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Trouble for Apple? New lawsuit could ban sales in the U.S.

Trouble for Apple? New lawsuit could ban sales in the U.S.
Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

The iPhone just celebrated its 10th year anniversary and wow, it definitely changed the tech landscape immensely since its debut. But can you imagine a world without iPhones? What if the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 won't be gracing the market this year?

Sounds like a far-fetched idea? Well, this distinct possibility is rearing its ugly head because the world's biggest supplier of mobile chips is throwing its weight again - against Apple no less.

New Qualcomm vs Apple lawsuit

A new patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm against Apple is asking U.S. trade regulators to ban new iPhones from entering the country. The chipmaker is also seeking to halt the sales of iPhones that are already in the U.S.

The lawsuit claims that Apple is infringing on six Qualcomm patents that assist in extending the iPhone's battery life.

This is on top of the other patent lawsuits involving 3G and 4G technologies already filed by Qualcomm against Apple earlier this year. These lawsuits also seek for a U.S. importation ban on iPhones.

All the cases were filed with both the US International Trade Commission and the US District Court for the Southern District of California.

This extended battle between the two tech giants started earlier this year after Apple decided to sue Qualcomm to halt licensing payments.

Apple claimed that "Qualcomm is charging for technologies they have nothing to do with." For example, although Apple has started using 4G chips from Intel, the company still has to pay Qualcomm licensing fees because the Intel chips use some of Qualcomm's patents.

This prompted Qualcomm to file countersuits accusing Apple of violating multiple patents it holds while requesting a U.S. ban on current and upcoming iPhone models.

“Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards,” said Qualcomm legal counsel Don Rosenberg. “Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it.”

If the courts allow this U.S. iPhone ban to push through, it can be a crippling blow to Apple since the iPhone's U.S. market total accounts for 40 percent of the company's overall sales.

While this extended battle between the two companies is relentlessly heating up, we still think it's unlikely that a U.S. iPhone ban will be put in effect, given Apple's influence and clout. But as we approach the iPhone 8's release date in September and with the stakes getting higher, the fate of this epic clash of the titans is still up in the air.

What do you think? Will Apple and Qualcomm settle their differences soon? Drop us a comment!

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