Qualcomm Gets Apple to Concede it Was the Only 4G-Ready Chip Supplier

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple’s director of cellular systems architecture Matthias Sauer has conceded in FTC’s cross-examination that Qualcomm was the only 4G-ready chip maker when the mobile phone industry was transitioning to 4G back in 2012.


In his testimony last week, Sauer noted that Apple considered the likes of Ericsson, Broadcom, and Intel as component suppliers but none could deliver to Apple’s desired specifications. He also admitted that Apple’s decision to skip Intel as a chip supplier for the 2014 iPad was a business decision and not a technical one.

Sauer added that it wasn’t until Apple launched the iPhone 7 in September 2016 that anyone other than Qualcomm supplied chips for an LTE-ready Apple device.

The admission on Jan. 18 by Matthias Sauer, Apple’s director of cellular systems architecture, is the kind of point Qualcomm will have to score in front of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh as it continues its defense against antitrust allegations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The government has charged it with using market dominance in smartphone chips to force phone makers to pay inflated patent licensing revenue.

The non-jury trial in San Jose federal court will continue for three more sessions before closing on Feb. 1.