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Apple hit by China iPhone sales ban - but will it be enforced?

Since the ban went into effect, Apple has argued that it does not apply to any of the iPhones it now sells due to the fact they run iOS 12, not iOS 11. "Qualcomm's effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world", Apple originally said.

Apple states that, "based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance". Apple's update would presumably alter or remove some of the phones' features, but the company told Reuters the functionality related to the patents was "minor".

The ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm has lead the Chinese court to ban sales of older iPhones - from iPhone 6s - iPhone X, a couple of days ago.

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Ultimately, it will be up to the Chinese courts to decide if this future software update will be enough to avoid the sales ban. What are your thoughts on the Apple-Qualcomm dispute over potential patent infringements?

Despite Apple's claims that specific iOS versions do not infringe upon patents, Qualcomm is still seeking an injunction against the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR which all ship with iOS 12 installed. Qualcomm has not provided us with details of the specific patents Apple has infringed, but software patents often cover broad, vaguely worded concepts, leaving it open to interpretation which software might infringe them. While the court order doesn't make specific reference to the software of the banned devices, Apple does have a leg to stand on.

The ban comes as the trade war between the United States and China rages on.

"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". It says the harm done by the ban to itself, the Chinese government and other companies will be "irreparable".

"We respect the Fuzhou court and its ruling", said Apple in the statement.


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