Apple, facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm patents, said on Friday (Dec 14) it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
"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".
Qualcomm was not pleased with the development, but as it continues to battle with Apple over the validity and application of its patents, it has publicly said that it wants to also target the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR models for injunctions. Currently, all the models of the iPhone are available in China. I mean, even if Qualcomm manages to win the case, the patents in question, won't be infringed by Apple's new iOS 12. The filing points that the ban would force settle Apple's ongoing dispute with Qualcomm.
However, Apple does not mince words when describing how destructive an Apple sales ban in China would be. This software update will change and/or remove the disputed Qualcomm technology, which Apple hopes will allow the company to avoid the sales ban.
Qualcomm had sued Apple over two patents, one about photo editing and the other one about touchscreen gestures. However Apple claimed the chip-maker was trying to squeeze an unfair percentage of licensing fees out of the deal, and artificially control the LTE market.
Like Apple, Chinese smartphone makers had argued for years that Qualcomm - which owns a swathe of patents essential to modern wireless communications - is abusing its position and levying punitive fees.
Apple also emphasizes the notion that an iPhone ban in the country could cost it millions of dollars per day and would also impact the Chinese government and consumers.