Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chips

By: Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com), April 19, 2019 8:38 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Adrian (a.delete@this.acm.org) on April 19, 2019 12:48 am wrote:
> Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com) on April 18, 2019 11:28 pm wrote:
>
> > If KFC had invented and patented the fundamental function of eating and enabled the "eating ecosystem"
> > with novel concepts like teeth, esophagus, stomach, stomach acids etc. along with non-essentials like
> > tongue, then yes, they would be entitled to an "eating fee" not only for eating the chicken they sell
> > you but whatever food is eaten. That they didn't renders this analogy moot rather quickly.
>
>
>
> While some of the arguments you bring repeatedly in favor of Qualcomm are correct, you always greatly
> overestimate the value of the "innovations" contributed by Qualcomm to communication standards.
>
> Some of the founders of Qualcomm have indeed made some essential contributions
> to the progress of communications, but that was many decades ago.
>
> Nowadays, every new communication standard includes very few, if any, new ideas. The
> steady progress is due mainly to the progress in other technologies, which allows now
> cheap implementations of methods known long ago, but which were impractical.
>
>
> We need standards because there are hundreds of parameters with multiple
> choices and we need a common choice for inter-operation.
>
> Because of its earlier start, Qualcomm was usually almost always also the first to have a working
> implementation for the next generations of communication methods, so they succeeded to introduce
> their choices in the standards almost every time and that benefited them a lot.
>
>
> However, if they would have chosen not to be a standard contributor, equivalent standards would have been adopted
> with at most a couple of years delay and the only difference for the world would have been that Qualcomm would
> have been now either a bankrupt company or a company operating in another market than communications.
>
>
> Regarding innovations, Qualcomm is not at all bad, but it does not distinguish itself
> much in comparison with other similar companies, to merit exaggerated praises.
>
>

Your point is well taken, and I always enjoy your insightful posts related to the details of modem implementations. Indeed even mother nature has made other "eating standards" in parallel with the mammalian ones...

Some other points to consider though:

1) Qualcomm did make an investment bet on developing early a standard (and working implementation) which may or may not have been adopted, and it was adopted by the industry in spite of the fact that it was royalty encumbered. Perhaps in recent generations this was more for sound, technical competency than raw innovation, but that is still worth something.

2) Patent incentives in this case have improved speed to market which is definitely worth something. Qualcomm has continued to reinvest their royalty earnings into further R&D at scale and have enabled faster rollouts of new infrastructure and devices than otherwise would be possible.

3) Open licensing models for standards as the one Qualcomm and other cellular SEP holders have adopted allow for far more competition than the unmixed evil of closed ecosystems along with vertical integration and rent seeking based on pure user lock-in (cf. x86 and Apple's iOS App store ecosystem). Again Qualcomm at least redeploys its rents into new standards and implementations, and after a roll out that's faster than it would have been otherwise, competitors are free to roll their own implementations (without royalties at the more difficult chip level) and usually do catch up.

4) The amount of money at stake was a pittance relative to the value the standards added to an iPhone, and Apple did its best to lie, cheat, and attempt to destroy Qualcomm by using the relative difference in brand recognition. Had they succeeded, they would have hobbled a large, functioning R&D house that enabled their Android competitors in multiple ways and would have slowed progress in the industry going forward. If that Apple logo is worth $500 a device, surely good technical standards are worth $7.50.

There are definitely potential issues w/ Qualcomm's model and they could eventually turn abusive as Intel, Apple, or Broadcom have; if that happens I will be the first the criticize them. However, all indications are that they continue to spend lavishly on R&D in both core and adjacent markets and have added value and driven down prices for consumers.
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TopicPosted ByDate
Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/18 04:47 PM
  antitrust implications? (NT)anonymous22019/04/18 08:53 PM
    antitrust implications?Doug S2019/04/18 09:50 PM
      antitrust implications?Beastian2019/04/18 11:02 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/18 09:45 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/18 11:05 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/18 11:28 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 12:48 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 06:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:33 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 11:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:03 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 08:38 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/19 10:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:03 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 12:08 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:15 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 02:22 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 08:31 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/21 07:50 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:45 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:27 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:09 PM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 12:17 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 01:19 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 06:50 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:49 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 11:08 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:18 AM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:19 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:46 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:50 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 04:17 PM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:59 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 09:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:33 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:26 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:55 AM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndreas2019/04/19 04:55 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndrew Clough2019/04/19 06:19 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/19 07:44 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:49 AM
    Read this and realize what Apple doesGroo2019/04/19 04:27 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:32 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/19 12:15 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 02:48 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 03:53 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 11:05 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:49 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/21 12:07 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/15 07:51 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/15 11:16 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/15 12:21 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/25 11:37 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/25 12:43 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 02:22 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/26 10:05 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/26 11:57 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAnon2019/04/27 04:11 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/27 08:15 PM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/28 06:59 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/02 12:01 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 03:58 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 04:27 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsanonymou52019/05/02 05:37 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:35 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 09:32 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:32 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 03:45 PM
                                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsUmmmm...2019/05/03 04:35 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 04:56 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:10 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:11 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 10:12 PM
                                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/04 08:33 AM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/03 01:11 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 09:09 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 11:40 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 01:16 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 04:15 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsSimon Farnsworth2019/05/07 05:23 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 12:52 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/02 09:25 AM
    So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedDoug S2019/05/02 10:35 AM
      So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedBeastian2019/05/02 11:43 AM
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