Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing trade secrets to bolster its chip deal with Intel

Emily Nicolle
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US chipmaker Qualcomm has hit out at Apple with fresh accusations of the Cupertino tech firm stealing trade secrets and passing them on to rival chipmaker Intel.

Qualcomm believes Apple is attempting to groom Intel for future chip deals for its flagship iPhone and iPad products. Qualcomm provided the chips for the iPhone up until the iPhone 7, at which point Apple began to use Intel chips for some of its models.

The allegation was made in a soon to be published motion to modify a complaint made in November, seen by Reuters, in which Qualcomm said Apple had gone back on a contract with the chipmaker by sharing confidential information about its technology with Intel staff.

The amendment adds to Qualcomm's initial complaint to say Apple carried out a "multi-year campaign of sloppy, inappropriate and deceitful conduct ... for the purpose of improving lower-quality modem chipsets, including those manufactured by Intel, a competitor of Qualcomm, to render such chipsets useable in Apple devices with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm's Apple-based business to Intel".

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Apple denied the allegations in a statement last month, which said Qualcomm had refused to specify which confidential information Apple had supposedly shared with Intel. Additionally, the tech giant alleged it has asked Qualcomm to verify the proper use of its software by Apple, to which it did not respond.

A representative for Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while Intel declined to comment.

The news is part of a wide-ranging lawsuit filed in California, in which Apple also accused Qualcomm of unfair licensing practices.

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