A hot potato: Apple thinks it can solve some of its legal issues with Qualcomm by releasing an iOS update, but Qualcomm is still proceeding with actions to try and get the latest iPhones banned in China.
Now that Qualcomm has successfully been granted an injunction against certain models of the iPhone in China, Apple is working to push out an iOS update that will attempt to remove the alleged infringing aspects. An Apple spokesperson released the following statement on the matter. "Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case."
Patents in question are related to how images are resized and how applications are managed. Apple is claiming that iOS 12 does not infringe on either of the two patents at the core of the latest dispute with Qualcomm. Even if Apple does force all iPhone users in China to upgrade to the current version of iOS, Qualcomm is still seeking a settlement.
Apple is arguing that a settlement with Qualcomm could be detrimental to China's mobile industry. Cupertino is claiming that licensing agreements and patent royalties paid to Qualcomm could spiral out of control if a settlement is forced upon them.
However, the nature of the ongoing dispute between the two companies is unlikely to just go away anytime soon. Accusations ranging from theft of trade secrets to infringement on processor technologies are fairly major issues. Qualcomm has even fought back by going after Apple's manufacturing partners for continuing to produce iPhones that are said to be in violation of patents.
Despite Apple's claims that specific iOS versions do not infringe upon patents, Qualcomm is still seeking an injunction against the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR which all ship with iOS 12 installed.
Once Apple does push out an iOS update to its Chinese users, Qualcomm is unlikely to change its course of legal action. Until a resolution is found, rivals such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Samsung will continue on their path to capturing even more of the Chinese market.