Apple today released iOS 12.1.2 for iPhones only, and the version available in China addresses two Qualcomm patent violations.
In the United States and elsewhere, iOS 12.1.2 includes eSIM and cellular connectivity bug fixes. But in China only, this update addresses the two patent infringements at the center of a legal dispute that Apple has lost with Qualcomm in that country. These include a new animation for manually closed apps and a new share sheet for setting contact and wallpaper images.
Whether these changes actually meet the needs of the sales ban there is unclear, but it’s unlikely. For starters, one of the patent infringements involves using multi-touch to resize photos, and this update doesn’t change how that functionality works.
Apple has separately stated that a sales ban would cause “irreparable harm” to Apple, “many other companies, consumers, and [the Chinese] government,” the latter of which “may suffer hundreds of thousands of tax losses.”
No matter. The iPhone sales ban in China is a matter of law. And it doesn’t appear that this change addresses the issue entirely.
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