In a fresh twist to the Apple vs. Qualcomm battle, the latter has now filed a lawsuit accusing the iPhone maker of violating a software license term that it was bound to comply with. Qualcomm further said this act of Apple has gone on to benefit rival chip manufacturer Intel undermining Qualcomm’s own efforts in the field.
According to Qualcomm, Apple had asked for highly confidential software including source code that defines the functioning of its wireless modems. The purpose cited by Apple is that it wanted to find out how the modem would function in an unidentified wireless network environment. Qualcomm said Apple used its dominant status in the market to coerce the chipmaker into divulging the secret software codes.
Qualcomm also said the terms of the contract stipulated Apple to enforce enough firewalls within the company to ensure its engineers working on Qualcomm chips were not able to share technical data with those working on chips from rival firms like Intel. However, Qualcomm alleged in its lawsuit it is exactly this that has happened so that Intel might well have an inkling of the source code used by Qualcomm.
Apple is yet to the react to the latest development though a company source who chose not to be identified has recently stated the company is looking at options to give up on Qualcomm chips completely. Instead, Apple is said to be contemplating using modems from the likes of Intel or MediaTek that would go into the making of the next-gen iPhone and iPad devices due out in 2018.
Both Apple and Qualcomm are already engaged in a bitter dispute over patent licensing fees with both sides showing little signs of buckling down from their demands. While the chipmaker is accusing Apple of not paying the requisite licensing fees earlier agreed upon, Apple, in turn, has accused Qualcomm saying the company is unjustified in its demands and is misusing its dominant status in the segment in doing so.