Published: Sun, December 16, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Qualcomm wants China to ban the iPhone XS and XR

Qualcomm wants China to ban the iPhone XS and XR

Earlier this week, a court in China ruled that Apple is infringing two Qualcomm patents and issued injunctions against the sale of six versions of the iPhone in the country. However, if U.S. President Donald Trump decides to increase tariffs on smartphones, Apple officials have disclosed that the company might need to move production operations outside of China, since a large portion of iPhones is manufactured by the Cupertino giant's Chinese partner companies.

Despite the injunction, Apple said on Monday that its iPhones remain on sale on mainland China. The injunction, which is preliminary and subject to rounds of appeals, centers on the court's decision that Apple violated the same two Qualcomm patents in older models.

As detailed in Qualcomm's press release following the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court ruling, the software patents Apple was found to be infringing are created to help users reformat and change the appearance and size of photographs, as well as to manage apps when navigating between and dismissing applications.

Yang Wu, head of the All-China Patent Attorneys Association, said two United States tech heavyweights availing themselves of a Chinese court for IP cases shows that they are more confident about the country's court rulings.

The lawyer said that similar lawsuits aimed at Apple's latest XS, XS Max and XR models were pending in courts in Beijing, the Financial Times reported. Qualcomm also owns patents on key pieces of mobile technology that Apple and other manufacturers use in their products.

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According to several new Apple job listings Apple wants engineers to design and develop a layer one cellular PHY chip - implying that the company is working on actual, physical networking hardware.

China is also the production base for most iPhones as well as the iPad and Mac.

The court action also comes amid a backdrop of increased trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and the arrest in Canada of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei at the request of U.S. authorities.

Qualcomm's case involving the ITC kicked off in July a year ago.

"This is what Qualcomm needed to get some leverage to try to get Apple to finalize a deal", said Mike Walkley at Canaccord Genuity LLC.

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