On December 10, 2018, qualcomm announced that the fuzhou intermediate people's court granted qualcomm temporary injunction in two lawsuits against four Chinese subsidiaries of apple inc., requiring them to immediately stop infringing two patents of qualcomm, including importing, selling and promising to sell unauthorized products in China.
According to the ban, apple will ban the sale of seven phones in China, including the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The court found that apple violated two qualcomm software patents related to resizing photos and managing applications on touch screens, Reuters reported.
Some analysts believe that according to the verdict, apple can avoid the ban by simply upgrading the software.
In response, global market research institute TrendForce pointed out that qualcomm and apple's patent litigation time is not short, we believe that apple's three new machines launched last year (equipped with A11 processor) should have a way to avoid patent infringement dispute filing. It remains to be seen whether the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 plus/iPhone X patent infringement can be resolved through software upgrades.
"All iPhone models are still available to our customers in China," apple said in a subsequent statement. Qualcomm has filed three patents it has never filed before, one of which has lapsed. Qualcomm's efforts to ban our products are another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are being investigated by regulators around the world.
As we all know, the patent fight between apple and qualcomm has a long history. Qualcomm used to be apple's core supplier, especially in the baseband chips of mobile phones, and apple was very dependent on qualcomm's technology and product supply.
But starting in early 2017, apple sued qualcomm, accusing it of retaliating against apple for cooperating with antitrust authorities and refusing to refund the promised $1 billion in licensing fees. In a 134-page defense last April, gto denied apple's allegations and sued the company in various countries for patent infringement, accusing apple of instigating iPhone suppliers to default on patent fees owed to qualcomm.
Qualcomm filed a lawsuit against apple in a Chinese court in December. The patent war escalated further.
It is understood that the patent war between apple and qualcomm has expanded to 6 countries and 16 jurisdictions around the world. The number of lawsuits has been more than 50, and most of them are still under trial. The types of patents involved are complex and diverse.
Now, although qualcomm has obtained the court's recognition and support for some patents in the Chinese market, thus obtaining the sales injunction, industry insiders pointed out that apple still has a five-day review period, but the review does not affect the implementation. In fact, apple also applied to the court for reconsideration in the first time, which is the first step to appeal against the preliminary injunction.
Rao is right, this incident also is not completely without influence to apple smartphone sale in China area.
According to TrendForce data, about 30% of apple's sales in China belong to iPhone 7 series and iPhone 6 series, while the sales of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR account for 70%.
TrendForce estimates apple will sell 45 million iphones in China in 2018, down 10 percent from 2017. However, due to the saturation of the Chinese market and the weak momentum of mobile phone demand, if combined with the unresolved dispute with qualcomm, some models cannot be sold, it may worsen apple's sales situation and lead to further downward revision of its sales.
In terms of total global production in 2018, TrendForce believes that at the end of the year, the production plan is roughly determined, so apple's total production is expected to be 220 million units this year. If the impact of the trade dispute continues to expand, the decline in total production in 2019 is likely to increase to more than 10 percent.