Menu
Qualcomm: Apple demanded $1B for chance to win iPhone

Qualcomm: Apple demanded $1B for chance to win iPhone

Payment designed to ease technical costs of iPhone switch

Steve Mollenkopf (Qualcomm)

Steve Mollenkopf (Qualcomm)

Credit: Qualcomm

Qualcomm sought to become the sole supplier of modem chips for Apple's iPhone to recoup a US$1 billion "incentive payment" that Apple insisted on, not to block rivals from the market, Qualcomm's chief executive has testified.

The payment from Qualcomm to Apple - part of a 2011 deal between Apple and Qualcomm - was meant to ease the technical costs of swapping out the iPhone's then-current Infineon chip with Qualcomm's, CEO Steve Mollenkopf testified at a trial with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

While such a payment is common in the industry, the size of it was not, Mollenkopf said.

Under the 2011 deal, Qualcomm was named Apple's sole supplier of modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data networks, in exchange for which Qualcomm agreed to give Apple a rebate - the exact nature of which has not been disclosed.

Apple could choose another supplier but it would lose the rebate, effectively increasing the cost of its chips.

Antitrust regulators have argued the deal with Apple was part of a pattern of anticompetitive conduct by Qualcomm to preserve its dominance in modem chips and exclude players like Intel.

At a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Mollenkopf testified that Apple demanded the US$1 billion without any assurance of how many chips it would buy, which pushed the chip supplier to pursue an exclusivity arrangement in order to ensure it sold enough chips to recover the payment.

Qualcomm was not aiming to block rivals like Intel, he said.

"The risk was, what would the volume be? Would we get everything we wanted, given that we paid so much in incentive?" Mollenkopf testified.

Earlier in the day, Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins testified that it was Apple's practice to pursue at least two suppliers and as many as six for each of the more than 1,000 components in the iPhone.

The company stopped trying to place an Intel modem chip in the iPad Mini 2 because losing the rebates on Qualcomm's chips would have made the overall cost too high, he said.

"They made it very unattractive for us to use another chip supplier," Blevins said of the rebates. "These rebates were very, very large."

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleiPhonequalcomm

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019

The channel came together for the inaugural Reseller News Emerging Leaders Forum in New Zealand, created to provide a program that identifies, educates and showcases the upcoming talent of the ICT industry. Hosted as a half day event, attendees heard from industry champions as keynoters and panelists talked about future opportunities and leadership paths and joined mentoring sessions with members of the ICT industry Hall of Fame. The forum concluded with 30 Under 30 Tech Awards across areas of Sales, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Management, Technical and Human Resources. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Upcoming tech talent share insights at inaugural Emerging Leaders Forum 2019
Show Comments