Apple reportedly rushed out iOS 12.1.2 to prevent sales ban in China
Earlier this month, Qualcomm was able to convince a court in China that Apple had infringed on a couple of its patents. That led the court to order a preliminary importation and sales ban in China for the Apple iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Apple iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The ban was issued on models running older versions of iOS, and Apple had thought that by updating the affected models with the latest version of iOS 12 (which was believed not to include Qualcomm's patented software), the status quo in China could be maintained.
But apparently Apple wasn't so certain that it could satisfy the court by loading iOS 12.1.1 on the models named by the court, especially after Qualcomm said it would ask the court to expand the ban to the 2018 iPhones. According to MacRumors, the company might have rushed out iOS 12.1.2 on Monday in order to continue selling the banned models in China.
While the changelist in the U.S. only mentioned a bug fix for eSIM activation on the 2018 iPhone models, and a bug fix for issues that prevented those in Turkey from achieving a cellular connection on their 2018 iPhones, the changelist in China had two additional listings. One said that iOS 12.1.2 introduces a new animation when force closing apps.
The Qualcomm patents that China's Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court ruled Apple had infringed on, deal with software that resizes photos and helps those with a touchscreen device manage their applications. As mentioned on the iOS 12.1.2 changelist in China, there is new animation when one force closes an open app on an iPhone in that country. Instead of moving off the screen when the user swipes up, open apps now shrink and disappear when swiped closed. Qualcomm seems to feel that this change was not enough to allow Apple to continue to sell the affected iPhone models in China. That battle will continue.
As for the all of the changes that Apple had planned to include with iOS 12.1.2, these will probably end up in iOS 12.1.3.