Apple to tweak Chinese iPhones next week, Business News & Top Stories

Pauline Obrien
December 15, 2018

In response, Apple is saying that "Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance", and "Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case".

Note that Qualcomm asked Chinese courts to ban Apple's newer phones - the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR - just days after it won the first injunction against Apple.

"All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China". Qualcomm secured a preliminary injunction against Apple importing or selling iPhones in China, after convincing a court there that iOS software features were copying its technologies.

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The two patents in question relate to software Qualcomm developed to assist in the resizing of photos and managing apps on a touchscreen, according to Reuters.

That being said, we'll still have to wait for the court ruling at the end of the day.

Qualcomm has countered that Apple is using its intellectual property without paying for it and that the legal cases are aimed at forcing it to lower licensing charges.

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Qualcomm and Apple's legal battle dates back to early 2017 when Apple hit the chipmaker with a $1 billion lawsuit over what the company alleges were unfair patent licensing practices. Apple, which has filed a request for consideration, argues the decision harms China's interests by potentially raising the royalties and fees that phonemakers pay Qualcomm. That victory was somewhat hollow, though, with the ban only affecting iPhones that ran older versions of iOS and in reality, nothing changed. While the court order doesn't make specific reference to the software of the banned devices, Apple does have a leg to stand on.

Apple's reconsideration request also says any ban on iPhone sales would impact its Chinese suppliers and consumers as well as the tax revenue it pays to authorities.

Qualcomm remedied that oversight this week, asking the same Chinese court to ban sales of the XS and XR.

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