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iPhone China ban? Qualcomm claims victory in patent war, Apple says otherwise

Apple has been ordered to halt sales of its iPhone handsets in China, according to Qualcomm, which claims it has obtained an injunction against the sale of certain models.

In the latest barb in a lengthy intellectual property legal fight between the two tech giants, Qualcomm says Apple can no longer legally sell the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X in China.

In a patent battle that has been waged between the two companies over claims from Qualcomm that Apple uses its patented technology, within phones running the iOS 11 operating system, without permission.

Related: iPhone XS vs iPhone XR

“We deeply value our relationships with customers, rarely resorting to the courts for assistance, but we also have an abiding belief in the need to protect intellectual property rights,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel.

“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us. These Court orders are further confirmation of the strength of Qualcomm’s vast patent portfolio.”

For Apple’s part, a spokesperson issued a strong statement, pointing out all models remain on sale in China, calling Qualcomm’s legal challenge a “desperate move.” It also said the legal injunction pertains to patents that Qualcomm is yet to raise.

The spokesperson told CNBC: “Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world.”

“All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China. Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”

The newest iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR are thought to be underperforming, with Apple employing uncharacteristic marketing techniques and scaling down production of its 2018 handsets.

Have you held off upgrading to one of the new iPhone models? Has the range finally peaked? Drop us a line with your thoughts @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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