Apple Warns iPhone Ban in China Would Force Settlement With Qualcomm, Will Use iOS Update to Bypass

Apple warns that banning iPhones in China could have serious consequences for both the company and the local economy, with the Cupertino-based tech giant reminding that it created 5 million jobs locally.


According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple’s response comes days after Qualcomm won a preliminary injunction that bans the import and sale of the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

The Cupertino company believes that banning iPhones in China would, in essence, force it to settle with Qualcomm, which would cause not only a major financial hit for Apple but also for other companies that would have to pay more for licensing.

“Apple will be forced to settle with the Respondent, causing all mobile phone manufacturers to relapse into the previous unreasonable charging mode and pay high licensing fees, resulting in unrecoverable losses in the downstream market of mobile phones,” Apple said in the December 10 court filing.

Apple also emphasizes the notion that an iPhone ban in the country could cost it millions of dollars per day and would also impact the Chinese government and consumers.

“Apple and many other companies, consumers, and government will suffer truly irreparable harm,” it says.

In the meantime, Apple said it will release an operating system update next week to avoid potential compliance issues in an ongoing patent dispute, according to a statement on Friday from the Cupertino, California-based company.

“We respect the Fuzhou court and its ruling,” said Apple in the statement. “Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance. To address any possible concern about our compliance with the order, early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”

In spite of the court injunctions, Apple has not pulled the affected iPhone models from its official online and offline sales platforms in China. On Thursday, Qualcomm confirmed that it has called on the court to enforce the rulings.