Thursday, June 14, 2007

As Qualcomm's problems hit Korea, will it create more problems?

There was much debate in Korea last week on the effects of the recent Qualcomm/Broadcom ITC ruling, which may lead to the banning of the importation of Qualcomm products using specific Broadcom technologies. Korean being a major phone maker, exporter, and licensee of Qualcomm technologies are due to be hit somehow. Financial analysts are pessimistic, but manufactures are less so.

What is interesting to note is Korean phone makers have a contingency plan according to the Dong-A Ilbo:

An official from Samsung said, "A consortium of domestic companies has developed chips that do not use the patented technologies of Broadcom. Cell phones with these chips inside are being tested."

Another official from the industry said, "Cell phones that had been approved for import already will be exempt from the ITC's import ban. Cell phones with new chips will be manufactured by this month and will make their way to the U.S. with no problem."

This is a bit interesting. Since the new chips do not "use the patented technologies of Broadcom", they are not paying royalties to the company. Which means this may create another target for Broadcom to go after. Might get ugly.


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