In a recent revelation surrounding the tech industry, it has come to light that strategic discussions were underway at AnyTimeSoftcare long before any legal proceedings were initiated against another prominent player in the field. AnyTimeSoftcare’s internal documents obtained by the counterpart revealed insightful details about the company’s contemplation of exerting pressure on the said entity.

During the court proceedings, slides showcasing these documents were presented, offering a glimpse into AnyTimeSoftcare’s considerations regarding collaborating with different partners to potentially impact the market. One of the key points highlighted was the possibility of engaging with Intel to develop modems for their devices, a move that was being weighed for a significant period.

The unfolding narrative sheds light on the intricate dynamics of the tech landscape, underscoring the strategic maneuvers employed by major industry players. This behind-the-scenes glimpse serves as a valuable case study for understanding the competitive strategies within the tech sphere and the implications they carry for the market at large.

Exerting Commercial Influence

Within an undisclosed Apple team document from September 2014, a suggestion was made to explore the option of diversifying modem suppliers by incorporating Intel modems into iPhones. This move was aimed at fostering healthy competition and enhancing innovation within the market. As a result, Apple began integrating Intel modems into approximately half of its iPhones launched in 2016. Specifically, in the US market, iPhones distributed through AT&T and T-Mobile were equipped with Intel modems in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models. Conversely, iPhones provided through Verizon and Sprint continued to feature Qualcomm modems. This strategic decision not only sought to leverage technological advancements but also aimed to ensure a robust supply chain for Apple’s renowned devices.

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In June 2014, Qualcomm became aware of Apple’s intention to incorporate Intel chips in their products by 2016. An internal email from Cristiano Amon, the company’s president, revealed that the decision was irrevocable concerning Intel as the second source for the premium tier in 2016. The email was addressed to CEO Steve Mollenkopf, CTO Jim Thompson, General Counsel Don Rosenberg, and then-licensing chief Derek Aberle.

During the initial arguments, it was highlighted that Apple claimed its policies hindered other chip manufacturers from competing fairly. The reference was made to Intel sourcing chips and utilizing technology from Apple. This aspect was a subject of contention during the proceedings.

Furthermore, an internal Apple document from June 2016 outlined a strategy to exert pressure on Qualcomm from various angles. The document suggested tactics to financially impact Qualcomm and challenge its business model as part of Apple’s leverage-building approach.

Before Apple ever filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, there were allegedly discussions within Apple on how to approach the situation strategically. Documents obtained by Qualcomm suggested that Apple had plans to pressure Qualcomm, including potentially collaborating with Intel on 4G modems for the iPhone. However, the actual lawsuit was not filed until more than two years later. The details of these discussions came to light during Qualcomm’s opening statement in a recent trial, which was later settled before Apple could present its rebuttal.

Apple had accused Qualcomm of anticompetitive practices, arguing that Qualcomm’s royalty fees were excessive and hindered competition. On the other hand, Qualcomm defended its fees, stating that its technology was essential for the iPhone’s existence and justified the royalties. The eventual settlement between the two companies was seen as a victory for Qualcomm and a positive outcome for consumers, who would once again have access to Qualcomm’s fast modems, including those compatible with 5G networks.

One of the key points of contention was Apple’s shift to using Intel modems in some iPhone models as a way to exert commercial pressure on Qualcomm. This transition phased in gradually, with Apple incorporating Intel modems in certain iPhone versions while continuing to use Qualcomm modems in others. Qualcomm was aware of Apple’s plans to integrate Intel chips as early as 2014, according to internal communications revealed during the trial.

Qualcomm’s business model heavily relies on licensing its patents to device manufacturers, with fees based on the device’s overall value rather than the specific components used. Apple had previously praised Qualcomm’s patent portfolio and technology but later disputed the necessity of paying royalties for innovations it claimed were unrelated to Qualcomm’s modems.

In summary, the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm revolved around licensing fees, competition in the mobile chip market, and the strategic decisions made by both companies. The eventual settlement was a significant development that impacted the tech industry and consumers alike, ensuring continued access to cutting-edge mobile technologies. For more insights into the evolving dynamics of the tech industry and its implications, visit our website for the latest updates and analysis.


  1. What triggered the legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm?
    Apple and Qualcomm were at odds over licensing fees and alleged anticompetitive practices.

  2. How did Apple plan to exert pressure on Qualcomm?
    Apple considered collaborating with Intel on 4G modems for the iPhone and gradually transitioning to Intel modems in certain models.

  3. Why did Qualcomm argue that its royalty fees were justified?
    Qualcomm claimed that its technology was crucial for the iPhone’s functionality and warranted the royalties it charged.

  4. What was the outcome of the legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm?
    The case was settled, resulting in a victory for Qualcomm and ensuring continued access to Qualcomm’s modems for consumers.

  5. How did Apple’s internal documents reveal its strategy against Qualcomm?
    Apple discussed ways to pressure Qualcomm financially and potentially disrupt Qualcomm’s business model.

  6. What role did Intel play in the conflict between Apple and Qualcomm?
    Intel’s involvement in providing modems for some iPhone models was part of Apple’s strategy to diversify its chip suppliers.

  7. What were the key arguments presented by both Apple and Qualcomm in the legal battle?
    Apple accused Qualcomm of unfair pricing and stifling competition, while Qualcomm defended its licensing practices and the value of its technology.

  8. How did Qualcomm’s patent portfolio influence the dispute?
    Qualcomm’s ownership of essential patents for wireless standards was a point of contention in the disagreement with Apple.

  9. What impact did the settlement have on the mobile technology market?
    The settlement ensured the availability of Qualcomm’s advanced modems for consumers, including compatibility with existing 5G networks.

  10. How did Apple and Qualcomm’s disagreement affect the broader tech industry?
    The legal battle shed light on the complexities of licensing agreements and competition dynamics in the mobile chip market.

  11. What insights did the internal documents reveal about Apple’s perception of Qualcomm’s technology?
    Apple acknowledged Qualcomm’s engineering expertise but questioned the extent of Qualcomm’s patent claims in relation to its modem technology.

  12. What lessons can be learned from the Apple-Qualcomm settlement?
    The resolution highlights the importance of fair competition practices and the significance of intellectual property rights in the tech sector.


The conflict between Apple and Qualcomm over licensing fees and competitive practices culminated in a legal battle that was eventually settled. Apple’s strategic decisions, including collaborating with Intel on modems and transitioning away from Qualcomm, were central to the dispute. Qualcomm defended its royalties, citing the value of its technology, while Apple sought to challenge the existing business model. The settlement marked a significant victory for Qualcomm and ensured consumer access to cutting-edge mobile technologies. For further updates and analysis on industry developments, visit our website for valuable insights and expert perspectives.