Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million

Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million
Earlier today, we updated a story to tell you about a ruling made by Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The judge said that Qualcomm is obligated to pay Apple nearly $1 billion in rebated royalties that it promised to pay Apple as long as the company didn't attack the chip maker in court or to regulators.

But anorther legal decision involving Qualcomm and Apple was announced today. As noted by Reuters, a jury sitting in federal court in San Diego today, awarded Qualcomm the $31 million it was seeking from Apple after finding that the latter infringed on a trio of Qualcomm patents. That works out to $1.41 for each iPhone sold without a license for the Qualcomm technology used inside each device. Despite the award, when you consider the $1 billion that Qualcomm will have to rebate to Apple, the latter ended up approximately $969 million in the black.

The $31 million that was awarded to Qualcomm covers a trio of patents. One allows a phone to connect to the internet as soon as it is booted-up. Another helps conserve the amount of battery power consumed by the graphics processor when in use, and the third covers how traffic flows between the app processor and the modem on a handset. As you might imagine, Qualcomm was happy with the jury's decision while Apple said it was disappointed with it. Apple and Qualcomm still have a number of court battles remaining. For example, next month a trial will start up in San Diego that will deal with billions of dollars in royalties.

Qualcomm could be forced the way it sells chips to phone makers


Qualcomm is also awaiting a couple of key rulings that could change the way chips are sold to smartphone manufacturers in the future. The court battle it had with the FTC earlier this year revealed why many phone manufacturers hate dealing with the chip maker. Qualcomm's "no license, no chips" policy has infuriated these handset vendors because each of them end up paying for the Qualcomm chips used in its phones, and a license that is based on the number of phones each manufacturer ships whether it contains a Qualcomm chip or not.  Qualcomm also has been accused of not licensing its standards essential patents in a fair, reasonable and non discriminatory (FRAND) manner. These are patents that cover technology that a device must include in order to meet technical standards.

On March 26th, the International Trade Commission (ITC) is expected to make another important ruling involving Qualcomm. In this case, an ITC judge originally ruled that while Apple had infringed on a Qualcomm patent, it would be against the public interest to give Qualcomm the iPhone sales and import ban in the U.S. that Qualcomm was seeking. But ITC regulations call for a review of that decision by the entire commission, and the result of that review will be announced a week from this coming Tuesday.

Depending on how this all shakes out, Qualcomm could end up with a whole new method of selling chips to smartphone manufacturers. And if it shows remorse and promises to reform, it just might be able to win back Apple's business. From 2011-2015, Qualcomm was the exclusive supplier of modem chips for the iPhone. In 2016 and 2017, Qualcomm and Intel both supplied Apple with this component. Intel was the sole supplier of modem chips for the 2018 iPhone models, and is rumored to be the sole source of 5G modem chips for the 2020 iPhones.

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20 Comments

1. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 965; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Apple could pay that in the change they find in their sofa.

9. DolmioMan

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

Or they could just write it off the 1bn Qualcomm owe Apple in rebates.

2. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I suspect that Qualcomm is gonna have to change a lot of the ways they do business, whether they like it or not. Apple, on the other hand, will just keep on doing what they have always been doing. Apple will get a billion dollars from Qualcomm, and will be able to pay Qualcomm the 31 million dollars it owes them out of that, no doubt. Apple's strategy is paying off, as usual, regardless of whether it is right or not.

3. Mike88

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Qualcomm is part of the Android anti apple anti privacy China gang

4. User123456789

Posts: 668; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Other are envy of Qualcomm. Better CPU ( SD855 would easily score 550k running iOS) , better GPU, 4K HDR recording, background defocus for video recording, better wifi/mobile data connections ..

16. clarity

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

if you really think Apple's CPU's are worse and an Operative System boosts your scores by 100%, you're really drunk...

19. User123456789

Posts: 668; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

It is easier to run iOS than Android. Not saying one system is better . Explain me how in 2015 the iphone 6s+ had lower antutu score than S6 and Z5, but when app got updated the score of iphone went from 51000 to 130000 while other were still below 65000.

7. mootu

Posts: 1449; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"And if it shows remorse and promises to reform, it just might be able to win back Apple's business." Typical Alan F bull, veryone must worship Apple.

8. whatev

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

That’s a fact, they want apple back, it would be their most important and profitable client whether it makes you butthurt or not

10. OneLove123

Posts: 883; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

So, selling a billion Android phones a year with Qualcomm modem is not better than Apple?

11. whatev

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

We are talking about a singular client, if you compare Apple to the others, it’s pretty obvious that Qualcomm wants apple back so bad, they need to stop their bs if they want apple back

15. shm224

Posts: 276; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Isn't Samsung Qualcomm's largest and most profitable client?

20. mootu

Posts: 1449; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"That’s a fact, they want apple back, it would be their most important and profitable client whether it makes you butthurt or not" Why would i be butthurt about Apple using QC?, being a huawei user for 4 years i have zero investment in what modem Apple is using (unlike a certain person on here crying all the time about it). What i do have a problem with is Alan F's reporting and fawning over Apple at every chance, he uses this site to dig at everyone that isn't the deity he worships. It's pretty pathetic.

13. Subie

Posts: 2324; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I'm sure Qualcomm does want Apples's business back, but Alan's comment comes across as being written in jest...

12. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2134; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

To Apple this is about one day of revenue.

14. whatev

Posts: 2154; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

You spelled wrong “one hour of revenue”

18. middlehead

Posts: 449; Member since: May 12, 2014

"Qualcomm could be forced the way it sells chips to phone makers" HIRE AN ACTUAL EDITOR.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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