Qualcomm now seeks to ban Apple iPhone XS and XR in China

After Qualcomm was granted a preliminary injunction to ban the sale and import of Apple iPhone 6s through iPhone X in China, Qualcomm now plans to file for an injunction on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in China. This would prevent the sale of those devices in the country. Qualcomm has granted the preliminary injunction after it ruled that the devices violated two Qualcomm patents.

The first Qualcomm patent reportedly enables users to “adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photos,” while the second is said to relate to “managing applications using a touch screen when viewing and navigating apps.” However, Apple has continued to sell the affected iPhone models in China because it believes the patent infringement ruling does not apply to iOS 12 and this led Qualcomm to Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court to enforce the injunction.

This move suggests that Qualcomm is forcing Apple into settling its on-going legal battle, primarily over chip-related licensing fees. Apple says that a Chinese ban on sales of the iPhone will force it to settle long-standing licensing battle with Qualcomm Inc., This outcome that may end up harming the country’s smartphone industry and give its fiercest legal rival a boost.

The ruling on Apple comes at times when Washington and Beijing are in sensitive trade negotiations. Apple said it will push out a software update in China early next week with iOS 12.1.2 update which will address functions covered by the patents in question. Apple had argued for years that Qualcomm which owns a lot of patents to modern wireless communications is abusing its position and levying punitive fees.

China is also the production base for most iPhones as well as the iPad and Mac. Apple warned that the ban would hurt manufacturers like Foxconn and other suppliers. The company has noted that it has created 5 million jobs across the country’s supply chain and third-party software developers. Qualcomm seeking bans on the sale of iPhones would force Apple to the negotiating.

Apple regarding the court order said:

Apple will be forced to settle with the Respondent, causing all mobile phone manufacturers to relapse into the previous unreasonable charging mode and pay high licensing fees, resulting in unrecoverable losses in the downstream market of mobile phones.

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