Qualcomm wins preliminary Apple iPhone ban in China

Qualcomm wins preliminary Apple iPhone ban in China
According to a report from Reuters that was released this morning, chip designer Qualcomm said that China's Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court ruled in its favor, and has placed a preliminary ban on the importation and sale in China of certain Apple iPhone models. The court agreed with Qualcomm, ruling that Apple infringed on a pair of Qualcomm patents related to software that resizes photos, and helps those with a touchscreen device manage their applications.

The models covered by the ban include the iPhone 6s through the iPhone X, sold with older versions of Apple's iOS operating system pre-installed. Apple released a statement saying that these models remain on sale in China, but are loaded with a more recent version of iOS.

UPDATE:Apple has appealed the ruling (via CNBC). While Qualcomm General counsel Don Rosenberg says that the orders from the court are not specific to the version of iOS installed on the phones, Apple says, "All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China. Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts."

Apple and Qualcomm are embroiled in several lawsuits, and as a result, Apple has dropped Qualcomm as a supplier of modem chips for the iPhone. Instead, this year Apple went exclusively with Intel. Late last month, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf hinted that his company is "on the doorstep" of resolving its differences with Apple. However, a statement released today by the iPhone manufacturer calls the chip designer a "desperate company" that has committed "illegal practices." That doesn't sound to us like words of endearment.


Qualcomm has also filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), seeking an import ban against the iPhone in the states. In the U.S. back in September, an ITC judge ruled that Apple did infringe on a Qualcomm patent, but added that he wouldn't impose a ban on U.S. imports of the iPhone.

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