Light Reading

Qualcomm Buys HP Mobile Patents

Dan Jones
1/23/2014
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Qualcomm revealed Thursday afternoon that it is buying a raft of mobile operating system patents from Hewlett-Packard. The price was not disclosed.

The portfolio includes 2,400 current and pending patents that cover some "core" mobile operating system technologies that HP acquired through its acquisitions of Palm, IPAQ, and Bitfone. Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) said in a press release that the IPR trove, which includes 1,400 US patents, gives it more strength and diversity in its mobile patent portfolio. (See Palm Plots Beyond Phones.)

Qualcomm has always been seen as interested in Palm's patents. In 2011, the chipmaker was cited as a possible buyer for the WebOS business. (See Could Qualcomm Take WebOS? and HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz.) However, it is not yet clear exactly what patents Qualcomm will get with the buy from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). In April, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) bought $10 million of former Palm smartphone-related patents.

Nonetheless, Qualcomm already has one of the most formidable wireless patent portfolios in the world.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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lanbrown
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lanbrown,
User Rank: Moderator
1/24/2014 | 8:27:33 PM
Re: What for?
Believe it or not, not really.  You also get a better phone out of it as well.  Qualcomm is a licensee of ARM, but they don't actually sell an ARM processor.  They sell an ARM compatible processor.  There are many things that Qualcomm does that have hurt the industry as a whole.

Since I will never own a WP handset, there are plenty of handsets to choose from.

I have dealt with Qualcomm on many fronts and it is the same tactic that is constantly used.

I remember their base stations.  They were set in a redundant pair and all I will say it is that it was not because of *if* one crashes or fails.

The elephant in the room; when is Qualcomm not being investigated?

Have you noticed that the last *G standard that Qualcomm did was 3G and their 4G offering was passed by the industry like a panhandler on the corner?  They didn't even make eye contact.  5G looks to be the same way.  The major players have learned from their dealings with Qualcomm.

Can Qualcomm make a living out of just selling chips or will the bottom of the market fall out of it and make it a true commodity item?
Dan@LightReadingMobile
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Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 6:49:32 PM
Re: What for?
" I refuse to buy any phone with any Qualcomm components in it"

Woah, that's got to make device buying somewhat tricky.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 3:21:24 PM
Re: What for?
They did introduce the Toq smartwatch, but made clear that a smartphone wasn't their end game -- again. 
lanbrown
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lanbrown,
User Rank: Moderator
1/24/2014 | 1:10:49 PM
Re: What for?
Qualcomm had a phone division in the past; it was sold to Kyocera.  When Qualcomm had it, they had the patents; they sold the chips and the phones.  New entrants into the CDMA market phone it very difficult to compete with a company that held all three positions.  Motorola tried to do their own chips as what Qualcomm wanted for them was very high.  There were many rumors as to the cost of the chip from Qualcomm.  You also had various countries investigating Qualcomm and around that time, the handset division was sold.  They also sold the base station business as they had that as well.  All in all, many vendors were a partner and a competitor with Qualcomm.  IMO, there is a reason why Qualcomm has faced many investigations.  I refuse to buy any phone with any Qualcomm components in it.  Their goal is lock-in; look at any of their "software" whereas others offered an open standard, CDMA in general that Qualcomm wanted to control and sell every bit of it, etc.  CDMA was used in UMTS, HSDPA, etc. and Qualcomm refused to lift a single finger to support it but was always there holding their hand out demanding their license fees.  Don't believe me, look and see how much Qualcomm did for true standards, not the Qualcomm standard.
Kruz
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Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/24/2014 | 12:41:50 PM
Re: What for?
Yes I agree. That's a safer approach and they will stay in their comfort zone earning quick cash from licensing.
Dan@LightReadingMobile
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Dan@LightReadingMobile,
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 12:03:20 PM
Re: What for?
Just more elements for them to license is my guess.
Kruz
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Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/24/2014 | 1:54:10 AM
What for?
Will Qualcom produce a phone on its own? Or will it simply use the patents and charge for licensing?
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