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Domestic Cell Phone Makers Adjust to ITC Ban on Semiconductor Chips

Domestic Cell Phone Makers Adjust to ITC Ban on Semiconductor Chips

Posted June. 09, 2007 08:17,   


The International Trade Commission (ITC) has banned the import of new cell phones embedded with Qualcomm semiconductor chips. However, it will not likely affect domestic cell phone makers as they will put alternative chips in their phones intended for export.

Korean cell phone makers said on June 8, “The ITC decided on June 7 to impose a ban on the sales of 3G cell phones in the U.S. that use Qualcomm chips because Qualcomm infringed upon Broadcom patents.”

The patent at issue is battery-saving technology that is used when a phone cannot get a signal. The two carriers have locked in a legal battle since July 2005.

Domestic mobile phone manufactures such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Pantec believe that the damage to Korean companies will be minimal.

An official from Samsung said, “A consortium of domestic companies has developed chips that do not use the patented technologies of Broadcom. Cell phones with these chips inside are being tested.”

Another official from the industry said, “Cell phones that had been approved for import already will be exempt from the ITC’s import ban. Cell phones with new chips will be manufactured by this month and will make their way to the U.S. with no problem.”

The ITC will soon ask President George W. Bush to sign a bill to ban the sales, which will go into effect 60 days after his approval.

Domestic cell phone makers sold 30.5 million 3G phones in the U.S. last year, accounting for 15.5% of total sales worldwide.