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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

SpinVox visit offers a few clues about the technology

Mark Bridge writes:

So, dear reader, let’s start at the beginning. Once upon a time, a mere five years ago, there was SpinVox. A company created with help from entrepreneur Christina Domecq – whose surname offers a clue to her family’s background – and Daniel Doulton, the man behind the Psion series 5. (Sherry and portable computers; two of my favourite products. But I digress).

The company’s promise was simple: to turn voicemail messages into SMS text messages.

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That just about covers it

Mark Bridge writes:

In my last article I looked forward to a world of cyborgs… but feared that decent battery life could stifle my dreams. And this week I’m on a similar theme, despairing that the UK’s mobile coverage problems probably won’t be solved before the Silver Jubilee of Vodafone and Cellnet’s networks.

To illustrate my worries, let me tell you a story.

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What price for a hands-free conversation?

Iain Graham writes:

When you get up tomorrow morning and get in the car, why don't you screw up three £20 notes and lob 'em out of the window?!  Oh, and whilst you are at it, take out your driving licence, and put three points in the penalties column!!

Why would you do that, I hear you ask?

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The Singularity is… errm… on its way, I think

Mark Bridge writes:

I’m an optimist. I’m not quite sure why I’m wired that way but I’m perfectly happy with it. Much as you’d expect, I suppose. And although I tend not to tap-dance in the gutter when it’s raining, I firmly believe that life is like a musical.

That’s probably why I’m such a fan of what’s become known as ‘the Singularity’; a point when technology and evolution are expected to combine. As computers become smarter, so they’ll be able to build smarter computers themselves – and before you know it they’ll be repairing people and improving the design. If all goes well I’ll look like a combination of Robocop and Jude Law.

“Fascinating”, I hear you say. “Bring on the medical nanobots. But what’s all this got to do with mobile phones?”

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Web Browser vs. Application Stores

James Rosewell writes:

Anyone involved in the mobile industry will have hardly failed to notice the hype surrounding mobile application stores led by Apple. Application stores provide a really simple way for consumers to install applications on their mobile phones. They’re so simple I heard Iain Graham had used one the other week!

However they don’t solve the fundamental problem of handset compatibility.

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