Apple Attempts To Dodge China Ban By Updating iPhone Software


Apple has said that it will be releasing a new software update to its iPhone smartphones in China next week. The announcement comes as it looks for ways to work around an upcoming sales ban on some of its models.

Currently, the iPhone maker is involved in an ongoing global dispute with Qualcomm, the chipmaker, which claims that Apple has infringed some of its patents. Earlier this week, Qualcomm is appealing for a ban on the sales of some of the older models of the iPhone in a Chinese court as part of one of the many lawsuits that it filed against Apple.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said that it will be carrying out the updates “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order.”

It added: “Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance.”

Qualcomm claims that a court in China discovered that Apple had infringed two of its patents, and calle for an immediate halt on the sales of all iPhone models starting from the 6S to the iPhone X. An appeal against the decision has already been filed by Apple has and all models are still available for purchase on its Chinese website today.

According to the documents that were seen by Reuters, Apple and Qualcomm are in disagreement over whether the court order implies that the sales of the iPhone must be stopped immediately.

In the appeal, the legal representation for Apple claims that continuing to sell the iPhones does not constitute “irreparable harm” to Qualcomm, one of the significant factors included in the court’s injunction. It says that stopping the sales would affect its suppliers in China, the consumers and the tax revenue that it pays to Chinese authorities.

Qualcomm was required to pay a bond amounting to 300 million yuan (£34.5 million) to cover any potential damages to Apple as part of the sales ban. According to its reconsideration request, Apple has said that it is willing to pay a “counter security” bond that is double that amount to have the ban lifted.

Yesterday, Qualcomm said that it has called on the Chinese court to enforce the said ruling.