After thinking some more about why Verizon’s XV 6800 model has not yet made it to the stores, I did some research and realized that there is a logical reason for it. Evidently the problem seems to have now been solved by Verizon and so the XV 6800 should be available in the near future.
Here is the story, I think.
It seems that Verizon’s XV 6800 had been delayed due to the ongoing legal dispute between Qualcomm and Broadcom.
The Facts Follow:
The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled last month (June 2007) that Qualcomm’s 3G chips infringe on certain Broadcom patents.
Therefore, the ITC banned future imports of products to the US containing Qualcomm chips.
Guess what? High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) which is the manufacturer of Verizon’s cutting edge XV 6800 and its twin the Sprint Mogul PPC-6800 powers the 6800 models with a Qualcomm chip (MSM7500)!
So, although the legal dispute over patents started with Qualcomm and Broadcom, a number of chip users of Qualcomm in the U.S. are affected including Verizon and Sprint! This explains the delay in the XV 6800. Some of the information on this can be found at the following url.
After the ITC issued its ruling to ban the import of Qualcomm chip based products that infringe on Broadcom’s patents, the reaction by Verizon was predictable and an unhappy one. Verizon and its customers would definitely be hurt severely by such a ban.
The ITC ruling was appealed to President Bush who has the right to affirm, modify, or veto the ruling within 60 days.
Verizon, however, apparently had second thoughts about waiting for President Bush to make a decision on the Qualcomm case. In a brilliant tactical move, Verizon, bypassing its partner Qualcomm, reached an agreement directly with Broadcom that would allow Verizon to sell products containing Qualcomm chips even though these chips may infringe on Broadcom patents.
The Verizon-Broadcom agreement stipulates that Verizon Wireless will pay Broadcom $6 per phone (up to $200 million) for rights to the patent in question.
This will allow Verizon to start selling their latest phones containing Qualcomm chips in the U.S. market without fear of Broadcom as Broadcom has now been paid off. In order to make Broadcom even happier, Verizon also agreed to stop helping Qualcomm to overturn the ITC ban on Qualcomm’s chips. Verizon wireless broke the story on its website last week.
Broadcom is clearly the victor here. However, Verizon also won. For Verizon, 200 million dollars to Broadcom is a small price to continue having the dominant role in the wireless market.
Qualcomm, of course, is probably not too happy right now, although publicly they are saying that they like the Broadcom and Verizon agreement. Perhaps Qualcomm likes it because at least the products containing their chips can now be sold in the U.S. by Verizon. According to Qualcomm, serious issues of public policy and public interest still remain regarding this case and need to be addressed. At least, that’s what they say on their website.
OK. That’s it and hope it makes sense. I am not sure I got everything right or covered. If there are mistakes in my connecting the dots, please let me know.
Good luck to Verizon, Qualcomm, and Broadcom. Let’s get the XV 6800 out now to the Verizon customers!