n the latest of Apple’s many troubles in China, a court has ordered a ban on the sale and marketing of seven iPhone models, from the 6S to the iPhone X, though the situation really isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The ban comes after two preliminary injunctions were granted by the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court regarding Apple’s longtime courtroom battle against chipmaker Qualcomm, which has accused the company’s iOS of violating its patents. In this case, the patents at issue deal with how users are able to resize and reformat images and how they are able to switch between touchscreen apps.
Apple has been quick to play down the significance of the ruling, asserting that it only affects older versions of iOS, not the iOS 12 that is available for all of the “banned” phones. Meanwhile, the company says that its sales in China have not been affected in any way — indicating China’s unwillingness/inability to actually enforce the court decision.
“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in a statement to the press, referencing how Qualcomm has been accused of effectively abusing its monopoly on key patents, licensing them out at too-high rates. For its part, Qualcomm believes that Apple owes it more than $7 billion in royalties and licensing fees.
While it appears that nothing will come of this “ban,” the ruling is still a frightening one for Apple. China is Apple’s second-largest market, providing one-fifth of its revenue, and the company has been forced to jump through many a hoop to stabilize its slipping sales in the country.