Qualcomm and Apple’s legal fight has seemingly taken another turn, this time with its eyes set on China. The chip maker has filed lawsuits in China which would ban the sale and manufacturing of Apple’s iPhones in the country. This would be its biggest move against Apple, who has been suing Qualcomm over royalty payments which the Cupertino-based company believes Qualcomm is overcharging for. Qualcomm makes a big chunk of its revenue from royalties for all kinds of different things, and Apple along with some other customers of Qualcomm, believe that the company is overcharging for these patents. It’s a lawsuit that has been going on for over a year now.
Qualcomm’s spokeswoman, Christine Trimble stated that “Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them.” The suits that were filed by the company today are claiming patent infringement and are also seeking injunctive relief for Qualcomm. Apple has not commented on the lawsuits just yet. The patents in question, according to Qualcomm are three non-standard essential patents. This is important because standard essential patents have to be used and paid royalties, since they are essential to the smartphone’s use. These non-standard essential patents include power management and the technology used for Force Touch in Apple’s current iPhones and Macbooks.
If this ban or injunction is granted to Qualcomm, it could be a huge blow to Apple’s revenues. China is estimated to account for about 22.5% of Apple’s iPhone sales. Which is around $215.6 billion, in the past financial year. That’s a big chunk of iPhones for Apple, and with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus having just launched and the iPhone X just a few weeks away, this is a blow that Apple won’t be too happy with. Usually with these bans, they only last for a few weeks before something is worked out on both sides. It’s meant as a way to get both companies to the negotiating table so that something can be worked out. It’ll be interesting to see if this ban does take effect and what Apple’s next move is. It has already done a few shady tactics like telling its partners not to pay Qualcomm its royalties.