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Verizon pays Broadcom for chips, skips Qualcomm

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Boxing ringSprint and Qualcomm might be getting chummy to slug it through this power management chip ban in the U.S., but Verizon’s going with the other side, and is liscencing Broadcom’s opposing patents for $6 per 1xEVDO device. Broadcom stands to make up to $200 million from the deal, maxing out at $40 million per quarter. With that, it sounds like everybody’s got their tag teams set up and the battle lines are drawn. In the red corner, we’ve got Qualcomm and Sprint, in the blue corner Verizon and Broadcom. Bush has sent an aide to look over the International Trade Comission ban, which could end the fight early if in Qualcomm’s favour, and should have an answer by August 6th.

Full press release behind the jump.

Sprint and Qualcomm to tag-team Broadcom

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Nacho LibreYesterday’s BlackBerry 8830 release was just as telling as we had thought. Not only is Sprint carrying a Qualcomm processor in the BlackBerry World Edition, but it looks like the two companies will be working together to find an alternative technology in case the ban on certain chips can’t be stayed. If the embargo sticks, then Qualcomm’s future EVDO and WCDMA chips would need some serious reworking to get over the border. As is, some of Qualcomm’s chips are stepping on a Broadcom power management patent, forcing Sprint to use a temporary software patch to keep their devices legal in the U.S.

Sprint product manager Brita Horton said in an interview that the company would be unaffected by the ban and can bring out as many new devices as it wants this year as a result of a software update it received from Qualcomm. “Qualcomm gave us a software patch that … lets us keep shipping,” said Horton, who noted that while the software patch creates extra work for Sprint, it would not increase costs.

That’s nice that they’re trying to put on a nonchalant face, but if the dispute was really a non-issue for Sprint, they wouldn’t have any reason to help Qualcomm out. The reality is, this patch probably just disables the offending functionality, which Sprint would rather keep than scrap.

World Edition comes to Sprint, packing Qualcomm processor

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Sprint 8830Now that the BlackBerry 8830 has hit Sprint’s shelves we can see the unlocked SIM card was no joke, meaning you can swap out local SIM cards willy-nilly. Price is confirmed at $199.99 with a two-year plan. Most noticeably is the nondescript Qualcomm 3G logo on the back of the device, which is pretty interesting to see since the ban on some 3G Qualcomm chips. Might we be seeing more Qualcomm chips on BlackBerrys while they try to reposition themselves around Broadcom, let alone Nokia? Probaby, if this ban holds up.