Qualcomm CEO expects to resolve differences w/ Apple, but there’s no end in sight

Apple and Qualcomm are currently engaged in a well-publicized and increasingly bitter legal battle over patents and licensing, but Qualomm is still hopeful things will work themselves out. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf touted that Qualcomm has a “long history” of settling issues like the Apple one…

Reports from Fast Company and CNET highlight Mollenkopf’s comments. The Qualcomm CEO explained that in the end, the dispute with Apple is about pricing for a “fundamental technology” that makes the iPhone what it is.

“At the end, the important thing to remember is this is fundamentally a discussion about pricing over the fundamental technology that makes the phone the phone,” Mollenkopf said.

The central question Apple has to ask itself, according to Mollenkopf, is how much it is willing to pay for that fundamental technology. Seemingly as a pat on the the back, Mollenkopf also quipped that Qualcomm has “a long history of providing value and settling these issues.”

“I think we’ll get through it, we have a very strong product relationship with [Apple],” Mollenkopf said. “We sometimes have these disputes, but you have a broad relationship.”

Mollenkopf wouldn’t offer a specific timetable as to when he thinks Qualcomm and Apple will resolve their differences, only stating that, “It will get resolved.

The battle between Qualcomm and Apple began at the beginning of this year when the FTC lodged a complaint against Qualcomm. The complaint alleged that the chipmaker forced Apple to use its baseband chips for higher royalties. Apple then filed its own $1 billion lawsuit. Naturally, Qualcomm has stated that Apple’s lawsuit is founded on empty claims, while Tim Cook has expressed a desire to settle, though he expects a lengthy legal battle in reality.

Qualcomm has continually escalated things. It is seeking an import ban on iPhones in the United States, while it also filed to block iPhone sales and manufacturing in China just last week.  For its part, Apple has been withholding royalty payments from the start of the case and has instructed its suppliers to do the same.

We’ll continue to update you as this case progresses.

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