As consumers, it has become a simple, unchangeable fact of life that, when it comes to getting on board with the latest tech, we represent a captive audience to the world’s tech giants. The desirability of, and necessity for, their latest gadgets means that we will all feel committed to the rising costs, and there is little else we can do to avoid them.
To anyone who has kept on top of the legal trials and tribulations the tech industry continues to run into each and every year, it will come as no real surprise that Qualcomm has found itself in hot water this month. The US giant is no stranger to litigation, fines and poor public image – and this latest case, brought against them by Which?, is no exception.
Read more about their latest bout of legal hot water below.
A Sign of Mounting Competition in the Tech World
No industry is, or ever has been, exempt from the growing pressure laid on by competition between rival businesses. It is not a phenomenon that belongs solely to the world of consumer tech and electronics, but something that has come to define business in general, and throughout history.
Still, we live in an age that is defined by an increasing reliance on technology – and one that is spilling over into every area of our lives.
Just last year, we saw the war raging on between Microsoft and Sony as the release date for their respective new consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, drew ever closer – and the competition has endured ever since then. In a similar vein, we continue to lay witness to the heady competition between game developers. For instance, the GGPoker welcome bonus is more than a mere incentive for new players; it is the most effective way of ensuring that their superiority over competitors is demonstrated as quickly and effectively as possible.
Away from the gaming world, and in the realm of consumer electronics, longstanding rivals Apple and Samsung continue to hint at the friction between them. In December of last year, for instance, an old marketing campaign from Samsung – for which the primary focus was mocking Apple – resurfaced, reminding us once again of the spirited competition that exists between them.
The same can be said for every area of the tech world. In some cases, it translates to the consumer as spirited fun, more than anything else; in others, however, it can have a significant impact from which the only person to suffer is the consumer. It is, of course, the latter reason that has led to consumer rights group ‘Which?’ filing a formal complaint against US manufacturer Qualcomm.
Why Was Qualcomm Sued?
In a nutshell, Qualcomm produces chips that are implanted within a wide range of smartphones – including those from Samsung and Apple. According to Which?, however, Qualcomm was clearly abusing its dominance within the mobile chip market, when it allegedly overcharged the mobile phone giants for parts. As a result, these costs were passed directly onto British consumers, meaning that they are now entitled to compensation from the US chip maker.
How Much Are UK Smartphone Owners Owed?
According to most reports, UK smartphone owners who purchased affective phones after 2015 could be owed around £17 – which, although not a groundbreaking sum, certainly signals a step forward within the UK for the consumer electronics market.
Thus far, Qualcomm have denied all the claims laid against them by Which? – a fact which means that UK consumers will have to wait a little while longer to find out if they are entitled to a payout.