China bans multiple iPhone models from sale

Friday, 14 Dec, 2018

A court in China has sided with Qualcomm in its patent case against some Apple subsidiaries.

Apple has denied claims it has been hit with a ban on the sale and import of a number of iPhone models in China, reports the BBC.

Apple called it a "desperate move" by Qualcomm and promised to fight it in the courts.

The "preliminary injunction against older iPhone models in China could be first step toward settling Apple royalty dispute", he wrote on Monday.

Apple accused Qualcomm of playing dirty tricks, including asserting a patent that had already been invalidated by global courts, and other patents that it had never before used.

A Chinese court order instructing Apple to stop sales of its iPhones in China ups the ante on the USA technology giant in one of its biggest markets, amid revenue pressures and declining smartphone growth globally. In a statement, Qualcomm said its patents enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs, and to manage applications using a touch screen when viewing, navigating and closing applications on their phones.

"We will pursue all our legal options through the courts".

On the surface, the battle is between two major name tech companies, Apple and Qualcomm, who have been engaged in high-stakes legal battles over intellectual property for years.

"If the ban is ultimately imposed, there will be no Apple products under 6,500 yuan ($940) in China", noted Wang Xi, a senior market analyst at research firm IDC.

Additional actions seeking similar relief for Apples infringement of other Qualcomm patents are pending in China and other jurisdictions around the world. The decision, regardless of its practical effect, may play a role in escalating the trade conflict between China and the United States, with Donald Trump threatening to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese goods if the two sides can not come to an agreement by the end of the 90-day "truce". The patents in question deal with software that was used on the iPhones prior to iOS 12. iOS 12 implemented design changes that nullify Qualcomm's claims. It creates uncertainty over Apple's business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares. Generally, Apple can legitimately request the same court to review the decision if it believes an important point pertaining to the case has been missed or overlooked in the judgment. "Apple is a direct competitor to the biggest companies in China, whereas Qualcomm is a supplier", Robinson said.

Apple's most recent phone models, which include the iPhone XR and iPhone XS, are not included in the ruling, as these devices were not released when the suit was filed in 2017.