The ongoing legal warfare between Qualcomm and Apple has intensified to a whole new level this morning, as the San Diego, California-based chip-maker has filed a lengthy countersuit against the Silicon Valley tech-giant over a myriad of charges, including but not limited to a “breach of contract.”
As per the terms of the countersuit — an exhaustive PDF file of which can be viewed here, Qualcomm is pointing the finger at Apple over a number of supposed of wrongdoings, including how the company deliberately “Chose not to utilize the full performance of Qualcomm’s modem chips in its iPhone 7,” and how Apple “misrepresented the performance disparity between iPhones using Qualcomm modems and those using competitor-supplied modems.”
The 139 page court filing goes on to allege that Apple essentially attempted to hold Qualcomm hostage by threatening the modem-maker in an effort to silence it from making “public comparisons about the superior performance of Qualcomm-powered iPhones.”
Qualcomm has for years been the primary supplier of modem and LTE chips for the breadth of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, until the Cupertino-company began diversifying its supplier base to include chips manufactured by Intel for last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus flagships. Apple then hit Qualcomm with a swath of domestic and international anti-trust lawsuits earlier this year, including a U.S. Federal Trade Commission-backed suit accusing the chip-maker of trying to leverage its dominant position in the market to create a monopoly, and a subsequent, $145 million suit against the company for enacting “monopolistic tendencies” in Beijing, China.
Qualcomm’s countersuit goes on to accuse Apple of misleading government agencies around the world about its business practices, in what the chip-maker is calling an attempt to “induce regulatory proceedings” against it. While Qualcomm provided a number of examples to validate these claims, one in particular is most forthcoming: Back in August of last year, Qualcomm points out how Apple told the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) that the iPhone-maker “has yet to add a [second chipset] supplier because of Qualcomm’s exclusionary conduct.” Qualcomm noted, however, that at the time this statement was made to the KFTC, Apple had already brought Intel onboard as a secondary supplier, and had purchased millions of Intel-manufactured chips to incorporate into the iPhone 7 models that were unveiled less than a month later.
“Apple’s statement to the KTFC was false,” therefore, because the Cupertino-company already knew full well that the iPhone 7 models offered for sale in Korea would boast an Intel chip, as opposed to a Qualcomm chip. Qualcomm also alleges that Apple has obfuscated regulatory attacks against it, and that Cupertino has been interfering with “other companies” with whom the chip-maker has additional contracts with.