Handset prices to drop as QUALCOMM licensing agreements expire

Handset prices could begin dropping next year as some handset producers will no longer have to pay CDMA royalties to QUALCOMM once their contracts expire next August. Samsung, LG and Pantech have had licensing agreements with QUALCOMM for use of the CDMA technology in the Korean market since 1993. Meanwhile, mid-tier handset makers that did not secure licenses as early as the larger firms will continue to suffer through huge royalty payments to QUALCOMM. Korean mobile retailers have been paying QUALCOMM 5.8 percent of phone prices and 5.3 percent for local sales. The Korean government estimates that local Korean outfits have paid QUALCOMM approximately $964 million since 1997.

For more on the expiring QUALCOMM licensing agreements:
- read this article from The Korea Times