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Apple will update iPhones in China in response to Qualcomm’s sales ban win

Apple vs. Qualcomm

Qualcomm a few days ago scored a legal win against Apple in China, obtaining an injunction against several iPhone versions over alleged patent infringements. The new iPhones aren’t affected by the ruling, but Qualcomm is looking to extend the ban to iPhone XS and iPhone XR. Apple, meanwhile, is contesting the injunction in court but also readying an iOS update that will fix the problems signaled in the patent war.

Apple will release the software update early next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” according to a statement made to Reuters.

“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said. “Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”

A Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple to be in violation of two Qualcomm patents, ordering an immediate sales ban on a wide range of iPhones, from iPhone 6S through the iPhone X.

Qualcomm and Apple have been embroiled for quite a while now in a complex royalties-and-patents battle around the world, and the recent development in China is just a temporary win. Qualcomm sued Apple in China in late 2017, saying that iPhones infringe on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touchscreen.

Apple, whose iPhones are still on sale in China, says the injunction should be lifted, as continuing to sell phones doesn’t constitute “irreparable harm” to Qualcomm. Apple tells the court that the ban request would also impact Chinese suppliers, consumers, and the state. The iPhone maker adds that the injunction could force Apple to settle with Qualcomm, Reuters explains, although it’s unclear whether Apple referred to this particular case or the whole “war.”

Qualcomm already paid a $43.54 million bond to cover potential damages to Apple and Apple is willing to pay a “counter security” of double that amount to get the ban lifted.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.