Apple to stop potential iPhone ban in China with a software update

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Apple has appealed against the ruling, and continues to sell both the older and newer iPhones in China.

Apple admitted that if it can not avoid the Chinese sales ban, it will be forced to settle with Qualcomm.

The update, which the company will start rolling early next week, should "address any possible concern about our compliance with the order", Apple told Reuters on Friday. The two patents these smartphones infringe cover how users adjust and reformat photos and how apps are managed using a phone's touch screen. The injunctions - which heavily favor Qualcomm - essentially put a Chinese sales ban into effect for the Apple iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

"Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance", Apple said.

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This software update will change and/or remove the disputed Qualcomm technology, which Apple hopes will allow the company to avoid the sales ban.

First and foremost, Apple says banning iPhones would basically force it to settle with Qualcomm, and this would cause not only a major financial hit for the Cupertino-based giant, but also for other companies that would have to pay more for licensing. Despite Apple revealing that the iPhone XR has remained the top-selling iPhone model since launch, and despite reports that Apple's manufacturing partners saw substantial revenue growth in November, it's impossible to ignore the sheer number of reports pointing to somewhat disappointing demand for the entry-level iPhone XR.

"That's one of the reasons why in a very complicated patent litigation case the judge would be reluctant to grant a preliminary injunction", said Yiqiang Li, a patent lawyer at Faegre Baker Daniels. But it looks like the chipmaker is hell bent on preventing Apple from selling any iPhone in the country. Qualcomm was once a key Apple supplier, providing baseband modems and more for iPhones and other devices. But it was not clear whether this referred to the latest case or their broader legal dispute.

iPhone models being banned in the Chinese market will also result in Apple losing hundreds of thousands in tax. "That's always the game".

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