Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

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The intellectual property writ is significant given the vast majority of iPhones are manufactured in China, which is also the world's largest smartphone market. Talking about these patents, Trimble says they are "examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits".

The two companies are months into a legal dispute that centers on Qualcomm's technology licensing business.

This is Qualcomm's second attempt to get a ban on iPhone sales.


Qualcomm says the patents cover power management and a Force Touch technology used in current iPhones.

Although Apple doesn't use Snapdragon processors in its iPhones, it's still on the hook for numerous patents Qualcomm owns. Suppliers and assemblers in China are rushing to churn out as many new iPhones as possible ahead of the key holiday season, so any disruptions would likely be costly. The deal now in place still requires that Apple pay a fee regardless of whether the phone includes a Qualcomm chip, though.

Apple is now rushing to manufacture as many iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X models during its busiest sales period of the year. In July, it filed a similar claim in the USA, pointing to six patents that it said Apple was in violation of. Apple proceeded to file suits making similar claims around the globe, and Qualcomm fired back in various places contending patent infringement. Earlier this week, Qualcomm was fined a record NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, a ruling the company is appealing. That's about $2 billion a year in highly profitable revenue, according to analyst estimates, and the chipmaker was forced to lower earnings forecasts.

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