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Qualcomm accuses Apple of sharing trade secrets with Intel in a plot to replace its chips

The chipmaker accused Apple of engaging in "a multi-year campaign of sloppy, inappropriate and deceitful conduct”

Apple chip
Qualcomm’s chips have been used in iPhones, but Intel’s chips have appeared in newer models

In the latest chapter of a drawn-out legal battle, Qualcomm Inc (NASADQ:QCOM) has accused Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) of stealing its trade secrets and sharing them with Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) so that Qualcomm’s chips could be replaced.

The chipmaker reportedly amended a complaint filed back in November, when Apple was accused of breaking a software license by sharing sensitive information about Qualcomm’s chips with Intel engineers, as per a Reuters report.

READ: Apple's dual sim feature on new iPhones could boost market share in China but prices a test, says Oppenheimer

Qualcomm’s legal filing didn’t mince words, accusing Apple of orchestrating "a multi-year campaign of sloppy, inappropriate and deceitful conduct.”

The goal was to improve “lower-quality modem chipsets” manufactured by its rival Intel so that Apple’s chip business could be given to Intel.

Apple was given access to Qualcomm’s software tools to integrate the modems into the iPhone, according to the lawsuit.

Although Qualcomm had provided modem chips for iPhones, Intel modem chips had started appearing in some models of the iPhone 7.

Qualcomm told its shareholders in July that it believed its chips were no longer in the newer models and reports from those who have taken apart the newer generation of iPhones have confirmed that Intel may be the sole supplier of modem chips, according to the Reuters report.

Intel has not been listed as a defendant in Qualcomm’s suit against Apple.

Shares of Intel sank more than 2% to US$45.91 in Tuesday morning trading while shares of Qualcomm were down slightly to US$73. Apple’s shares were also down less than 1% to US$220.28.

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NASDAQ:QCOM
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