A federal judge in San Diego has scheduled Apple and Qualcomm’s massive court battle for 15 April 2019. This has been a long time coming as back in September of this year, Apple accused Qualcomm of double-dipping on patent royalties charging both when Apple licensed their patent portfolio and again when they sold cellular chipsets. Basically, Apple is accusing Qualcomm of illegally taking a cut of each iPhone sold with Qualcomm modem tech inside.
But the legal battle is not that simple as Qualcomm alleges that Apple stole trade secrets and gave them to Intel. Qualcomm has even threatened to block iPhone X sales (which are no longer being sold). It just gets more and more complicated and for every accusation Apple makes, Qualcomm follows suit with another.
This legal battle could turn out to be as long as the age-old seven-year-conflict with Samsung and Apple. However, Apple does have the FTC on their side as the company is also going into a legal battle with Qualcomm over antitrust issues on 4 January 2019. Whatever the outcome of that case is, could help influence Apple’s stand in their case as the lawsuits are very similar.
Whatever happens, Qualcomm will not leave Apple behind as their business relationship is necessary. Qualcomm modem chips are in every smartphone in the world, including Apple’s devices like the iPhone and iPad. The only difference is that Apple makes their own CPUs whereas Android devices use Qualcomm’s chipsets. Qualcomm is developing 5G technology but so are Intel so if this court case goes bad, it could see Apple jumping ship and move to Intel instead.