Apple Released a Software Update Designed to Sidestep iPhone Ban in China
Some of Apple’s iPhones have been banned from sale in China. But the company has now released a software update that could help it keep those handsets on store shelves.
Apple this week released a software update to its iOS operating system to slightly modify how the iPhone behaves, according to The Wall Street Journal. For instance, when people who have applied the update now swipe the screen up from the bottom when they want to close an app, the transition now looks different. Apple (AAPL) apparently believes that it’s enough to sidestep a Qualcomm patent on the technology.
In response, Qualcomm (QCOM) told the Journal that it will test the software update and see if it still runs afoul of its patents. If it does, Qualcomm indicated it would again push for a sales ban.
Apple’s move comes after Qualcomm won a preliminary injunction against several iPhone models that the company says, violates its patents. A Chinese court ordered a sales ban on those affected units. Qualcomm is also hoping to get the same ruling on Apple’s latest smartphones, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
For its part, Apple has said that the ban hasn’t affected Chinese iPhone sales and has committed to continuing its battle with Qualcomm. Apple has also asked the court to reconsider its decision. A final determination on the case might not come down until the middle of next year.
Neither Apple nor Qualcomm immediately responded to a Fortune request for comment.