There's a big possibility that Apple's latest upcoming flagship, the iPhone 8, won't be sold in the United States. This is due to a dispute between the tech giant and the large mobile chip manufacturer, Qualcomm, over Apple's refusal to pay a licensing fee for the chip maker's patent.
According to a report from ValueWalk, the dispute started when Apple decided to stop paying Qualcomm a licensing fee for the use of its patent. It doesn't matter whether Apple uses Qualcomm's chips or not, patent law allows the company to charge a licensing fee for the use of its patent.
The fee amounts to a percentage of the cost of each iPhone device Apple sells, which the report says could be worth billions of dollars. But with Apple now refusing to pay the fee, Qualcomm is looking to take legal action, like banning the iPhone 8 and other iPhone devices in the U.S.
The report said that sources familiar with Qualcomm's plans claim that the chip maker is seeking the assistance of the International Trade Commission to impose the ban on Apple. This shows that Qualcomm is looking to resolve this dispute quickly, as the commission is known to resolve cases quicker than federal district courts.
This could mean that the launch of the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7s and the 7s Plus could be delayed. This could also mean a shortage of stocks for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPhone SE in the U.S, which would force American citizens to travel abroad to purchase the device.
But it seems not paying the licensing fee is not the only thing that Qualcomm is complaining about, as Komando reports that the chip maker also claims Apple didn't use the full potential of the iPhone 7 chips. The chip maker said that Apple is doing this to prevent users from "realizing that iPhones containing Qualcomm chipsets performed far better" than the ones that had Intel installed in them.
Though Qualcomm has a valid point in, ValueWalk says it's highly unlikely that Apple's iPhone lineup will be banned. Apple already tried doing it to Samsung back in 2013 and 2015 but to no avail, as the courts refuse to use such an aggressive solution. In the meantime, check out the latest news about the iPhone 8 in the video below.