Qualcomm pursuing iPhone sales ban in China


US Chipmaker Qualcomm is attempting to strike a devastating blow to Apple's operations, with a lawsuit seeking to ban the manufacture and sale of the iPhone in China.

The legal battle started earlier this year when Apple filed an antitrust suit against Qualcomm arguing that the chipmaker's licensing practices are unfair, and that it abused its position as the biggest supplier of chips in phones.

If Qualcomm were to succeed, Apple's ability to quickly assemble iPhones would be gutted, while sales of iPhone devices would take a heavy hit.

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The parents relate to the Force Touch touchscreentech used in iPhones as well as the way Apple's handsets manage power.

"Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them", says Christine Trimble, a spokesperson for Qualcomm. A majority of Apple's revenue comes from the global sales of its iconic iPhones.

The company made the filings at the Beijing court on September 29, although the court has not yet made them public.

Spokespeople from Apple and Qualcomm did not reply to email requests for comment from eWEEK.

Although Apple doesn't use Snapdragon processors in its iPhones, it's still on the hook for numerous patents Qualcomm owns.

Apple's shares were up marginally, while Qualcomm shares were little changed in afternoon trading.

Back in January, Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because it complied with Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm.

Several IT analysts told eWEEK that the fight between the two companies is one to watch closely. "This is a ideal storm for Apple-in a bad way", because its newly launched iPhones are expected to bring in lots of holiday sales revenue for Apple and that expected revenue could now be seriously endangered by Qualcomm's latest legal action.