It appears that Apple is having some little iPhone troubles in big China. According to a report published by Bloomberg, the tech giant has been ordered by Chinese officials to halt the selling of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices in Beijing, the capital city of the most populated country in the world.
Apparently, the Intellectual Property regulator of the Chinese capital has determined that Apple’s 2014 iPhone models are in violation of a design patent currently owned by Shenzhen Baili for its 100C smartphone. The ruling was published by the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau last May, and applies only to Beijing. However, this decision could influence similar cases in other parts of China.
Industry watchers have mixed reactions to this decision. As put forth by Bloomberg, Apple can still decide to appeal the ruling, and while in the process of doing that, continue to sell the devices in Beijing. The Wall Street Journal meanwhile believes that a number of retail establishments based in the city of Beijing have already stopped selling the iPhone models and are shifting to newer versions of the device. WSJ further added that Apple is looking to cease production of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus soon because it is preparing to launch a new flagship device later this year anyway.
China is widely considered the biggest market for mobile devices across the globe, but Apple, a worldwide mobile powerhouse, has had to go through some obstacles recently trying to improve its presence in the country. Several months ago for instance, the Chinese government blocked the iPhone maker’s book and movie services because they were in violation of foreign publishing regulations. And three years ago, China accused Apple of having poor customer service.
Moreover, the slowing smartphone sales in the Chinese mobile market has had an effect on Apple’s global smartphone operations over the last year or so. According to a report published by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech back in March early this year, iPhone sales have slowed in urban China over the three month period through January, to levels never before seen since late 2014. Also, Apple’s first quarterly financials for 2016 reveal that its earnings have decreased year over year since 2003.
If Apple continues its struggles in the Chinese mobile market, at least it can continue ramping up its efforts in India, which many analysts consider the fastest growing mobile market in the planet, and could very well overtake China as the biggest in the world in the near future.
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