Apple releases iOS update to resolve Qualcomm patent dispute

1 min read

Apple has released an update to its mobile operating system iOS in an effort to settle a patent dispute brought to a Chinese court by US chipmaker Qualcomm.

The company released iOS 12.1.2 on Monday, which aims to address Qualcomm’s concerns. It also forms part of a broader update to resolve eSIM issues.

Qualcomm responded by saying that Apple is violating the court’s ruling even with the update.

“Apple’s statements following the issuance of the preliminary injunction have been deliberate attempts to obfuscate and misdirect,” Don Rosenberg, executive vice president at Qualcomm, said in a statement to Reuters.

The company said Apple has not yet been given permission to sell its devices in China.

Apple last week announced that the update would be released after a court in the eastern city of Fuzhou granted two preliminary injunctions to Qualcomm requiring Apple to cease selling certain model iPhones in China.

Apple then lodged an appeal. The company also said that the disputed patents, which include features related to photo editing and swiping on touchscreen displays, will not affect iPhone’s latest software.

It also said that the sale of iPhones in the country continued as normal, with offline and online retailers stocking its products.

Nevertheless, according to a court document (in Chinese) acquired by Chinese media Yicai, the Fuzhou Intermediate Court’s decision mentioned no specific mention of an operating system but did specify the patents.

The document also shows that Qualcomm’s case against Apple was filed on Nov. 15, 2017. The company had appealed to the court to ban the sale of seven iPhone models in China as far back as July 2018.

While iPhones have so far remained unaffected by the US-China trade war, US President Donald Trump said last month that tariffs could be imposed on smartphones and laptops that are made in China. Apple’s suppliers have said they would consider pulling production from China if higher tariffs are imposed amid the trade war between the US and China.

According to Apple’s fiscal report for the fourth quarter 0f 2018, sales revenues in the Greater China area were $11.4 billion, 18.1% of the company’s total sales recorded for the period.