The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm is even hotter than you might have thought — so hot they were suing each other on the same day. While Apple was busy suing Qualcomm over Snapdragon chips on November 29th, Qualcomm was filing its own lawsuit claiming that phones ranging from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone X violate 16 patents, including power-saving methods, interfaces and even camera autofocus. There’s a matching complaint with the US International Trade Commission that would ban imports (and thus sales) of the iPhone X and other models over five of the patents.
As with Qualcomm’s previous ITC tussle, the new ITC case is conspicuously focused only on those iPhones that use Intel’s wireless chipsets.
Apple has declined to comment. With these back-to-back lawsuits, though, it’s clearer than ever that the companies are trying to force each other’s hand. Qualcomm in particular rejects Apple’s claim that its royalty demands are excessive, and it could use the threat of bans on cutting-edge iPhones as a strong bargaining chip. Even if the lawsuit and ITC complaint take a while (ITC cases are usually faster), there’s a good chance that bans on the iPhone 8 and X could do tangible damage to Apple’s bottom line and push it to the negotiating table. Not that Apple is likely to buckle — in addition to its own lawsuits, it has the support of the FTC’s investigation into Qualcomm’s alleged antitrust practices.
Source: RPX Insight
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Sprint has revealed yet another two new programs in an effort to lure subscribers away from other carriers. Back in June, it introduced a promo offering other carriers’ customers a year of free data. Now, it has launched Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals, which it describes as the “simplest and most flexible device financing program.” Flex is for customers who want to lease phones before they commit to purchasing them — they can choose to turn in their devices and upgrade to a new one in either 12 or 18 months.
Those who choose to upgrade in 12 months can avail themselves of iPhone Forever or Galaxy Forever at no additional monthly charge, giving them the chance to switch to the newest Apple or Samsung flagship every year. But those who wait until 18 months to decide can also opt to keep paying for six more months to officially own the phone or to pay for the whole amount in one go.
Sprint Deals, the carrier’s other new program, gives new customers the chance to get a line even without a credit check. Those who do get a credit check can lease a low-end to mid-range phone for $ 5 to $ 10 a month. On the other hand, those who don’t can get a subscription under Sprint Forward’s pay-in-advance plans. They need to pay for their phones in advance, as well, but they’ll at least get 25 to 50 percent off the devices’ retail price.
Sprint has likely been cooking up more and more promotions, since it hasn’t been growing as much as it would like these past few years. T-Mobile even eclipsed its customer number under John Legere’s leadership. According to reports that surfaced in May, the two carriers are talking about a merger again, except this time, Sprint might have to be the one to surrender the wheel.
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