Hi from bright and sunny San Diego. Or so I'm told. I've been inside a 5G standards meeting for the last day or so.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The dispute between Qualcomm and Apple over technology at the heart of cellphones will come to the forefront on Friday, when opening arguments are scheduled before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Why it matters: It's a battle of two tech giants accustomed to holding sway over their business partners. That said, the ITC case is just one part of a broader legal fight taking place in courts across the globe, involving claims of everything from breach of contract to patent infringement.
What Qualcomm wants: Qualcomm is looking for what's known as an exclusion order, which would keep Apple from importing certain iPhones — those with Intel chips rather than Qualcomm ones.
What Apple wants: Apple is hoping that the ITC will find that Qualcomm's patents are invalid, not used by Apple products or are otherwise unenforceable. More than anything, it doesn't want to see the commission issue any kind of order banning iPhone shipments.
The bigger dispute: As mentioned, the Qualcomm-Apple fight has been an ongoing issue.
The bottom line: The stakes are high for both companies — for one thing, if ITC finds against it, Apple could see supplies of the iPhone disrupted.
Go deeper: Read the full post.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talks about the tech market with Axios' Kim Hart. Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at an Axios event on Thursday morning that competition regulators should weigh the increased dominance of Google and Facebook over the digital ad market.
“We do want to make sure that there is a competitive marketplace, so that involves taking a holistic view of what the market structure is,” Pai said, noting his comments were not about a specific transaction. “What does that mean for the internet economy?”
The big picture: While Pai and the FCC didn’t vet the AT&T-Time Warner deal, these comments line up with the telecom giant’s arguments in its court victory over the Justice Department.
Snapchat app. Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
Snapchat's parent company is finally rolling out Snap Kit, its rumored suite of tools that lets developers plug in the ephemeral app's data, and vice versa, Kia Kokalitcheva and Sara Fischer report.
Initial third-party apps with Snap Kit access include Postmates, Tinder, Poshmark, Eventbrite, Pandora and Giphy. Pandora already describes how a user can share music via Snapchat.
Why it matters: Snap says its approach to letting outside developers into its network is much more user privacy-focused than fellow social media companies, but it will still have to prove that it's learned from early mistakes.
Snap's privacy pitch for Snap Kit:
The tools range from adding info from other apps into Snapchat's camera to embedding public Snapchat Stories into websites and other apps.
But, but, but: Snap may be selling itself as the user privacy-conscious social media company today, but just a few years ago, it got in trouble for misrepresenting to users its data retention practices, settling these charges with the FTC in 2014.
More: Read their full story here.
The Lightning port on an iPhone can be used for charging and data transfer. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images
Apple is moving ahead with plans to limit the ability to access data from an iPhone via its charging port, a move that has drawn some concern from law enforcement.
What's happening: A new USB Restricted Mode will change the phone's Lightning port from a data-and-charging port to a charging-only one an hour after the phone is locked.
Why it matters: This severely limits the usefulness of the port as a means to gain access to information on a locked iPhone — but also restricts hackers from using the port for malicious purposes.
Apple's standpoint: The use of the Lightning port to access a locked phone had become more than just a tool for law enforcement, but also a potentially broader security vulnerability.
Law enforcement's position: Because Apple tightly restricts access to the iPhone for anyone other than its owner, law enforcement agencies are constantly looking for ways into a device for which they don't have a password. The Lightning port had proved a popular means for those looking to hack them — and this includes legal authorities.
The bottom line: While the existence of USB Restricted Mode in test builds had been previously noted, a New York Times report earlier Wednesday included Apple's comments as well as concerns from law enforcement — and that it could spark a broader debate.
Go deeper: Read more here.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
As expected, Comcast made its bid for 21st Century Fox, one day after a federal judge gave the AT&T's Time Warner deal a thumbs up.
What's next: Will Disney raise its mostly stock bid, which was $13 per share less than Comcast's all-cash offer?
The big question: Whether Comcast is able to outbid Disney in the end. Sources say Fox's Rupert Murdoch would rather have Disney's Bob Iger as a deal partner than Comcast's Brian Roberts, with whom he has personal tension.
OK, this is not nice. Funny, but not nice.