Earlier this week, a Chinese court issued a set of preliminary injunctions in the patent fight between Apple and Qualcomm. Qualcomm has brought patent suits in China and other jurisdictions seeking bans on the sale of certain iPhone models to force Apple to the negotiating table. If this comes to pass, it would be an enormous win for Qualcomm in its years-long fight with Apple over alleged patent licensing infringement.
The iPhone maker said the planned update would address features covered by patents, which involve adjusting photographs and managing apps via a touchscreen.
The ruling from a local court - which came as Washington and Beijing embark on sensitive trade negotiations - pivots the battle over patent fees to the world's largest mobile arena. It creates uncertainty over Apple's business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
The patent infringement suits are seen as Qualcomm's way of getting back at Apple, after the latter sued it in the USA in January 2017 for allegedly overcharging on patents.
Apple admitted that if it can not avoid the Chinese sales ban, it will be forced to settle with Qualcomm.
Chip giant Qualcomm hopes to extend the range of iPhones banned in China, the Financial Times reported Thursday, December 13. The Chinese government "may suffer hundreds of thousands of tax losses" from the iPhone ban because of lost taxes from sales of the devices, it said, citing estimates of 50 million units sold in the country in 2017.
Apple says Qualcomm's patent claim can be undone with a software patch, and it is planning to do just that next week.