Qualcomm, in a statement made before a federal court in San Diego, has suggested that Apple owes it over $7 billion in unpaid dues for royalty payments. The statement comes as part of a long-standing legal dispute where Apple has sued Qualcomm for $1 billion, accusing it of overcharging for patent royalties. Qualcomm owns a significant number of patents related to cellular technologies used in smartphones, and Apple uses many of these technologies in its iPhone series.
The statement, which may be only from Qualcomm’s point-of-view, is a tit-for-tat move meant to pin the blame in this issue on Apple and take away from the actual matter at hand. Given that Qualcomm and Apple are engaged in this legal dispute, many payments may also be on hold. Additionally, Apple has in recent years moved away from dependence on Qualcomm components and technologies, and has sourced components from other technology developers.
Qualcomm is still a leading provider of technologies to many other smartphone makers, with much of the Android ecosystem relying on Qualcomm chipsets and technologies. The company is itself deeply invested in the roll-out of 5G connectivity over the next few years. In this particular issue, Apple has stated that Qualcomm has been overcharging it for royalties, while Qualcomm maintains that these royalty arrangements are entirely legal, Reuters reports. The legal issues for the last two years will have put on hold any payments due, which is likely why Qualcomm is suggesting total dues of over $7 billion.
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While matters of this magnitude are typically settled out of court, it’s unlikely that Apple and Qualcomm will agree to settle this matter any time soon given what’s at stake. This could force the matter to go on for much longer, and we’ll have to see what the courts say to help settle it once and for all.