Since the beginning of the year, Apple and Qualcomm have been head-to-head in a patent infringement case that has more twists and turns than we can count. This week, the latest twist, stemming from talks between the two companies breaking down further, resulted in Qualcomm filing a lawsuit to attempt to prevent the import of iPhones and some iPads to the USA.
Qualcomm is suing Apple for infringing on six of its patents for mobile devices (US Patent No. 8,633,936, No. 8,698,558, No. 8,487,658, No. 8,838,949, No. 9,535,490, and No. 9,608,675, but Apple alleges Qualcomm are overcharging for licenses and not working alongside FRAND agreements. The case is made extra complicated considering the two companies are basically reliant on one another for profits and technology, meaning a solution needs to be agreed upon quickly.
In relation to this weeks latest lawsuit addition, if the ITC rules in Qualcomm’s favor, it could stop the import of iPhones to the US, forcing Apple to scrap plans for new product releases and pay the higher price Qualcomm is asking.
Even if Apple have to agree to pay the higher prices, they could be forced to raise product prices to keep margins intact, thus affecting consumers more than anyone else. The flagship model is already inching ever-closer to the $1,000 mark, and no one really knows how big a hit Apple would take should the price rise significantly.
Don’t forget that even if the ban is granted it could take up to 18 months to enforce, giving Apple enough time to come up with a solution to this obstacle and still not pay the higher prices Qualcomm are asking for.
Complex doesn’t even cut it…