LG might not have 5G

@ 2019/06/12
Row with Qualcomm

LG Electronics’ new 5G smartphone looked dodgy after the firm could not sort out a deal with Qualcomm to renew a chip license deal that is due to expire this month.

In a U.S. court filing late on Tuesday, the South Korean firm opposed Qualcomm’s efforts to put a sweeping U.S. antitrust decision against it on hold, arguing setting the ruling aside could force it into signing another unfair deal.

“If Qualcomm does not participate in negotiations with LGE in accordance with the Court’s Order, LGE will have no option but to conclude license and chipset supply agreements once again on Qualcomm’s terms,” LG’s filing in the federal court in San Jose, California said.

The lack of clarity over a new license deal raises concerns over the rollout of LG’s newly launched 5G smartphones, crucial for the loss-making handset maker to boost flagging smartphone sales.

If LG Electronics fails to renew its contract with Qualcomm, it is unlikely that it can make any phones since LG does not manufacture chips by itself.

The firm launched its first 5G smartphone powered by Qualcomm in the United States in May after debuting it in South Korea in the same month.

LG is the third-largest smartphone vendor in the U.S. market with an 11 percent market share as of the first quarter of this year, and trails Apple and Samsung.

The firm has been renegotiating a licensing deal with Qualcomm after terminating the existing agreement in 2018 to seek better terms with the chipmaker. But the two companies have failed to reach a new deal and their interim license agreement will end this month.

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