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Ahead of iPhone launch, Qualcomm boasts of ‘Android firsts’


Apple events and third-party brands go together like Pavlov and his dog. When the Cupertino firm carries out a launch event, rival brands come running in a bid to spoil the parade.

Now, it’s Qualcomm’s turn to rain on Apple’s parade. Or rather, it looks like a few drops on a bonfire at this point. The US chipmaker, embroiled in a legal battle with Apple, has shown off its list of “Android firsts” by partners and itself.

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“Qualcomm Technologies has enabled some notable world firsts on Android, and some remain Android exclusives to this day. Although by no means comprehensive, here are a number of technologies and respective mobile devices where they appeared that paved the way for others to come,” the chipmaker explained.

The company didn’t quite do enough research when compiling the sheet though, crediting Xiaomi’s Mi Mix with the bezel-less design (debatable, as it still has a chin, so the Sharp Aquos Crystal could be first), crediting the Galaxy S8 with iris scanning (the Lumia 950, ZTE Grand S3, Galaxy Note 7 and Vivo X5Pro came before), crediting the LG G Flex 2 with OLED screens (as if Samsung and other brands didn’t have it for a few years before) and giving 4K to the Xperia XZ Premium (forgot about the Xperia Z5 Premium?).

The firm could probably hide behind the fact that it lists these phones as “sample devices”, but it still makes for a weird rebuttal against Apple.

But what’s even stranger is that it lists technologies that aren’t available to consumers yet, such as under-screen fingerprint scanners, saying that they are available on its reference design handsets.

Qualcomm has showed off a list of innovative Android features, presumably enabled by its chipsets

What’s the point of listing the tech if the consumer can’t get their hands on it yet? Another hastily thrown together defence in its legal battle against Apple? It seems that way, judging from a few excerpts…

“We’ve worked closely with Google and leading smartphone OEMs all along, including Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola/Lenovo. We also work closely with new entrants so that they can become tomorrow’s leaders. China-based Oppo and Vivo were new entrants to the market only a few years ago, but now have become two of the top five smartphone companies in the world. The vibrant Android ecosystem is built on Qualcomm inventions and our industry enabling horizontal model,” reads a passage on Qualcomm’s website.


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