The legal feud started in January when Apple sued Qualcomm, accusing it of running an extortion scheme for its royalty payments, and subsequently stopped paying Qualcomm. In July, Qualcomm sued back, claiming copyright infringement and seeking a ban on importing iPhones built with Intel chips into the United States.
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf believes the feud will soon come to an end, he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Part of Mollenkopf’s hope may rest on Apple’s outsized importance to his company; Qualcomm in 2016 sold about $3.2 billion of modem chips to Apple, around 20 percent of its total chip sales, according to an estimate by Macquarie Capital.
But Apple does not quite have all the leverage in this fight, either. While it can supplant Qualcomm’s technology, Apple will risk using an inferior modem in its new models. One analyst tells the Journal that neither Intel nor MediaTek has demonstrated a chip that can process 1 gigabit of data per second as Qualcomm has already done.