A Chinese court today accepted a request from the Qualcomm and established that certain models of iPhones may have imports and sales banned in the country, if Apple does not make a certain change in the software of the devices.
According to the Reuters, the iPhones 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X are in the process but, remember, only the iPhones 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus are still officially sold by Apple.
Apparently, the devices in question would be infringing two Qualcomm patents. However, interestingly, the reports are that Apple could resolve this by simply updating software.
Apple has already issued a statement on the ban, obtained by Axios:
Qualcomm's efforts to ban our products are yet another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world. All models of iPhones are still available to our consumers in China. Qualcomm has brought three patents that have never been challenged before, including one that has already been invalidated. We will take all reasonable steps in the courts.
And here's Qualcomm's:
Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us (for it). These court rulings are yet another confirmation of the strength of Qualcomm's broad patent portfolio.
Even if today's court order comes into effect, it would only affect the Chinese domestic market.
Update 12/10/2018 s 12:55
Apparently, the judicial determination is even more restricted: it does not affect devices that are running the iOS 12 or younger. That is, Apple does not even need to release a new update, so she said that all iPhones will continue to be sold in China after all, all new devices already come with iOS 12 installed at the factory.
What a weird thing!
Update II 12/10/2018 at 16:45
Even with the limited scope of the determination, Apple has already started filing documents for appeal the decision issued by the court.
Update III 12/12/2018 s 15:20
Obviously, Qualcomm is not not satisfied with Apple's argument that devices running iOS 12 would not be framed in the violation.
For Qualcomm, Apple would be violating the court order by insisting on selling its devices in China (and handed a video proving it to the court). But it is not she who decides this, of course. We will wait for the next chapters.
Update IV 12/13/2018 s 12:40
In addition to demanding that the court enforce its determination, Qualcomm has now filed documents seeking to extend the ban also to the three most recent models of iPhones XS, XS Max and XR.
She's doing her job, of course.