iPhone unit sales took a plunge in Q2, and people are continuously waiting to see which iPhone 8 rumors are true. Now Apple's battle with Qualcomm is looking like it is taking a nasty turn, as the latter is reportedly seeking to ban the import of iPhones to the United States.
Qualcomm's Beef With Apple
The battle is looking messy for Apple and Qualcomm, and it could not come at a worse time. It all began in January, when Apple sued Qualcomm over reportedly outrageous fees to license its cellular technology.
Earlier in April, Qualcomm retaliated by filing a countersuit against Apple, stating that Apple's legal claim is only a way to lessen its licensing fees and that Apple should not belittle Qualcomm's role in its domination of mainstream mobile technology market.
Now, to take the battle just that much further, Qualcomm decides to hit Apple where it hurts, as they are reportedly preparing to request the International Trade Commission to ban the importation of iPhones in the United States.
This possibly major threat to Apple is according to the report of an unidentified source.
What's The Threat?
If reports are true, then the threat is actually pretty big for Apple. For one thing, it is right in the middle of iPhone rumor season when people are excitedly buzzing about what the new iPhone lines could possibly feature or look like. Apple hasn't yet set an actual date for the release of the new units or even just a preview of its features, but that still doesn't stop the rumor mill from going.
News like this, though unlikely to derail the plans of a company as big as Apple, is not particularly welcoming especially when it is prepping for the release of a new line of products possibly this fall.
Another reason why this report comes at such bad timing for Apple is that its iPhone unit sales for Q2 did not quite come as planned. Its latest earnings results showed that 50.8 million iPhone units sold in Q2 did not match the expected sales of 52.2 million units.
That still isn't bad for a company such as Apple, but then again, it's not excellent for them either.
The ITC, where Qualcomm supposedly plans to request for the importation ban, has the advantage of speed when it comes to processing cases quicker than federal courts. As iPhones are usually built in Asia, the threat for Apple comes in the form of losing 40 percent of its sales that come in from the United States.
Still, even if the report is true and Qualcomm truly is trying to go for an iPhone ban, there's still no assurance that the request will be fulfilled. It is, however, beginning to look unlikely for the two companies to agree on a settlement, as both aren't just refusing to back down but are instead sinking their teeth in further.