Samsung requests Apple reveal terms of Qualcomm partnership, might reveal next LTE chips

Samsung made a formal request with the U.S. District Court in California for Apple to reveal the intricacies of its contract with wireless chipmaker Qualcomm, who currently supplies chips for the iPhone 4S, CDMA iPhone 4, and iPad 2. Qualcomm is currently in a cross licensing agreement with Samsung, bringing up the question of whether “Apple’s buying Qualcomm chips is as good as paying for the patents.” The documents could potentially reveal Apple’s plans to move to Qualcomm LTE chips in future iOS devices.

Specifically, Samsung defense lawyer Dylan Ruga wants to know if Apple is considered a “Qualcomm Customer,” a term that is “defined in certain licensing agreements between Samsung and Qualcomm.” The request was discovered in court documents by Korea Times and later confirmed by Samsung Electronics spokesperson Lim Yoon-jeong. Korea Times reported:

Samsung Electronics is alleging that Apple has infringed on Samsung-owned patents that relate to technology embodied in chipsets used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The documents are expected to determine whether Apple is in fact a direct customer of Qualcomm — and potentially immune from Samsung’s suits — or whether it purchased its chips through an intermediary.

Here is an excerpt from the document that has not been released by the courts: Read more

Sprint offers early upgrades to good customers, iPhones included

Leading up to the New Year, Sprint is running a limited time promotion that allows customers of the soon-to-be discontinued Premier service to access an early upgrade, according to internal documents obtained by SprintFeed.

The promotion is not advertised, but according to the report – all Sprint CDMA devices are eligible. Sprint will apparently check to make sure your account is in good standing, and this will of course replace your next available upgrade. The promotion is already available now through Sprint brick-and-mortar stores and will expire before the end of the year on Dec. 31.

In other Sprint/iPhone news, a minor update to the Google Voice iOS client yesterday brought one major feature: the ability to send GV calls to a Sprint iPhone’s native dialer.

Read more

Macotakara: iPhone 4S and iPad 3 may land in September, public release in October

Digitimes previously reported that manufacturers have already begun preparing for production of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, which would be unveiled in September and reach customers as early as October. Now, adding more weight to these claims, Macotakara is reporting that an iPhone 4S variant along with a new iPad will arrive in the same timeframe.

According to the rough translation, it appears sources have provided information on a possible iPhone 4S based on the current CDMA iPhone 4. The report doesn’t rule out an iPhone 5 saying it “can not be confirmed”. It also briefly suggests a new iPad will be released in October as well. Could it be possible Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone 4S as the rumored entry-level model in addition to an iPhone 5?

Of course the mention of a new iPad is less than likely. Apple appears to be quite a long way from releasing a refreshed model, especially if you are counting on them including those new 28-nanometer, TSMC-built A6 chips that just started trials. Read more

iPad 2.0 rumors claim CDMA, UMTS, Wi-Fi flavors

iPad 2.0 activity continues to heat up with the latest report claiming Apple will offer multiple configurations of the new product, with an accent on provision of pervasive Internet access.

Apple is expected to ship over half a million iPad 2.0 units in January with mass production set to begin then, the report claims. It seems Apple will offer Wi-Fi-equipped units alongside UMTS and CDMA-savvy iPads, maximizing the always connected Internet device proposition. Read more