The legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple is deepening, and the chipmaker has recently sought action to stop the latter from being able to manufacture and sell iPhones in China.
China is a very important market for most technology companies, especially Apple. It is where most iPhones and its parts are made, and its over-a-billion population easily makes it one of the largest consumer markets for Apple products.
The report was confirmed by the chipmaker's spokesperson, Christine Trimble, and added that the lawsuit was filed with Beijing's intellectual property court last Sept. 29. Qualcomm reiterated that Apple had infringed patents owned by them, which made them entitled to "injunctive relief."
Trimble also told Bloomberg: "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them."
Meanwhile, as for Apple, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant maintained that Qualcomm's claims were without merit.
In a statement, an Apple representative said: "Apple believes deeply in the value of innovation, and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. In our many years of ongoing negotiations with Qualcomm, these patents have never been discussed and in fact were only granted in the last few months."
Apple then claimed that Qualcomm had repeatedly been found "guilty of abusing their position" by industry officials in several countries. Added to that, it also called the lawsuit one of Qualcomm's "courtroom maneuvers." Apple is confident that the court decision will go in their favor.
On the other hand, in the history of China's business world, there had not been any case similar to what Qualcomm seeks to happen.
Apple also cannot afford to lose even just one day of production, now that they are seen to suffer from persistent supply shortages until next year in the light of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X release.
Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst Mike Walkley also told Bloomberg that the lawsuit filed by Qualcomm could be their way of forcing Apple to start negotiating with them again.
If, by any chance, the Beijing court grants Qualcomm's request, Walkley sees Apple going back to the negotiating table and might even pay their rival for a short-term agreement so they could proceed with their production schedule.