In Brief

Apple plans update to dodge China iPhone ban

Tech giant is embroiled in multiple legal disputes with chipmaker Qualcomm

Apple is to begin issuing software updates for its older iPhones in a bid to dodge a potential sales ban in China. 

A Chinese court issued an injunction on Tuesday against imports and sales of most of Apple’s iPhone line-up after US-based chipmaker Qualcomm accused the tech giant of violating two of its patents. 

The contested patents relate to photo editing and touchscreen apps, and can be found in all models from 2015’s iPhone 6S to last year’s iPhone X.

However, the Financial Times claims Qualcomm had also been seeking to ban this year’s iPhone XS and XR models prior to today’s announcement. 

An Apple spokesperson told Reuters: “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.”

But the company insisted that its smartphones were compliant “based on the iPhone models we offer today in China”.

While court approval should allow Apple to continue selling older iPhones in China, it’s unlikely to bring its “dispute” with Qualcomm to an end, says The Verge

The two companies have been embroiled in a host of legal disputes, with Qualcomm recently attempting to block the sale of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR in the US over similar patent infringements, the tech site says. Apple also accused the chipmaker of “dramatically overcharging” for its patents. 

Still, until the update is released, the “uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets” will continue, the Daily Mail says.

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