked Intel to provide “documents and testimony” relating to its iPhone components (i.e., modems) which may be “functionally relevant” to the company’s ongoing patent infringement proceedings against Apple.
“While the parties reached an agreement on document production, Intel reneged on that agreement,” Qualcomm asserts, noting that after a number of subsequent meetings and communications with Intel, the company “appeared willing to cooperate” on the matter as recently as May 18 — though the Santa Clara, California-based chip-maker is said to have gone “back on its word” after failing to produce the documentation, now two months later.
The documents and testimony requested relate specifically to Intel’s “radio-based components used, or planned for use, in Apple’s mobile devices from 2016 to 2018.”
While Intel has supposedly produced this documentation for its components used in Apple’s 2016 and 2017 iDevices, the company is being accused of failing to provide similar details for the components it plans to use in Apple’s 2018 hardware.
Intel won the entirety of Apple’s 2018 iPhone and iPad modem orders as a direct result of the iPhone-maker’s ongoing legal conflict with Qualcomm. It’s unclear if and when Apple may resume using Qualcomm’s modems and chips in its devices.
Another Qualcomm complaint, meanwhile, accuses Intel of refusing to comply with an “associated subpoena for a deposition about the components.” According to court documents, Intel’s legal team noted such a demand would be “burdensome” given that some of the people Qualcomm is seeking to depose live abroad.
Ultimately, however, Intel argues that it can’t yet provide Qualcomm with its 2018 component data because it relates to “future, unreleased products,” including Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPad Pro models expected this fall. Qualcomm has cried foul over such claims, though, pointing out in its filing how “There is nothing future, hidden, or speculative about Intel’s 2018 RF components about which Qualcomm seeks discovery.” Qualcomm cites how Intel has previously published similar information prior to a commercial product launch.
This week’s filing is merely the latest in a string of ongoing disputes between Apple and Qualcomm relating to the chip-maker’s modems, the royalties paid on them, and its highly-disputed monopolization of the mobile chip market — among other patent and intellectual property disputes. To catch up on all the latest in Apple vs. Qualcomm, be sure to check out some of our previous coverage.