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Apple, Intel and Samsung to Benefit from the EU's Confirmed US$1.2 Billion Fine against Qualcomm

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Yesterday Patently Posted a report titled "Qualcomm could be fined to the tune of €2 Billion for abusing its dominance by Forcing Apple to use their Chips Exclusively. The final fine handed down by the EU antitrust regulators was announced today and it was for US$1.2 Billion. As yesterday's report noted, the judgement will help Apple legal's cases against Qualcomm around the world. The EU's decision will also help Intel's modem chip business and Samsung's processor business.


In July 2017 Intel filed a statement with the U.S. International Trade Commission claiming Qualcomm was trying to force them out of the modem business with Apple. Today's EU decision is likely to help Apple fight Qualcomm in regards to Apple choosing Intel modems, especially Intel's next-gen 5G modems. Of course a ruling from the U.S. ITC would finally cut Qualcomm's throat on this matter. 


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The EU's decision could also be a win for Samsung. Samsung wasted no time in letting it be known through leaks that they have plans to begin selling its in-house developed Exynos mobile processors to other smartphone vendors in order to expand the scale of its smartphone chip platform.


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The source said that the Samsung move is designed more to boost its own wafer foundry utilization rate and raise its share of the smartphone chip market, especially for midrange models.


In December 2016 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Korea's Antitrust Agency Hits Qualcomm with Record $865 Million Fine for Excessive Licensing Fees to Phone Makers." With Qualcomm losing their influence around the world, it will allow their competitors to challenge them further due to the EU's latest ruling against them.


In a second report published today, they noted that Qualcomm's processor business is likely to fall 30% in 2018 and that was before the EU's ruling against them earlier today. Huawei is developing more of their processors in-house like Apple, and Samsung is likely to ramp up their sales of their latest Exynos knowing that many OEMs will fear Qualcomm less due to today's ruling.


Digitimes interestingly noted in today's report that "It is widely expected that Apple will spearhead to migrate smartphone AP production to 7nm process node in 2018 and become the top vendor in the 7nm-chip segment," – which all but confirms that Apple's premium iPhones for 2018 will introduce 7nm processors as we reported on back on January 4th and again last Friday when TSMC's chairman announced that 7nm will be the story of the year.


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