The ongoing legal spats between Qualcomm and Apple have been among some of the most interesting fireworks within the tech space, at least since Apple and Samsung's marquee battle over patents. The dispute has now expanded into an antitrust filing by the United States Federal Trade Commission against Qualcomm, which is now undergoing trial.
Among the more interesting revelations from recent testimony in the case was the admission by Apple's Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Williams, that despite their disputes, Apple still wanted to use Qualcomm's modems in its latest generation of iPhones. That's not entirely surprising, given that the company's chips are considered among the best in the industry and the move away from them has already resulted in the new iPhones exhibiting poorer connectivity than the previous generation.
What may come as a surprise to some, however, was Qualcomm's decision to rebuff Apple in the matter. The company had previously paid Apple as much as $1 billion in order to secure the Cupertino giant's business, so it is quite the departure for the chipmaker to give up what would have been a very lucrative source of income for the company.
Williams suggested Qualcomm refused to do so because of the many legal battles the two companies are fighting all over the world. Since the FTC's contention in its own filing against Qualcomm is that the chipmaker employed anti-competitive practices to prevent others from supplying Apple, it may be interesting to see what effect, if any, Qualcomm's voluntary refusal to supply modems for the iPhone Xs and Xr will have on the agency's case.