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Qualcomm CEO: no more tensions with Apple

Qualcomm's CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, in an interview with Bloomberg He said that relations with Apple have improved significantly since the two companies have decided to bury the hatchet on issues related to patent and royalty licensing agreements since last year.

Mollenkopf briefly referred to Apple in David Rubenstein's interview, explicitly talking about a easing of tensions, answering in the affirmative a question in which the interviewer asked if the relationship between the two companies could be referred to as "good partners".

"We are," confirmed Mollenkopf, further explaining that now we are simply discussing products and their launch as soon as possible, comparisons that now take place in a "much more natural" way.

For at least two years, Apple and Qualcomm have fought various battles in the courts over issues related to patent licenses, ways of paying royalties for intellectual property, construction and allegations of unfair commercial practices. At the heart of the dispute, remember, there were chip-modems and features that allow a smartphone to connect to cell phone networks. According to Apple, the chip-modem manufacturer (with whom it has worked for years) exploited its dominant position to ask for royalties that are too high compared to market standards, without granting its patents on fair and reasonable conditions. For Qualcomm, however, the sums were correct and fundamental to continue to innovate and do research.

In January 2018, Apple recalled a billion dollars in discounts that Qualcomm would have promised, later denying them in retaliation for Apple's collaboration with the South Korean antitrust investigations, an authority that a month earlier had imposed a fine on Qualcomm approximately $ 853 million for anti-competitive practices.

On this front, a preliminary ruling had established that Qualcomm owed Apple about $ 1 billion in royalty refunds, payments due because it was part of a commercial agreement between the two companies.

Without Qualcomm, and with Intel on the high seas on the 5G chip-modem side, Apple was in danger of not having suppliers to turn to for the 5G technology of future iPhones. Apple had been forced to create an internal team at some point to design its chip-modems. At this point it is necessary to understand if Apple will still want to deal with LTE technologies or, since since 2019 there is talk of a multi-year agreement with Qualcomm, redirect thousands of engineers recruited for the purpose, on other more interesting aspects