Qualcomm found a clever way to make the life of Apple more difficult. The Chinese court admitted that the Cupertino giant had violated two patents belonging to Qualcomm. Therefore, Apple should stop selling in China selected models of smartphones with the logo of a bitten apple. This applies to iPhones from 6S to X. On the other hand, Apple thinks that the case solves the upgrade to iOS 12. Qualcomm believes differently and will ask for an extension of the ban, which would ultimately cut even new XS, XS Max and XR models.
Once Qualcomm was one of Apple’s most important partners. However, this has changed with the release of the iPhone 7. It was the first Californian smartphone that was equipped with Intel mobile modems. Earlier it was the Qualcomm systems that were responsible for wireless connectivity in Apple devices. It was the beginning of a fierce patent war. Qualcomm began to sue the Cupertino giant for violating a number of different patents. Some of them were directly related to hardware solutions. However, Qualcomm also has patents related to software in its “arsenal”. Two of them concern changing the image size and navigating applications using the touch screen. The Chinese court found that Apple’s smartphones are violating solutions patented by Qualcomm. Therefore, it was forbidden to sell and import the best-selling iPhones in China.
Qualcomm and Apple interpret the court’s judgment differently
The binding ban in China applies to the following smartphones: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Apple lawyers tried to initially prove that Qualcomm refers to previously unpublished patents. The dispute initially concerned 3 patents, but one of them was rejected. At the same time, this issue is not relevant at the moment. The Cupertino specs stated that iOS 12 no longer uses proprietary solutions. Fortunately, each of the iPhones listed in the ban can be updated to the latest version of the operating system. That’s why Apple did not comply with the court’s judgment. In turn, Qualcomm believes that the operating system version does not matter. The verdict applies to specific iPhones, not to the installed software. That’s why Apple should adapt to the verdict. If this were the case, only 3 of the latest models, i.e. iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, could be sold in Chinese stores.