China court orders ban on iPhone sale

The Chinese People’s Court has ordered immediate ban on iPhone sales in China. The verdict came after the US chip giant Qualcomm took Apple to court for violation of three patents.

The court banned sales of all the previous iPhone models between the iPhone 6S and iPhone X. The recent iPhone models iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max remain unaffected.

Apple said its iPhone models will be available in China, and have appealed against the verdict.

If the court ruling is upheld it will adversely impact Apple’s revenues in China – it includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. China is currently the company’s third largest market, Apple earned 1/5 th of its total sales from China.  Apple earned over US$ 260 billion in global sales last year.

The recent iPhone models XR and XS are not included in the court ruling, as these devices were not released when the suit was filed in 2017.

The timing of the court order comes amid the ongoing US-China trade war and the Huawei CFO arrest.

Chinese smartphone makers Vivo, Oppo, Huawei Technologies, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor and Xiaomi ranked top five in China. Apple came sixth, the ban of older iPhone models will trim Apple sales and affect manufacturers.

Although the court order was issued in Fuzhou, it is effective nationwide. However, many resellers and e-commerce platforms have not received a formal notice to halt sales.