Two months ago Qualcomm threaten to file a complaint against Apple at International Trade Commission (ITC) demanding that all imports of iPhones in United States to be blocked. Now the chipset maker actually filed that complaint.
Everything started when Qualcomm said that Apple is using its patents on iPhones without paying any royalties, so they sued the Cupertino-based company. In response, Apple sued Qualcomm for charging too much for its patents. As the allegations escalated Qualcomm threaten Apple that they will ask for an import ban for its smartphones in the US. Now Qualcomm stopped talking and started walking.
The chipset maker filed the complaint and now they are waiting for ITC’s reply. But as we noted back in May, the chances are slim to none. Back in 2013, ITC issued an import ban for more of Apple’s gadgets, because the US company was found to illegally use Samsung patents.
In order for such a drastic decision to become effective, it must be approved by the US president. Back in 2013, Obama vetoed the ban order. So, if Qualcomm get ITC’s approval, they have to take it to Donald Trump.
Also, we cannot rule this possibility completely. Donald Trump is known for its demand that American companies to bring back the production into the country. Trump might use this situation to force Apple to accelerate its plans to build new factories in the US, by agreeing with a temporary ban.
Still, since May, Donald Trump and Tim Cook met a couple of times and it seems that the relationship between Washington and Cupertino are better now. So, it would be a very, very big surprise if iPhone imports would be banned in the US.