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Tim Cook: Apple had “no choice” but to sue Qualcomm

In January we learned that Apple was suing iPhone parts provider Qualcomm for $1 billion for allegedly witholding rebates and inflating patent prices.

At the time, Qualcomm issued a statement to say the claims in the suit were “baseless”, and that Apple had “intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented.”

Now, Apple CEO Tim Cook has addressed the lawsuit as part of Apple’s Q1 earnings report (via The Inquirer), saying the company had “no choice” but to sue the Snapdragon chip-maker.

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The CEO said: “They were insisting on charging royalties for technologies that they had nothing to do with. And so we were in a situation where the more we innovated with unique features like Touch ID or advanced displays or cameras, just to name a few, the more money Qualcomm would collect for no reason and the more expensive it would be therefore for us to innovate.”

“So it’s somewhat like buying a sofa, and you charge somebody a different price depending upon the price of the house that it goes into.

“Just from our point of view, this doesn’t make sense, and we don’t believe it will pass muster in the courts.”


Cook also reiterated the claim that Qualcomm has witheld $1 billion in rebates because of Apple’s involvement in an investigation carried out by South Korea’s anti-trust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission.

The regulator fined Qualcomm 1.03 trillion won ($853 million) in December for allegedly violating competition laws.

Cook said he and his team felt they had “no choice” but to start legal proceedings following this alleged witholding of payments.

Related: iPhone 8 – What we know

But Qualcomm said in its response to the initial lawsuit that Apple was attempting to turn regulators against the company in “various jurisdictions around the world,” by “misrepresenting facts and withholding information.”

The chip-maker also said it it “welcome[s] the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court.”

Cook said in his comments during the earnings report that he doesn’t see a settlement out of court as likely, adding: “I don’t like litigation. And so if there’s another way, then that would be great, but at this point I don’t see it.

“I fully expect at this point in time that it will take some time, but in the end I think common sense will prevail and the courts will see it for what it is.”

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Let us know what you think of Cook’s views in the comments.

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