WWII-era dispute could ensnarl release of 2019 iPhones

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iPhone 11 rumor from Olixar
Apple could feel the fallout from a dispute between Japan and South Korea.
Photo: Olixar

Another dispute between countries looms over Apple, but this one dates back to World War II and could cause the tech giant heartburn as it readies the lineup of 2019 iPhones.

Japan will tighten export restrictions on South Korea for materials used to make smartphone chips and displays beginning Thursday. Japan imposed the rule after a court in South Korea ordered Japan’s Nippon Steel to compensate South Koreans for wartime forced labor.

Qualcomm fined for offering illegal kickbacks to phone-makers

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Qualcomm patents
Qualcomm lost its battle with South Korea's FTC.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has suffered a blow by losing a lawsuit to South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission. Korea’s FTC alleged unfair business practices that allowed Qualcomm to hold onto its monopoly position as a mobile chip maker.

The case covers the 2000 to 2009 period, but Qualcomm has spent the past decade fighting it. Qualcomm must pay a total of $242 million in damages, although part of this will be reconsidered at a lower court.

Apple hits back at complaints it is abusing its power in Korea

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South Korea3
A view from inside Apple's first South Korea retail store.
Photo: Apple

Apple has hit back at claims that it is abusing its power in South Korea by forcing mobile carriers to pay the cost of advertising its devices.

The company said that its actions were fully justified, and that selling the iPhone in South Korea wasn’t just advantaging Apple, but also to local mobile carriers.

Apple rewards Korean cops who caught counterfeit accessories

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Lightning cables that plug into USB-C ports charge your iPhone more quickly.
Haul included counterfeit cables and earphones.
Photo: Apple

Apple is planning to present police officers in South Korea with a plaque to celebrate their work cracking down on almost $1 million worth of fake accessories.

The fake products were supposedly shipped in from China under the guise of being official Apple products. Their distributors are under investigation for potential fraud and trademark violation.

Apple makes retailers cough up for iPhone display models

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iPhone sales
Apple makes retailers jump through hoops to sell iPhones.
Photo: Apple

A group of Korean smartphone retailers are upset at Apple for forcing them to purchase in-store tester iPhones. This differs from the usual practice of manufacturers, who will provide free display smartphones and pick them up later.

Apple, it seems, thinks different.

Fortnite smashes its concurrent players record

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Fortnite
Fortnite isn't going anywhere soon.
Photo: Epic Games

If you thought Fortnite already reached its peak, think again.

Epic Games confirms that its hit Battle Royale game now boasts a staggering 8.3 million concurrent players worldwide. The number more than doubled since February, thanks in part to the game’s recent launch in South Korea.

iPhone X and iPad Pro imports risk being banned in South Korea

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2018 iPhone
Apple is accused of violating a patent belonging to one of South Korea's top research institutes.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A number of Apple devices, including the iPhone X and iPad Pro, run the risk of being banned from South Korea, the home of Apple’s long-time frenemy Samsung.

The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy is currently investigating allegations that Apple has infringed on a patent belonging to KAIST, a public research university based in South Korea. The investigation period has already been extended twice, and BusinessKorea suggests that the regulatory commission is likely to make its “final determination” in favor of KAIST.

Here’s how much each country makes off the iPhone 7

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iPhone-7
The major components for the iPhone 7 come from a variety of counties. Most at of the profit still goes to the U.S.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone is made in China, so most of the profit stays over there, right? Actually, everything in that sentence is wrong.

A new study finds that China makes less than $9 from each iPhone 7. Some of the rest goes to other Asian countries, but the lion’s share is earned by Apple and other U.S. companies.

Apple accused of abusing relationship with carriers in South Korea

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2018 iPhone
Apple is in trouble with South Korean regulators.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple faces the prospect of sanctions in Samsung’s stomping ground of South Korea. The country’s antitrust watchdog is reportedly none too happy about Apple passing along advertising and repair costs to local telecom operators.

It’s the latest criticism of Apple in a country whose antitrust watchdog has sometimes been accused of taking steps to hurt foreign companies doing business.