Qualcomm alleges Apple shared modem secrets with Intel

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Qualcomm has accused Apple of sharing confidential information with competitors in a bid to secure cheaper components for the iPhone.

The two companies are engaged in a wide-ranging legal battle in which Qualcomm has claimed Apple has violated its patents, while Apple says Qualcomm is abusing its dominant position in the market and charging extortionate fees.

As part of its agreement with Qualcomm, Apple was granted access to the former’s source code and software to modify it for use with the iPhone on the condition this was kept confidential. However, Qualcomm believes Apple shared the log files from the software with Intel engineers.

Apple v Qualcomm

It says that this would help Intel improve its own technology and allow Apple to source cheaper components, costing Qualcomm potentially billions of dollars.

Qualcomm wants its latest allegation to be added to a lawsuit filed in 2017 which alleged Apple violated the terms of their supplier agreement by resisting efforts to audit compliance, according to Reuters.

Apple has counter-claimed that Qualcomm has not disclosed which information was allegedly shared and also that it gave the company a chance to verify compliance.

Qualcomm’s modem technology has been used in several iterations of the iPhone, but since the iPhone 7, Apple has diversified its supplier base, using Intel chips in some handsets.

However, Qualcomm believes its modems have been completely eliminated from the most recent iPhones, a belief that is supported by independent teardowns.

The iPhone XS, XS Max and XR were detailed earlier this month with the former two models now available in the UK.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.