Apple’s battle with Qualcomm over patent infringements has today received a shot in the arm after a host of its friends and competitors in the technology world rallied to offer support.
According to a new report by Reuters, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which consists of tech companies such as Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Google and even Samsung today filed comments with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Those comments argue that banning the import of iPhones to the United States would cause significant harm to the smartphone industry, and in turn impact users.
The move is the group’s way of arguing against the ITC’s potential blocking of Apple from importing iPhones with Intel modem chips. That is the request made of it by Qualcomm as part of a patent infringement case that was filed earlier this month in which Qualcomm claims that Intel’s chips infringe on its patents and as a result, so do Apple’s iPhones.
They argued that barring Apple from importing foreign-assembled iPhones that use Intel Corp chips – as Qualcomm has requested – would cause “significant shocks to supply” for phones and would hurt consumers.
“If the ITC were to grant this exclusion order, it would help Qualcomm use its monopoly power for further leverage against Apple and allow them to drive up prices on consumer devices,” Ed Black, the CEO of the group, said in a statement.
“What’s at stake here is certainly the availability of iPhones and other smartphones at better prices.”
This whole mess comes on the back of a battle between Apple and Qualcomm erupted earlier this year, with the Federal Trade Commission then accusing Qualcomm of forcing Apple to use its baseband chips at higher patent royalties. Both Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and his Qualcomm counterpart had previously made noises suggesting an out-of-court settlement may be possible, although things continue to escalate.