Apple to Resolve Qualcomm's Patent Dispute Through a Software Update in China

Apple to update iPhone software after threat of China ban

For now, Qualcomm believes the ban is already in force, but all models of iPhone remain available to purchase in China.

Apple will update iPhones in China with new software next week that the company says will address the contentious features Qualcomm claims infringe its patents.

Apple is pushing updates to older iPhones in China as a result of its failed court case against Qualcomm which resulted in a preliminary injunction banning iPhone sales in China.

Recently, a Chinese court ruled in favour of Qualcomm, which claimed Apple infringed on a couple of its patents.

Apple made a statement to Reuters, stating that the software "updates" will be released to the affected devices in China next week. Apple's response underscores the importance of the Chinese market, as well as Qualcomm's crucial role as a technology provider to the likes of Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp.

"We respect the Fuzhou court and its ruling", said Apple in the statement.

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The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two USA companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. In all fairness, Apple isn't technically wrong. If this comes to pass, it would be an enormous win for Qualcomm in its years-long fight with Apple over alleged patent licensing infringement.

Qualcomm had sued Apple over two patents, one about photo editing and the other one about touchscreen gestures.

The dispute in China comes at a time when Apple's Greater China sales - the third-largest contributor to Apple's revenue by region - are already under pressure as the U.S. company faces stiff competition from domestic players offering high-spec models with lower price tags than high-end iPhone handsets.

Apple's patent battle with Qualcomm in China has intensified this week, with Qualcomm seeking a broader ban and Apple claiming it has a workaround to avoid Qualcomm's patents. In so doing, Apple could render the ban void before it even starts to have an impact on iPhone shipments and sales.

The ban comes as the trade war between the USA and China rages on.

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