06-21-17 02:52 AM
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  1. brookie229's Avatar
    The case is supposed to be heard on Feb 27 and BlackBerry alleges that it overpaid royalties to Qualcomm on past sales of subscriber units according to Seeking Alpha Why Doesn't BlackBerry Talk About Qualcomm? - BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) | Seeking Alpha . This SA writer sees no chance of BB actually winning this case, but I was wondering if any info about the true cost of SOC and drivers would be revealed. Just a curiosity, since we have had so many threads discussing this cost and how prohibitive it was to updating hardware. Any thoughts?
    02-03-17 11:17 AM
  2. JuiciPatties's Avatar
    I started to read that article myself earlier. I'm not sure why the author felt the need to write it (to be honest, I only read the first page). All I kept thinking while reading it, was "why would BlackBerry want to publicly talk about it?" No one really talks about any legal actions until it is decided, right? However, unless they are actively defending something and want everyone to understand your stance, then I get it (like Apple and privacy). If you are suing someone else, you don't engage in public discussions, do you?
    Mandar Khire likes this.
    02-03-17 01:29 PM
  3. JuiciPatties's Avatar
    Sorry ... i just realized I never really discussed the questions you were asking. I'm not a legal nut (sorry if that is offensive to anyone), but do they normally disclose all of those details? I thought it would be more of a "here is a lump sum in regards to overpaid royalties", but not necessarily release the details publicly. I have no idea though.
    02-03-17 01:31 PM
  4. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    I doubt it, don't think the case has anything to do with the cost of drivers for BB10. It's about royalties based on subscriber numbers.
    Blacklatino likes this.
    02-03-17 01:34 PM
  5. JuiciPatties's Avatar
    So does this have to do with all of the "returns of BB10 devices" and hence, royalties are not owing?
    02-03-17 01:53 PM
  6. brookie229's Avatar
    I doubt it, don't think the case has anything to do with the cost of drivers for BB10. It's about royalties based on subscriber numbers.
    Yeah, this is what I don't understand. What actually is "subscriber numbers"? I thought it would indeed involve cost per device for drivers or the actual cost per SOC. I guess we may have to wait until Feb 27 to fully understand (or maybe not if there is no public info given).
    naijab0y likes this.
    02-03-17 02:31 PM
  7. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Yeah, this is what I don't understand. What actually is "subscriber numbers"? I thought it would indeed involve cost per device for drivers or the actual cost per SOC. I guess we may have to wait until Feb 27 to fully understand (or maybe not if there is no public info given).
    Apple had a case kinda like this.... and it almost made it sound like Qualcomm got a yearly fee based on connected users. Personally I can't see how that would be possible...
    brookie229 and naijab0y like this.
    02-03-17 03:25 PM
  8. early2bed's Avatar
    Part of this lawsuit has to do with the way the Qualcomm charges for their licenses - they base it on the price of the handset rather than per unit. That's one of the reasons why you don't see cellular-enabled notebook computers very much because licensing based on the total cost of a computer would be prohibitive. At any rate, I don't think this would be very useful information to gauge the cost of developing a smartphone because this is about the licensing cost for using cellular technology, not development costs for the multitude of software drivers needed to make a smartphone.
    brookie229 and Dunt Dunt Dunt like this.
    02-03-17 03:43 PM
  9. brookie229's Avatar
    Ah--kinda makes some sense with that-thanks. I was just curious when I read about this.
    02-03-17 04:00 PM
  10. eshropshire's Avatar
    Part of this lawsuit has to do with the way the Qualcomm charges for their licenses - they base it on the price of the handset rather than per unit. That's one of the reasons why you don't see cellular-enabled notebook computers very much because licensing based on the total cost of a computer would be prohibitive. At any rate, I don't think this would be very useful information to gauge the cost of developing a smartphone because this is about the licensing cost for using cellular technology, not development costs for the multitude of software drivers needed to make a smartphone.
    Which is why Qualcomm did not want to create new drivers for BB10 at any price. The cost was not just in developing drivers, but the opportunity costs lost having their developers creating drivers for a platform that was fast shrinking. A few million from BlackBerry would not turn their head.
    02-07-17 08:29 AM
  11. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Which is why Qualcomm did not want to create new drivers for BB10 at any price. The cost was not just in developing drivers, but the opportunity costs lost having their developers creating drivers for a platform that was fast shrinking. A few million from BlackBerry would not turn their head.
    ? I too wonder about this.... there are a number of QNX powered devices out there..... do they are require some special high cost driver package? Or was it only the radio chip that made the difference for BB10? Or are we talking about a fee that in truth isn't really all that much?

    Some have believed it was just as much the cost of internal changes to BB10 to work with other hardware... is why they stuck with the S4 for most of the BB10 lineup. That when Chen took over in 2013, he cut a little too much from the BB10 development team in order to get cost under control. Only reason the Passport got launched is it was all ready in development... probable had the already out 800 processor in it as pre-production model.

    Others have believed that Thor simple commited to buying 10 million S4 from Qualcomm.... so they had to use them somewhere.

    I expect late in 2014 it was clear that they could not afford BB10 development... it was get out of hardware then, or move to Android. Think drivers were a small part of that cost, but not the "star" that Chen tried to make it.
    02-07-17 08:51 AM
  12. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    I expect late in 2014 by mid-2013 it was clear that they could not afford BB10 development.
    In 2013, BB was a big enough company that they'd probably have needed to sell 20M BB10 phones just to break even, and it was assumed by Mike and to a lesser degree by Heins that they would sell even more than that. I mean, after all, the numbers for their recent phones had been quite large - the 9900 Bold and the Torch.

    But by the fall of 2013, they'd sold about 5M phones into sales channels, but far fewer than that had sold through to end-users, and the feedback they were getting from retail partners was alarming - they largely couldn't move BB10 devices, and when they did, they were often returned and exchanged. This forced a $1B writedown on the value of completed Z10 models, whose retail prices were greatly lowered, and even with this, sell-through was only about 6M devices by the end of the calendar year (BB10's best sales year). But the layoffs started in the fall of 2013. Yes, I think there might have been some hope for a miracle into 2014, but the real reason why BB10 kept going despite its obvious failure in the market is because BB really had no "Plan B". On paper, it would have been smarter to kill smartphones entirely in the fall of 2013, but BB at the time had virtually no other revenue streams to speak of (a few trickles for a company their size at the time) and no way to justify keeping any of their workers. Further, as a publicly-traded company, they were vulnerable to a loss in investor confidence, so ending smartphones overnight with nothing to replace them could easily have resulted in lawsuits and a crash of their stock price (and their available cash). With big purchase commitments in place, this could easily have killed the company as well.

    Even though BB kept the core BB10 team into late 2014 after trimming off almost everything else, I still think they always knew that it wasn't sustainable. The costs of developing, maintaining, and supporting an entire platform (not just the OS, but development platforms, app platforms, media services, marketing, distribution, advertising platforms, etc. etc.) is massive, and without massive sales or other lines of business to draw money from, it can't be sustained.

    Chen's mission from Day 1 was to grow software-based revenue as fast as possible, so that smartphones could be ditched (at least as a manufacturer) - but he also had to keep smartphones alive for a while in order to keep the company as a whole from falling apart, and to burn down the purchase agreements he inherited. I'm sure he also tried to find a buyer or licensee for BB10 - because why not try? - but I think it became clear that BB10 had no value to the market. That's not an attack on the OS itself, but rather the business reality of the platform (high cost to maintain, to manufacture for, and no app support).

    Moving to Android meant the ability to stay in the smartphone market for a little while longer (as transition plans were being implemented) at a very low cost compared to BB10 - and might result in something of value when BB finally exited the market, which is exactly what happened.

    Given the almost impossible position Chen inherited, I think he's done a remarkable job at keeping the company alive and finding value to exploit. Yes, smartphones were largely a casualty - the leg that had to be amputated to save the patient - and it's still unclear if BB the company can survive long-term - but BB by all rights should have been dead long ago, and Chen has managed to at least keep it alive and stabilize it. That's no small accomplishment.
    02-07-17 11:15 AM
  13. ohaiguise's Avatar
    So they can make 'drivers' for vehicles (haha) but not for little phones?
    02-07-17 11:50 AM
  14. itsnotaboutart's Avatar
    I thought one of the reasons companies insist on arbitration is confidentiality. Unlike court proceedings, it is not public. Unless the results are material, we would not even know anything about the result. Even then, I don't either company would reveal more than some vague description and, at most, an approximate amount.

    Posted via CB10
    brookie229 and TGR1 like this.
    02-07-17 01:58 PM
  15. kvndoom's Avatar
    So they can make 'drivers' for vehicles (haha) but not for little phones?
    Sure, considering that Ford, GM, et al aren't getting those radios for free. Each radio made is a guaranteed sale, since there's a car wrapped around it. Phone sales are anything but guaranteed.

    It says a lot that the QNX powered radios only support IOS and Android.

    Blackberry Poptart SE - Cricket Wireless
    02-09-17 01:38 PM
  16. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    So they can make 'drivers' for vehicles (haha) but not for little phones?
    What processors are they using?

    I think QNX supported both x86 and ARM processors.... the issue might be more with other portions of Qualcomm's all in one Chipsets, like the Radio.

    I expect a manufacture that needs a basic CPU for Traffic Lights or a Anti Braking System.... can use an off the shelf processor. What I don't know is how a cellular radio is incorporated into a car. Do they use the same system of a chip as smartphones, or are they separate components.

    Besides, BB10 isn't QNX... it started from a version of QNX, but there is no telling how much they deleted and added. Five years ago someone at BlackBerry might have decided to use different way of interacting with a processor for security reasons....

    Personally I never bought into the whole... drivers were too expensive "excuse" Chen gave. At that point I think it was more BB10 as a whole was simply too expensive.
    Tien-Lin Chang likes this.
    02-09-17 01:49 PM
  17. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    What processors are they using?
    For car stuff, really old, slow ones. Like the Texas Instruments OMAP-4 from 2011, which is by today's standards a positively ancient mobile SoC that's been out of production for years. But car companies are VERY conservative and slow to adapt to new technologies.
    Tien-Lin Chang likes this.
    02-09-17 06:55 PM
  18. eshropshire's Avatar
    ? I too wonder about this.... there are a number of QNX powered devices out there..... do they are require some special high cost driver package? Or was it only the radio chip that made the difference for BB10? Or are we talking about a fee that in truth isn't really all that much?

    Some have believed it was just as much the cost of internal changes to BB10 to work with other hardware... is why they stuck with the S4 for most of the BB10 lineup. That when Chen took over in 2013, he cut a little too much from the BB10 development team in order to get cost under control. Only reason the Passport got launched is it was all ready in development... probable had the already out 800 processor in it as pre-production model.

    Others have believed that Thor simple commited to buying 10 million S4 from Qualcomm.... so they had to use them somewhere.

    I expect late in 2014 it was clear that they could not afford BB10 development... it was get out of hardware then, or move to Android. Think drivers were a small part of that cost, but not the "star" that Chen tried to make it.
    What Qualcomm chips support QNX?
    02-11-17 05:35 PM
  19. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    What Qualcomm chips support QNX?
    Only the S4 Plus and the 801 - and that's because BB paid Qualcomm to write drivers for them. Qualcomm supplies Linux drivers with their hardware (because Linux/Android is their product's primary use) and any alternative OSs have to pay to have drivers written. Which essentially means BB10 and Win Phone, because everything else is Linux-based.
    Tien-Lin Chang likes this.
    02-11-17 07:23 PM
  20. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    So they can make 'drivers' for vehicles (haha) but not for little phones?
    This would require too much "hardware" involvement, remember, "Software is the New BlackBerry "... ;-)

    •   THISone, with the keys, hopefully coming soon to a phone store down unda... :-D   •
    02-27-17 03:11 PM
  21. Tien-Lin Chang's Avatar
    Not sure how this become an issue....

    When a product is EOL the company stop to maintain it and they don't wanna keep experienced RD team working on it so they give high price to scare you off, force you buying some new stuff from them - we see this everywhere in our daily life. Unless there's some specific term of product maintain on their contract I don't see how BB stands a point to sue QCom. Is there anyone suing ATI(now AMD) for not providing MAXX's winXP driver?

    On the other hand, BB always claim they own QNX and they are mastering it - always a deep doubt inside me as they stuck so deep on QCom's hand and make no OS adaption to MTK/TI SoCs is really hard to understand. They made themselves a cheap meat for QCom.
    03-02-17 03:50 AM
  22. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Not sure how this become an issue....

    When a product is EOL the company stop to maintain it and they don't wanna keep experienced RD team working on it so they give high price to scare you off, force you buying some new stuff from them - we see this everywhere in our daily life. Unless there's some specific term of product maintain on their contract I don't see how BB stands a point to sue QCom. Is there anyone suing ATI(now AMD) for not providing MAXX's winXP driver?

    On the other hand, BB always claim they own QNX and they are mastering it - always a deep doubt inside me as they stuck so deep on QCom's hand and make no OS adaption to MTK/TI SoCs is really hard to understand. They made themselves a cheap meat for QCom.
    Think BlackBerry and Qualcomm disagreement is about the number of devices they should have paid licensing fees on.... not anything to do with Drivers for BB10. It's more about the radio technology and licensing to use it.
    03-02-17 08:44 AM
  23. brookie229's Avatar
    Crickets........about the case. Have done a search and nothing has been reported. Maybe not unexpected?
    03-02-17 08:58 AM
  24. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    Crickets........about the case. Have done a search and nothing has been reported. Maybe not unexpected?
    No Zipperstein statement? Someone ring him up... ;-)

    •   THISone, with the keys, hopefully coming soon to a phone store down unda... :-D   •
    03-08-17 02:04 AM
  25. eshropshire's Avatar
    No Zipperstein statement? Someone ring him up... ;-)

    •   THISone, with the keys, hopefully coming soon to a phone store down unda... :-D   •
    Cases like this are not quick. Probably won't hear anything for at lease a year.
    03-14-17 04:33 PM
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