Enterprise

Qualcomm allegedly ordered a smear campaign against Apple

The two have beef against each other

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Image source: Flickr/Masaru Kamikura

Over the past two years, Facebook has been at the forefront of cybersecurity concerns. In 2016, the company allowed Russian intelligence to run rampant on the social media network. Though relatively subdued, the revelation revealed the company’s role in politics. Later, in 2018, the company was accused of mismanaging user data with Cambridge Analytica. Supposedly, the data influenced the US elections in 2016, as well as other political events around the globe.

Amid these controversies, a lone PR firm, Definers Public Affairs, has controversially managed the social media network’s failed redemption arc. Borrowing from Republican political campaigns, the firm infuses public relations with political strategies. This includes smear campaigns against a client’s rivals. Notably, Facebook hired the firm to take on George Soros, among others.


However, a key event in this timeline hints at a third player skulking in the shadows. Recently, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg allegedly ordered his executives to ditch Apple’s iPhones for Android. Prior to this, Apple threw shade at Facebook’s sketchy ethics, emphasizing the value of privacy. Later, conservative websites, including the Definers-affiliated NTK Network, lambasted the former for similarly detestable practices. The news reeked of Definers’ involvement.

True enough, Tim Miller, Definers owner, confirmed that his firm did work on Apple. However, Facebook isn’t to blame. According to a New York Times exposé about Facebook, a third tech company is responsible for the firm’s handiwork against Apple.

After the exposé’s release, Business Insider and NBC News have claimed the mysterious tech company’s identity — Qualcomm. The company in question is no stranger to Apple. Apple supposedly owes Qualcomm some US$ 7 billion in royalties, prompting legal action between the two.

According to Business Insider, Miller approached the publication with story ideas that are “damaging to Apple and positive for Qualcomm.” Meanwhile, in NBC News, a former NTK Network employee directly named Qualcomm as the mystery client.

Adding fuel to the fire, Definers and Qualcomm have refused to comment on the issue in both news reports.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 675 chip is based on 11nm process

Enterprise

Samsung will likely supply 5G modems to Apple

Together with Qualcomm

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Recently, Qualcomm and Apple buried their long-standing hatchet. After months of harassing each other, the two companies settled all disputes in an out-of-court deal. Instead of running through the courts, the new deal will benefit both companies handsomely. For one, Apple has paid an undisclosed amount to Qualcomm. In return, Qualcomm will supply Apple’s 5G modem demand. All is finally well.

However, a surprise decision has introduced another player into the equation. According to a new report, Samsung will become Apple’s secondary supplier for 5G modems. Though already familiar to Apple’s devices, Samsung’s appearance is a surprise for this supply cycle. Previously, other suppliers have also stated their intentions to become Apple’s main supplier. For example, Huawei surprisingly entered the fray before Qualcomm’s settlement.


Slightly reducing the surprise, Intel backed out of the 5G race following the deal. Currently, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Huawei are the only major players in the war. It’s theirs for the taking.

The new report comes from long-time Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo, Apple will likely pursue a second supplier to ease logistics for the eventual 5G-capable iPhone. Additionally, Kuo places all the chips on Samsung for the role. Besides the simpler logistics, a secondary supplier will help Apple gain a bargaining advantage for either source.

However, the decision’s timing is also telling. Since Apple is still deliberating, the 5G-capable iPhone will likely launch in 2020, as was already expected. Additionally, Kuo’s report also confirms the 2020 launch date. If ever, 2020 will be a huge year for 5G and 5G-capable smartphones.

SEE ALSO: An Apple Watch saved a man’s life

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Enterprise

Qualcomm drops all charges against Apple

Agrees to new multi-year deal

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In just a few weeks, the war for the Iron Throne will finally come to a swift conclusion. However, before that happens, one of the real world’s most intense corporate fights has ended. Earlier today, Qualcomm and Apple have buried the hatchet, ending an eternity’s worth of petty banter and litigious strife. Before its end, the conflict has cost both companies billions of dollars.

Previously, Qualcomm ordered Apple to pay US$ 31 million in damages. The subsequent trials were supposed to determine Apple’s final fees. At the eventual trial, Qualcomm and Apple declared the ceasefire, dismissing all cases worldwide.


Further, both companies have agreed to a new multi-year deal. In Apple’s case, the iPhone maker has agreed to pay off an undisclosed amount of royalties to Qualcomm for six years. On the other hand, Qualcomm has also agreed to provide chipsets for several years. To top it all off, Apple will pay an undisclosed one-time fee.

On paper, the deal seems like a victory for Qualcomm. The chipmaker finally attained its goal: to get royalties from Apple. Before the situation escalated, Qualcomm complained about Apple’s allegedly illegal usage of its chips. Finally, all conflicts have been resolved.

Besides the end of the trials, the resolution can potentially speed up Apple’s production of a 5G-capable iPhone. Without Qualcomm’s help, Apple’s 5G iPhone would have launched between 2020 and 2021. Now, Qualcomm can help Apple achieve this earlier.

Surprisingly, Qualcomm and Apple’s peace treaty has sent shockwaves across the industry. Intel, another player in the 5G race, has suddenly backed out of the 5G smartphone market, leaving the race open for Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei.

SEE ALSO: Samsung and Qualcomm refuse to sell 5G modems to Apple

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Enterprise

Foldable phones are not the future, OnePlus CEO says

No plans for a foldable OnePlus anytime soon

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Foldable smartphones have dominated the year. Since the start of 2019, smartphone makers have declared their intentions of joining the foldable craze. Samsung, OPPO, Huawei, and Energizer have each announced (or hinted at) their own entries coming later in the year. Undoubtedly, everyone wants to cash in on the market’s latest innovation. Except OnePlus, that is.

In an interview translated from Italian, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company’s absence from the foldable craze. While the company has contemplated on a foldable phone before, OnePlus ultimately decided against the idea. Lau believes that the foldable market does not represent the future of smartphones. He cites the device’s high production cost and lack of truly innovative features.


Of course, the high production cost has always been a factor. Currently, the foldable smartphone is the market’s most expensive device. On the other hand, the lack of innovation has only been a sneaking suspicion. Current marketing strategies have hyped the form factor as the next best thing.

However, Lau raises a good point: It adds a lot of uncertainties, particularly the increased weight. Ultimately, a foldable smartphone does not offer anything completely different from regular phone.

At the very least, Lau still recognizes the potential of the foldable screen. Tech companies can still incorporate the new technology into other devices.

Currently, OnePlus is prioritizing the development of a TV that can seamlessly communicate with smartphones. Ultimately, the company is developing ecosystems built around its devices.

As for the smartphone industry, OnePlus is gearing up for a monumental year again. Leaks have already revealed the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. The company is lining up a slew of smartphones in the future. Just don’t expect a foldable OnePlus device anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus will reveal a 5G-enabled device at MWC 2019

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