Apple could drop Qualcomm chips from iPhone from 2018

Qualcomm buildings is shown in San Diego California

Qualcomm said in a lawsuit filed in California state court in San Diego that Apple used its leverage to demand unprecedented access to the chipmaker's highly confidential software.

Qualcomm Inc.is once again upping the ante in its legal dispute with Apple Inc. over their supply agreements. In addition, says Qualcomm, Apple requested proprietary information from Qualcomm and included an engineer from a competitor (read, Intel) in the email distribution list. Notably, the lawsuit comes days after a report that Apple is designing future generation iPhones that don't use a Qualcomm chip at all.

In another U.S. case, Qualcomm alleges that it has six patents developed in the past four years that improve battery life in mobile devices and that 'Apple uses these technologies in its devices but is not paying for them'.

Qualcomm fires back at Apple supporters.

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As things now stand, Apple utilizes chips from Qualcomm and Intel, so suitable terms must be agreed before they can continue with their mutually beneficial collaboration.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January 2017 for almost $1 billion, claiming that Qualcomm had "unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with". The sources who leaked the plan said that next year's iPhone and iPad models could already be built with components from other manufacturers, namely Intel or Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc.

Apple reportedly has until June to make its decision, although that's a bit late in the game, considering that the Cupertino company usually announces its new iPhones in September.

In Qualcomm's earnings report yesterday, the chipmaker revealed that full-year QTL segment sales had fallen 16% due to Apple and another unnamed licensee withholding royalty payments.

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