Shots Fired: Qualcomm Implies Android Always Beats Apple In Smartphone Innovation


Apple and Qualcomm are now embroiled in what's turning into a vicious, global patent licensing dispute. The Galaxy S8 also gets credit for the first Android device with iris authentication and facial recognition, Ultra HD video playback, Bluetooth 5.0, HD wireless audio over Bluetooth via aptX HD, mobile HDR Premium and Amazon HDR. It seems to be saying that whatever Apple unveils on September 12, it won't have anything that hasn't been on an Android phone before. That said, Qualcomm never outright mentions Apple, but the whole thing still seems kind of suspicious. Well, Samsung might take issue with the LG Flex 2 that's listed in the chart, as the Samsung Galaxy S was released 3 years earlier in 2010 with an AMOLED screen.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm attributes industry firsts in using depth sensing via structured light and placing a fingerprint scanner under the display - which Apple reportedly was unable to achieve - to two Qualcomm "reference design" handsets. Qualcomm also seems to think the HTC One M7 had a dual-camera system; it didn't.

It's hard to dispute the general point that Qualcomm is making here, though.

"Inventions from Qualcomm lay the foundation for so many technologies and experiences we value in our smartphones today - on Android and other platforms".

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But we can't discount Apple's enduring strength, which is to be a follower, yes, but one that seizes on the right blend of technologies and features at the right time, and implements them in a way that makes them more seamless and accessible to users.

Though Qualcomm's post doesn't mention Apple by name, the company suggests it can take credit for some the features in the iPhone.

"We've been inventing foundational technologies for Gigabit LTE for well over a decade", Qualcomm says. Here's to the next generation of mobile device start-ups and innovators, competing to bring you the next wave of class-leading Android devices. "Although by no means comprehensive, there are a number of technologies and respective mobile devices where they appeared that paved the way for others to come".

We'll see what Apple has to say about the new features of its iPhones 8, 8 Plus, and X - and how they might compare to the competition - tomorrow during the company's live event.