China bans the sale of iPhones

China complies with Qualcomm's wishes to restrict sale of older phones

Clare Hopping
12 Dec 2018
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A Chinese court has banned the sale of some older iPhones, after Qualcomm complained the devices violated its patents. However, IP lawyers within the country have said that it’s pretty impossible for the company to roll out a widespread ban of the devices, according to Reuters.

Qualcomm has demanded that countries ban the sale of its iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and iPhone X because they include chips that the company claims infringe two copyrights and should therefore not allowed to be sold. The newer iPhone XR and Xs models will still be allowed to be sold because they use completely different processors that apparently don’t infringe any patents.

“It’s incredibly unlikely, I’d say almost impossible (that Apple would have to stop sales),” a Chinese IP lawyer told Reuters. “In all likelihood it will drag on for some time. It’s worth keeping in mind that this is just one battle in a larger rift.”

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Apple said that its iPhones are still available to buy across mainland China and it will be filing an appeal to the court to overturn the decision. However, it’s likely the decision could be referred to China’s Supreme Court.

“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 said.

This latest news is part of an ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm worldwide that started at the end of last year. Qualcomm wants Apple devices to be withdrawn from sale across the world for infringing patents held by Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp.

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