Qualcomm attempts to get the iPhone XS and XR banned in China

Dec 15, 2018, 00:56
Qualcomm attempts to get the iPhone XS and XR banned in China

Apple's update would presumably alter or remove some of the phones' features, but the company told Reuters the functionality related to the patents was "minor".

Apple, facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm patents, said on Friday (Dec 14) it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.

The Cupertino company believes that banning iPhones in China would, in essence, force it to settle with Qualcomm, which would cause not only a major financial hit for Apple but also for other companies that would have to pay more for licensing.

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"Qualcomm's effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world", Apple said in a statement earlier this week.

Apple warned that the ban would hurt Chinese manufacturers like Foxconn and noted that it had created 5 million jobs across the countrys supply chain.

"This is what Qualcomm needed to get some leverage to try to get Apple to finalize a deal", said Mike Walkley at Canaccord Genuity LLC. Apple claims that the current version, iOS 12, doesn't infringe Qualcomm's patents-though Qualcomm denies this.

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Ultimately, it will be up to the Chinese courts to decide if this future software update will be enough to avoid the sales ban. But Apple's response underscores the importance of a Chinese market that generates about a fifth of its revenue, at a time demand for Apple's signature device is slowing.

The initial ban won by Qualcomm earlier this week included the iPhone 6 through to the iPhone X.

Apple says Qualcomm's patent claim can be undone with a software patch, and it is planning to do just that next week. While the court order doesn't make specific reference to the software of the banned devices, Apple does have a leg to stand on.

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We can only assume that next week we will learn whether the Chinese courts will grant Apple some leniency in this case. Interestingly enough, a United States company banning another U.S. company on the foreign ground will boost the domestic competitors even more.