If you recall, Apple began using Intel as a secondary supplier for iPhone LTE modems when the iPhone 7 launched in 2016. The modems are features in GSM iPhone models that are available for AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Given that Intel is a rival to Qualcomm with regards to winning lucrative contract dollars from Apple, it stands to reason that the company would be miffed if Apple was sharing its confidential software code with the company.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Qualcomm alleges that it had given Apple "unprecedented access to Qualcomm's very valuable and highly confidential software, including source code." However, Apple reportedly didn't hold up to its end of the bargain, and Qualcomm is using an email exchange as proof of the company's malfeasance.
According to Qualcomm, Apple reportedly contacted Qualcomm for information regarding its confidential software. While this on face value would be a rather routine correspondence for hardware partners, an Intel engineer was CC'd on the email. Qualcomm feels that this sharing of information between Intel and Apple went beyond this one instance that it points out.
"As the direct and proximate result of Apple's conduct, Qualcomm has suffered significant damages in an amount to be proven at trial," stated the company in the filing.
Apple has not yet responded to these latest allegations from Qualcomm, however, we feel that this won't be the last that we'll hear from these two bickering tech giants. Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple is looking to rid itself completely of Qualcomm hardware for its 2018 iPhones and iPads. Instead of relying on Qualcomm for LTE modems, Apple will reportedly increase its reliance on Intel and bring on MediaTek as a second supplier.