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Ban Halts Release of New 3G Phones

Article Comments  100+  

Jun 7, 2007, 4:53 PM   by (staff)

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) today issued a ban on the import and sale of all new 3G phones using Qualcomm's chips. The ban comes as a result of a patent dispute with Broadcom, which Qualcomm recently lost. This ban will halt the release of all new CDMA models as well as any WCDMA or HSDPA models that use Qualcomm chips. Carriers will be able to continue selling previously launched models, including replenishing stock of them. Updated: Until this dispute is settled, carriers will only be able to launch new phone models that have already been imported into the US in final versions ready for sale. Import of new phone models is banned, however, Cingular could launch new 3G phones that don't use Qualcomm's chips, such as those from Nokia. Phones such as the Samsung a727, which has been announced but not yet sold, can only be launched if final production batches were imported before the ban.

more info at Wall Street Journal »
more info at ITC »



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Jun 8, 2007, 1:41 PM

LG and Samsung scramble...

LG and Samsung scramble over Qualcomm ban
By Maija Palmer in London, Jung-a Song in Seoul and Chris Nuttall in San Francisco

Published: June 8 2007 19:22 | Last updated: June 8 2007 19:22

LG and Samsung, the Korean handset makers, are scrambling to ensure that their sales are not disrupted by a decision earlier this week by the US International Trade Commission to ban imports of all new phones containing chips made by Qualcomm.

Both LG and Samsung are key Qualcomm customers and seen as hardest hit by the ban.

LG, which has the heaviest exposure to the US CDMA market, is pinning its hopes on getting the ban suspended until an appeal can be heard. It has joined Qualcomm, AT&T and Sprint in petitioning the courts to do this. The ap...

this sucks!
Well they could always go back and rework the Razr 2 and use their own chips like they did in the v3xx...

Jun 9, 2007, 7:26 PM

which phones use Qualcomm chips?

I am wondering which phone manufacturers (besides LG and Samsung) are using Qualcomm chips?

Does anyone know which chips are used in the pocket pc's that are sold in the USA such as the "at&t/cingular 8525" ?

Maybe this "ban" will force more Nokia phones into the country?
"I am wondering which phone manufacturers (besides LG and Samsung) are using Qualcomm chips?"

I am specifically wondering which GSM phones use the Qualcomm chips.
Rich Brome

Jun 7, 2007, 6:01 PM

Some perspective

Although this is real and enforceable, I promise you that no one involved expects it to last very long. This is simply Broadcom strong-arming Qualcomm in their patent dispute... taken the extreme.

The next step is either:
  1. Being forced into a corner, Qualcomm caves on some of Broadcom's demands and agrees to license their patents (albeit for more than money than Qualcomm would like). That would drive up the price of all Qualcomm-based phones, though. That's not good, which I'm sure is part of the reason Qualcomm has fought so hard and let it get this far.
  2. Qualcomm lobbies Bush to veto the ITC ruling. (Yes, he actually has that power.)
Great points Rich. I think that Qualcomm should do nothing in this case because they should let the Gov and Pres Bush veto it and not to give into Broadcom’s demands especially since in this case they do not have to. Of course, it will hurt everyone...
Bush has way, way, way too much power. Congress needs to take things into they're own hands!!!
It'll be a minimum of 1 year on unable to bring in new phones.

Another step is for the carriers to switch technologies...cuz this has been going on since 2005 and will only get worse as this struggle continues

Jun 9, 2007, 1:52 AM

Don't worry! BC and QC will settle, and the ban will be lifted!

The way an injunction works is that Broadcom now owns the legal right to enforce the ban. But Broadcom doesn't _have_ to enforce it, and they probably won't. Hurting Qualcomm might make Broadcom execs feel really good, but they are probably more interested in making money. If the ban is enforced, Broadcom would miss a huge opportunity to bargain with Qualcomm, since Broadcom's bottom line is not necessarily going to be improved by screwing Qualcomm. The _only_ way Broadcom can benefit from the ban is by instead settling with Qualcomm, using this huge leverage to get what they want from Qualcomm: favorable licensing terms. Qualcomm faces extreme pressure to settle, since QC's customers and us consumers are going to be affected. They pretty mu...
Wink My thoughts exactly, given rational business practices. I'd say 90% chance that they will settle and the ban will be lifted, but it won't happen till the last minute. Smile


Jun 7, 2007, 8:18 PM

To the carrier employees:

For those of you who work for the carriers affected by the ban, has your company released any statement(s) in response to this?

I'm curious to hear what the initial reactions are from the providers that carry handsets using Qualcomm chipsets.
I've heard nothing about it other than on Phonescoop.... (at&t) We'll probably get updated on it today though, or Monday.
"The order does not affect Verizon Wireless customers' ability to use their current handsets and it does not affect Verizon Wireless' ability to provide all of our services to customers. We will continue to provide you with the industry-leading, innov...

Jun 8, 2007, 8:19 PM


rich... wouldn't anti monopoly laws keep Broadcom from having 100% of the market share for 3g phones in america? Confused
It's not necessarily about a monopoly. It's about the big Q not wanting to pay royalties for the technology. (and claiming it operates differently than Broadcom's tech)
no not if they split it among-est many company's that they own than they can control all of it and never have to pay the royalty's
broadly speaking a patent grants its owner a monopoly on the thing patented. If Broadcom ownes the patent, they are legally entitled to a monopoly (whether its morally right or not is another story). But there is no reason someone else can't develop a...
The monopoly laws only kick in if Broadcom does something to keep competitors out. In this case, it's gov't doing it for them.
See this is the issue when it comes to this country and monopoly because when any kind of company wants to get the leg up they spend billions of dollars in R&D and because of that effort they receive a patent or patents for that product. Then their co...

Jun 7, 2007, 5:17 PM


What chip set does the iPhone use? That would be pretty funny (to me as a Sprint guy) if after all this time AT&Tular couldn't sell the iPhone because of this. Razz Cool Twisted Evil
None of the chipsets that are affected by the ban. I'm sure those guys in Cupertino are licking their chops not going 3G.
Highly unlikely as Qualcomm is only manufacturing chipsets for HSDPA / WCDMA capable handsets. This is an instance where having EDGE won't be a downside for the iPhone, but only this instance.
the iPhone isnt 3G...where have you been?
This is not a 3G device thus it is not going to be ban from the ITC ruling.
Most likely using Broadcoms 2.5G GSM chipset.

However, at&t will be able to convert to using Broadcom to implement their 3G phones...but Broadcom does not make chipsets for CDMA, since only part of WCDMA has any base of the core of CDMA (and I bele...
Their for it would not be affected by the ban because it...well just isn't good enough
...because steve jobs pimp slapped the itc and told them to ban anything that would compete with the iPhone!

Jun 7, 2007, 6:05 PM

Well that sucks

Does the old tin can and string thing still work?
I tried using that the other day but that Chad guy from Alltel walked by and cut my string. Cool
nah... physics changed. the whole string and tin cans thing quit working back in 1904.

Jun 7, 2007, 4:59 PM

How long do you think the band will last?

Shocked This is crazy news Shocked
Not suer how long the "band" Laughing will last, but it sure does suck... Mad
I feel like the whole world just came to a screeching half!!! I really do. Makes me wonder how this is going to effect the near future, gosh, Cingular has got to figure something out, maybe partner with someone else, because Cingular absolutly can not...
it looks like a one hit wonder right now but you never know, those bastards sneak in another hit sometimes
It depends on the band, the members, and how succesful they are.
hopefully just long enough for everyone to realize what Nokia has to offer and how superior there offerings are. Very Happy

Jun 8, 2007, 6:39 AM

Well such is life in America.

This just one symptom in the patent madness in the US, and Qualcomm is as guilty as Broadcomm in different areas and with different companies. Everything today has a lock solid patent, be it software, hardware, idea's and even your bodies genetic makeup. If you found you can get to work faster if you chew gum, you patent the idea, the moron's in Washington grant you a patent and now, you charge everyone for doing the same. Heck, trade stocks using a certian system, you're violating someone's patent.

While we are messing around with this, the rest of the world is laughing and passing us.
It would be nice to have the phones that Japan has.

Jun 7, 2007, 5:09 PM


Twisted Evil
WOW!! That's all I can really say... WOW!!

Jun 7, 2007, 8:04 PM

The Entire ITC ORDER (Analysis will come soon. )

June 7, 2007
News Release 07-062
Inv. No. 337-TA-543
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC" or "Commission") today announced the remedial orders it will issue in connection with its section 337 investigation concerning Baseband Processor Chips and Chipsets, Transmitter and Receiver (Radio) Chips, Power Control Chips, and Products Containing Same, Including Cellular Telephone Handsets (337-TA-543).

The chips and chipsets at issue are used in handheld wireless communications devices, including cellular telephone handsets, that are capable of operating on so-called third-generation ("3G") cellular telephone networks, i.e., EV-DO (...
Ok so, it says manufacturers can no longer import these Qualcomm chips and cannot import phones that use them; but from what I can tell, it doesn't mention the following scenarios:

1) A phone manufacturer imported 3 zillion Qualcomm chips before th...

Jun 8, 2007, 8:47 PM

Samsung A717 released with at&t

Although I'm not too excited about this phone, I saw it our website today and we got two in our inventory today. I guess this model was already manufactured and in line for shipment before the BAN.
It was actually released on the 4th. It's just hitting the last stores now...

Jun 7, 2007, 6:17 PM

Not totally accurate..

The June 7th deadline is based on when the phone was first imported into the US, not when they were first made available for sale. The injunction is very clear in that. It takes plenty of lead time for devices like these to clear customs, make it to the warehouses, and clear some spot checks. So almost all phones expected to launch in the next couple weeks should not be effected by this.

Regardless though I expect this to be resolved very quickly as you know the wireless carriers are going to lobby hard to get this overturned or yield a quick settlement.
Alternatively, they could wait to Pres Bush vetoes it.

Good idea of mentioning that June 7th deadline. People are confused.
Hmm, the WSJ article I read was very clear that it was the other way... we'll look into it and correct if necessary. Thanks!
I agree with your last paragraph, and certainly hope that's the case. That the wireless carrriers won't let this drag on, cause heck everybody knows the U.S. is behind enough as it is!!!
Broadcom refuses to settle until Qualcom is no longer in business.

Jun 7, 2007, 5:59 PM


This is just awesome. . . not in a universally positive kinda awesome, but like watching a montage of cars crashing. Very Happy
It's also like seeing the hunter become the hunted. Qualcomm fights against companies using its patents, so it is just expected that other companies should fight for theirs.

Jun 8, 2007, 6:50 AM

I guess verizon maybe SOL uh?!

verzion uses cdma with cdma..
I think they use qualcomm chip... I guess nokia is going to rock the 3G market now!!
In that case, it's time for me to move on!

Jun 7, 2007, 6:28 PM

Can anyone else say...

Deja Vu?
Okay this honestly reminds me of the RIM-NTP dispute from last year.

There is too much business and revenue at stake for this to carry out for long, we will see Qualcomm do much like RIM did and settle for an amount that the can easily expense.

Jun 7, 2007, 6:49 PM

Additional Information

I also wanted to say Qualcomm already has mentioned that they would like Pres Bush to veto this decision, make a immediate stay, and also mentioned that they will try to get a work around situation when it comes to Broadcom’s patents on the matter. There was a conference call about this issue and it is on the Qualcomm’s website. The URL is; ID=40267. During the Event, it will share their opinions on the matter.
Wireless Buddy

Jun 7, 2007, 5:59 PM


Wow I didn't even know this could happen!

This is ****ed up.
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