Apple, responding to a Chinese court which found it violated two Qualcomm patents, argued a ban on iPhone sales in the mainland would force it to settle a long legal battle with the chipmaker, which would lead to higher royalties for the country’s smartphone makers, Bloomberg reported.
In a request for consideration, Apple said in a court filing (submitted in Mandarin with an English translation verified by Bloomberg): “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.”
Last week Qualcomm won a preliminary injunction banning the import and sale of several older iPhone models in China.
Richard Windsor, founder of research blog Radio Free Mobile, reckons Apple is attempting to convince the court that if it is forced to settle with Qualcomm, the Chinese handset industry (Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, et cetera) will be materially impacted.
However, he wrote Apple’s argument has no merit because China has already reached an IP deal with the chipmaker, meaning domestic makers will “adhere to that rather than anything else that Apple agrees with Qualcomm”.
Late last week Apple said it planned to issue software updates in China on some iPhones to avoid the ban, with the updates starting this week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order”.
The latest patent battle is one of many ongoing legal spats between Apple and Qualcomm regarding royalty payments and licensing terms. Apple has argued Qualcomm levies fees based on the selling prices of devices using its technology regardless of how much of the value is based on its IP.
Seperately, a lawyer for Apple contractors Hon Hai Precision (also known as Foxconn), Pegatron, Wistron and Compal Electronics, said they are not holding settlement talks over a legal battle with Qualcomm, which is set to go to trial in April 2019, Reuters reported.Subscribe to our daily newsletter