Qualcomm isn’t happy that Apple is still selling iPhones in China


iPhone in China
Qualcomm thinks Apple is violating a court order by continuing to sell iPhones.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple and Qualcomm have found yet another thing to disagree over in their long-running feud. A court in China recently issued an order banning Apple from selling several older iPhone models. Apple subsequently released an iOS update which it claims stopped it infringing on the software patents in the complaint.

However, Qualcomm is not satisfied, and insists that Apple is breaking the law by keeping all of its iPhone models on sale.

“Despite Apple’s efforts to downplay the significance of the order and its claims of various ways it will address the infringement, Apple apparently continues to flout the legal system by violating the injunctions,” Qualcomm’s general counsel told Reuters.

Part of the confusion appears to be over the wording of the court orders, which refers to software features instead of operating systems. While Apple claims it has therefore rectified the problem, Qualcomm does not feel that it has the right to continue selling iPhones without an explicit order.

“They are legally obligated to immediately cease sales, offers for sale and importation of the devices identified in the orders and to prove compliance in court,” Qualcomm’s representative said this week.

Apple wants to keep selling iPhones in China

Why Apple would want to return to selling iPhones as quickly as possible is no mystery. Apple has acknowledged that a ban of these iPhones in China would cost it millions of dollars a day, and force it to settle with Qualcomm.

It claims that it is in full compliance with the Chinese court order with its new software update. We’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

Apple and Qualcomm are scheduled to meet in court next April. Qualcomm alleges that Apple owes it $7 billion in royalties. It also claims that Apple has stolen its proprietary trade secrets and passed them on to Intel.