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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.

Which? started its legal case in February last year, claiming that Qualcomm had breached competition law by charging Apple and Samsung inflated fees to use its technology, which led to higher prices for consumers.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has allowed the claim to proceed to trial and has agreed that Which? is an appropriate representative for the millions of consumers allegedly affected in the UK.

According to Which?, which has set up a dedicated claim website at smartphoneclaim.co.uk, winning the case could result in a payment of around £16 for an average UK consumer who bought a Samsung or Apple smartphone since October 2015.

Anabel Hoult, Chief Executive of Which?, said "We’re delighted to have secured this great result for consumers, bringing them a step closer to the nearly £500 million that we believe they are owed by Qualcomm. 'If Qualcomm has abused its market power it must be held to account. This judgement ensures that it can be. Which? brought this claim on behalf of millions of affected UK consumers, as it would not have been realistic for people to seek damages from the company on an individual basis."

Which? has also published a response from Qualcomm: "We disagree with today’s ruling, though it is strictly procedural and in no way supportive of the plaintiff’s meritless assertions. The claims here recycle allegations in an old case brought by the Federal Trade Commission in the US, which Qualcomm won. The theories seen here were discredited two years ago by a unanimous panel of judges at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the US."
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Opinion Articles

World class, my a**e!

Iain Graham writes:

I recently had to, as a last resort, call the customer service department of a large communications company about a problem I currently have with a piece of equipment. I know I could have looked in the 150-page accompanying instruction manual but I haven't got half my life to spare! (as I mentioned in my previous blog piece on handsets!)

Businesses these days are telling us "Customer service has been outsourced to the Indian subcontinent and technologically streamlined in order to offer our customers a better, more efficient service"!

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Don’t be a not-so-early adopter

Mark Bridge writes:

So – you’re thinking about buying a new mobile phone. A smartphone. And yes, I mean a real smartphone, not just something with a touchscreen that looks nice.

I know, I know. You’re tempted by the iPhone. It’s all those apps, isn’t it?  100,000 and counting.

Yet Android is catching up. Admittedly it’s still got a long way to go to match that six-figure total… but the signs are certainly there.

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Probably the best Bluetooth headset brand in the world

Mark Bridge writes:

I really don’t want to make a habit of pointing at surveys and laughing – or even scratching my head in the kind of theatrical gesture used by Stan Laurel – but I should imagine there was some wry amusement at Strategy Analytics this week.

They’d been talking to car owners in Europe and the USA about their preferred brand for Bluetooth headsets and speakerphones. In the United States, 45% of respondents said Bose was their preferred brand. Excellent news for Bose. Excellent news for Bose stockists. Except...

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Movon MB80 Bluetooth handsfree wristband review

Mark Bridge writes:

I’m always on the lookout for technology that’ll make life easier. That’s one of the reasons the Movon MB80 caught my eye. It’s a Bluetooth handsfree unit that you wear on your wrist. The MB80 is designed for the times your phone’s not convenient and you don’t want to miss a call – but you also don’t want to wear a Bluetooth headset. Perhaps you’re playing sports or are out for an evening with friends. The Movon Bluetooth wristband rings or vibrates when someone calls – and then can be used as a handsfree loudspeaker.

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"Cancer" mobile phone headlines don't help anybody

James Rosewell writes:

"Mobile: new cancer alert" - The Daily Telegraph

The front page of Saturday's Telegraph led with the headline "Mobiles: new cancer alert" re-igniting fears about mobile phone usage. The centrepiece of the article is "a £20 million, decade long investigation, overseen by the World Health Organization (WHO) will publish evidence that heavy [mobile phone] users face a higher risk of developing brain tumors later in life". How should this topic be reported and what will it mean for our industry?

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