Last month, Apple decided to stop paying licensing fees to Qualcomm, the leading smartphone chipset manufacturer in the world, the company behind the popular Snapdragon processors. Sure the iPhone does not use these processors but that doesn’t seem to matter. According to a patent held by Qualcomm, they are supposed to be paid a percentage of every smartphone sold that has a modern high speed data technology. Now that Apple stopped paying up, Qualcomm has taken the case to ITC (International Trade Commission), they seek to ban the sales of the iconic iPhone in its home country.
The U.S is Apple’s biggest market, it accounts for 40% of their sales. A successful order for ban of sales would significantly cripple the company. The lawsuit specifically asks that the ITC stops the import of iPhones into the country. iPhones are built in China by a contractor called Foxconn, the rest of the world would continue receiving them apart from the U.S. The seek for the ban comes at a time when Apple wants to release their most ambitious iPhone yet, the iPhone 8 which marks the 10th Anniversary of these iconic gadgets.
For the ITC ban to occur, the President would have to sign off on it. Samsung had once successfully won a case against Apple that led to an order of the sales ban for iPhone 3GS and 4 as well as the initial iPad, iPad 2 and 3. However, President Obama used his veto power to overturn that order. It was within his constitutional right to do so, the economy of the U.S sure does benefit from the success of iPhones. However, this time round, both companies involved share the U.S as their home countries, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.