Apple Says iPhone Production Hit By China Covid Lockdown

People walk past an Apple store in Beijing on December 11, 2018. Apple stores in China continued with business as usual on December 11, despite a Chinese court-ordered ban on iPhone sales that could hurt the US tech firm in one of its most crucial markets.
GREG BAKER / AFP

 

Apple warned customers would face longer wait times for iPhones with the holiday season approaching, after Covid restrictions in central China “temporarily impacted” production at the world’s largest factory producing the smartphone.

Foxconn, Apple’s principal subcontractor, locked down its massive factory in Zhengzhou last month after a spike in infections — in line with China’s zero-Covid policy.

In a separate statement Monday, the Taiwanese firm said its fourth quarter earnings this year would take a hit from the coronavirus lockdowns.

Panicking workers last week had fled the site on foot in the wake of allegations of poor conditions at the facility, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers.

“Covid-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China,” California-based Apple said in a statement late Sunday.

“The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity.”

Despite strong demand for Apple’s products ahead of the holiday season, “we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated”, it said.

“Customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.”

Foxconn is China’s biggest private sector employer, with more than a million people working across the country in about 30 factories and research institutes.

But Zhengzhou is the Taiwanese company’s crown jewel, churning out iPhones in quantities not seen anywhere else.

“In a normal situation, almost all the iPhone production is happening in Zhengzhou,” Ivan Lam, an analyst with specialist firm Counterpoint, told AFP.

The company was initially “cautiously optimistic” about its fourth quarter earnings, it said.

“But due to the pandemic affecting some of our operations in Zhengzhou, the company will ‘revise down’ the outlook for the fourth quarter,” Foxconn said in a statement.

“Foxconn is now working with the government in (a) concerted effort to stamp out the pandemic and resume production to its full capacity as quickly as possible,” the company said.

It did not give any statistical projection for how badly it expected earnings to be hit.

“This is a dark sign of the zero-Covid policy in China impacting production for Apple with Foxconn,” Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, told AFP.

“It confirms the Street’s fears with Apple this quarter and will be an albatross on the tech market this week.”

– ‘We are drowning’ –

Local authorities locked down the area surrounding the factory on Wednesday, but not before reports emerged of a lack of adequate medical care at the plant.

Multiple workers have recounted scenes of chaos and increasing disorganisation at Foxconn’s complex of workshops and dormitories, which form a city-within-a-city near Zhengzhou’s airport.

“People with fevers are not guaranteed to receive medicine,” a 30-year-old Foxconn worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP.

“We are drowning,” he said.

China is the last major economy wedded to a strategy of extinguishing Covid outbreaks as they emerge, imposing snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines despite the widespread disruption to businesses and international supply chains.

And authorities poured cold water on speculation that the policy could be relaxed Saturday, with National Health Commission (NHC) spokesperson Mi Feng saying that Beijing would “stick unswervingly to… the overall policy of dynamic zero-Covid”.

“At present, China is still facing the dual threat of imported infections and the spread of domestic outbreaks,” Mi said at a press briefing.

“The disease control situation is as grim and complex as ever,” he said. “We must continue to put people and lives first.”

AFP

China iPhone Factory Under Lockdown Boosts Bonuses For Workers Who Stay

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiling the new iPhone 13 during a special event at Apple Park. Photograph: Brooks Kraft/Apple/AFP

 

 

The world’s largest iPhone factory in central China told staff Tuesday it would quadruple their bonuses if they remained at the plant after scores of workers fled a Covid outbreak at the facility.

China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, persisting with snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in a bid to stamp out emerging outbreaks.

But new variants have tested local officials’ ability to snuff out flare-ups faster than they can spread, causing much of the country to live under an ever-changing mosaic of Covid curbs.

Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou has been under lockdown since mid-October, with the company saying it is testing employees daily and keeping them in a closed loop.

But complaints from workers circulating on Chinese social media have alleged poor working conditions and inadequate virus protection for employees who are not infected.

Videos shared online over the weekend showed Foxconn employees fleeing the company’s campus and returning to their hometowns on foot, in a bid to avoid Covid travel restrictions.

Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant said on its official WeChat account that, starting from Tuesday, employees will receive a daily bonus of 400 yuan ($55) for showing up to work — quadruple the previous subsidy of 100 yuan a day.

Staff will also receive additional bonuses if they attend work for 15 days or longer in November, reaching 15,000 yuan if they record full attendance this month.

Foxconn — which supplies iPhones to US tech firm Apple — has promised to do more to help employees and organise buses to transport workers back to their hometowns should they wish to leave, in what it has called a “protracted battle” against the virus.

Local governments in the area surrounding the city asked fleeing workers to register with authorities if they returned home and to complete several days of quarantine upon arrival.

The southern semi-autonomous territory of Macau also announced mass testing of its 700,000 population Tuesday after a handful of cases were discovered, triggering a lockdown of one of its casinos.

It is a fresh blow for the city’s struggling gambling industry, which had been poised for recovery after plans to relax travel between mainland China and the former Portuguese colony this month.

China reported more than 2,000 fresh domestic infections Tuesday for the second straight day, as curbs ramped up in response to a wave of regional outbreaks.

The southern Chinese manufacturing hub of Guangzhou also announced partial lockdowns in several districts Monday in response to rising case numbers.

Guangzhou reported more than 520 fresh infections on Tuesday.

New outbreaks have also emerged in northern cities near China’s border with Russia and North Korea as winter approaches.

Alleged Cyber Fraud: EFCC Displays Content Of Naira Marley’s iPhone

A screenshot from a video showing Naira Marley having a chat with his lawyers at the court premises on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has displayed the contents of the phone seized from music artiste, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley.

When the defendant’s trial resumed on Wednesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the EFCC through the virtual projection of a Compact Disc (CD) with 51,933 pages showed the contents and analysis of the phone.

The commission did this while leading in evidence, its second witness, Mr Augustine Anosike, a mobile forensic expert.

Picking up from where he left off on Tuesday, the witness, again reiterated portions of his earlier testimonies and pointed out the corresponding visual spots of those testimonies on the screen of the projected CD.

Screenshot from a video showing Naira Marley with his lawyers at the court in Lagos on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

 

For instance, the witness showed visual displays of the credit card numbers, chats, as well as incoming and outgoing Short Message Services (SMS) that were analysed from the defendant’s iPhone.

After the CD was displayed for about 45 minutes, the prosecutor then asked the witness to confirm two exhibits A and D, which were vital elements of his analysis.

Exhibit A is the Forensic Report Form, while exhibit D is the iPhone of the defendant.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, sought permission for the defendant’s iPhone to be kept in the custody of the court rather than for it to continue to remain in the custody of the prosecution.

He submitted that the court was capable of keeping exhibits, adding that it would make it easier for the defence team to apply for the exhibits if needed.

The court noted the request.

The counsel, thereafter, asked the witness if his analysis had also covered a possible number of persons that had used the defendant’s iPhone to which the witness replied that the number of persons could not be ascertained.

“As an experienced operative, are you aware that a person other than the owner of a phone can have access to the use of that phone?” he queried.

The witness, in his response, answered, “That will only be possible where the owner grants access.”

When the witness was asked who supplied him with the password to the iPhone, he told the court that the defendant provided the password to the investigating operatives who consequently, transmitted the same to him for his analysis.

After watching all the evidence, Justice Nicholas Oweibo adjourned the trial till November 30, as well as December 13 and 14.

 

Evidences Bordering On Cyber Fraud

On May 20, 2019, the anti-graft agency arraigned Naira Marley, who sang the popular song, “Am I a Yahoo Boy?” before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The EFCC said the offences were committed on different dates between November 26 and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.

It alleged that Naira Marley and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM cards to defraud their victims.

The EFCC also said that the defendant possessed and used counterfeit credit cards belonging to different people, with intent to defraud others.

The alleged offences are said to contravene the provisions of Sections 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1) and 33(9) of Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.

When arraigned before Justice Oweibo, Naira Marley pleaded not guilty.

The court later granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

Apple Update Will Check iPhones For Images Of Child Sexual Abuse

New technology will allow iPhones’ operating systems to match abusive photos against a database of known child sexual abuse images. (LOIC VENANCE – AFP/File)

 

 

Apple Thursday said iPhones and iPads will soon start detecting images containing child sexual abuse and reporting them as they are uploaded to its online storage in the United States, a move privacy advocates say raises concerns.

“We want to help protect children from predators who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limit the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM),” Apple said in an online post.

New technology will allow software powering Apple mobile devices to match abusive photos on a user’s phone against a database of known CSAM images provided by child safety organizations, then flag the images as they are uploaded to Apple’s online iCloud storage, according to the company.

However, several digital rights organizations say the tweaks to Apple’s operating systems create a potential “backdoor” into gadgets that could be exploited by governments or other groups.

Apple counters that it will not have direct access to the images and stressed steps it’s taken to protect privacy and security.

The Silicon Valley-based tech giant said the matching of photos would be “powered by a cryptographic technology” to determine “if there is a match without revealing the result,” unless the image was found to contain depictions of child sexual abuse.

Apple will report such images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which works with police, according to a statement by the company.

India McKinney and Erica Portnoy of the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a post that “Apple’s compromise on end-to-end encryption may appease government agencies in the United States and abroad, but it is a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.”

– Minding Messages –
The new image-monitoring feature is part of a series of tools heading to Apple mobile devices, according to the company.

Apple’s texting app, Messages, will use machine learning to recognize and warn children and their parents when receiving or sending sexually explicit photos, the company said in the statement.

“When receiving this type of content, the photo will be blurred and the child will be warned,” Apple said.

“As an additional precaution, the child can also be told that, to make sure they are safe, their parents will get a message if they do view it.”

Similar precautions are triggered if a child tries to send a sexually explicit photo, according to Apple.

Messages will use machine learning power on devices to analyze images attached to missives to determine whether they are sexually explicit, according to Apple.

The feature is headed to the latest Macintosh computer operating system, as well as iOS.

Personal assistant Siri, meanwhile, will be taught to “intervene” when users try to search topics related to child sexual abuse, according to Apple.

Greg Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, DC said that “Apple is replacing its industry-standard end-to-end encrypted messaging system with an infrastructure for surveillance and censorship.”

This, he said, would make users “vulnerable to abuse and scope-creep not only in the United States, but around the world.”

“Apple should abandon these changes and restore its users’ faith in the security and integrity of their data on Apple devices and services.”

Apple has built its reputation on defending privacy on its devices and services despite pressure from politicians and police to gain access to people’s data in the name of fighting crime or terrorism.

“Child exploitation is a serious problem and Apple isn’t the first tech company to bend its privacy-protective stance in an attempt to combat it,” McKinney and Portnoy of the EFF said.

“At the end of the day, even a thoroughly documented, carefully thought-out, and narrowly-scoped backdoor is still a backdoor,” they added.

Italy Fines Apple $10m Over Water-Resistant iPhones

A file photo of iPhones pictured lying on a flat surface.

 

Italy’s competition authority said Monday it had fined Apple 10 million euros ($12 million) for misleading claims about the water-resistant properties of various iPhone models.

It said the US tech giant “did not make it clear that this feature exists under certain specific conditions”, notably in laboratory tests with static and pure water, “and not under normal conditions of use”.

It cited promotional claims relating to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11pro and iPhone 11 pro Max models.

READ ALSO: Apple To Pay $113 Million Over iPhone Battery Complaints

The authority also rapped Apple for a disclaimer that the warranty for the smartphones did not cover damage caused by liquids, saying it “was deemed to mislead consumers”.

In addition, it said Apple’s refusal to provide warranty service when the iPhone models concerned were damaged by liquids amounted to “an aggressive commercial practice”.

“For these reasons, the authority has decided to impose penalties totalling 10 million euros on Apple Distribution International and on Apple Italia,” it said in a statement.

AFP

Apple Joins 5G Revolution With Four New iPhones For Fast Networks

Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 12, the tech giant’s first smartphones that support 5G wireless technology.

 

Apple joined the move to 5G on Tuesday, unveiling four new iPhones which use the new standard in what could be a turning point for the high-speed wireless technology.

“Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone,”  Apple chief executive Tim Cook said during a streamed launch event from the company’s headquarters in California.

“This is a huge moment for all of us. And we’re really excited. 5G will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real time interactivity and so much more.”

The new models include the redesigned iPhone 12 — successor to the top-selling iPhone 11 launched last year — with a display of 6.1 inches at a starting price of $799, available October 23.

A smaller iPhone 12 mini with a 5.4 inch display will start at $699 and will be in stores November 13.

With more features, the iPhone 12 Pro will launch this month from $999 and the 6.7 inch Pro Max from $1,099 in November, the same levels as their predecessors

The new handsets offer improvements to the camera system and a redesign that adds more display with a smaller overall size.

The new lineup of iPhones was expected to ignite a surge in interest in smartphone upgrades to take advantage of the faster networks.

Apple’s move could ignite interest in 5G devices as the new, fast networks are slowly being rolled out in the United States and other parts of the world.

“Apple drives a lot of technology shifts in the industry, and the iPhone 12 supports 5G in all its forms on four different phones,” said Avi Greengart, analyst with Techsponential.

“5G has not been a big purchase driver in most markets, but that could start changing now, and Apple is now much better positioned to succeed in the one place where consumers have been buying 5G phones — China.”

Thomas Husson of Forrester Research tweeted that “Apple will do more for 5G than 5G will do for the new iPhones… experiences can only improve as telcos progressively roll out networks.”

Joining 5G revolution

Apple joins other handset makers including Samsung and Huawei in introducing smartphones taking advantage of the growing 5G footprint around the world, which could open up new markets and technologies.

5G networks are touted as promising an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, enabling advances in self-driving vehicles, virtual reality, connected health and more as sensors and servers communicate instantly.

The growth of 5G could also be a catalyst to revive a sluggish smartphone market.

Total smartphone sales were down 16 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC.

The new iPhones give Apple a range of handsets from the $400 iPhone SE launched earlier this year, as the company seeks to expand its ecosystem with more digital content and services.

Stephen Mears of Futuresource Consulting said Apple appears to be holding the line on prices to gain more consumers as it drives further into services.

“Apple have remained cognizant of their price points in light of the challenges facing many consumers in 2020 as a result of Covid-19,” Mears said.

“The reasonable price points of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini will certainly not prove prohibitive to the majority of Apple consumers, and when considered alongside the SE released earlier this year, it’s clear that Apple are targeting growth in its active installed base to help facilitate further expansion of its increasingly important services.”

Apple also introduced a new version of its HomePod smart speaker standing just eight centimeters (3.3 inches) tall. The HomePod mini, which responds to voice commands and plays music, will start at $99.

 

-AFP

Apple Records Strong Profits In Services, Wearables

Photo: Don EMMERT / AFP

 

Apple on Wednesday reported strong-than-expected profits for the past quarter, fueled by growth in digital services and wearables that helped offset slower iPhone sales.

Profit in the quarter ending in September dipped four percent from a year ago to $13.7 billion while revenues edged up two percent to $64 billion.

READ ALSO: Twitter Bans Political Adverts Worldwide On Its Platform

Apple, set to launch a new streaming television service this week, saw strong revenue gains in its services segment, which includes music, digital payments and software, and in its segment for wearables and accessories that include its Home Pod, Apple Watch and earbuds.

Chief executive Tim Cook said Apple saw its best-ever revenue gains for the fiscal fourth-quarter period.

“With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, today’s debut of new, noise-canceling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+ just two days away, and our best lineup of products and services ever, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store,” Cook said.

AFP

Trump Takes Swipe At Apple For Ditching Iphone Home Button

US President Donald Trump
Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

President Donald Trump took a swipe at Apple chief Tim Cook with a Tweet lamenting the removal of the iPhone home button.

“To Tim: The Button on the iPhone was FAR better than the Swipe!” he tweeted Friday.

Trump switched from an Android mobile to an iPhone in March 2017, the same year Apple dropped the physical home button from its top models.

This earlier shift seemed to be the target of presidential ire, rather Apple’s latest iPhone 11 release in September.

READ ALSO: US ‘Close To Finalizing’ Parts Of Trade Deal With China

It is not the first time Trump has cast a critical eye over the tech giant’s design choices.

“I cannot believe that Apple didn’t come out with a larger screen iPhone. Samsung is stealing their business. STEVE JOBS IS SPINNING IN GRAVE,” he tweeted in September 2013.

It also comes after a gaffe in March when he referred to Cook as “Tim Apple”.

Trump later claimed the naming was deliberate and a “time saving” measure.

Google Reveals Years-Long ‘Indiscriminate’ iPhone Hack

LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Google security experts uncovered an “indiscriminate” hacking operation that targeted iPhones over a period of at least two years and used websites to implant malicious software to access photos, user locations and other data.

In a post-Thursday on the blog of Google’s Project Zero security taskforce, cyber experts did not name the hacked websites hosting the attacks, but estimated they received thousands of visitors a week.

“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Project Zero’s Ian Beer.

Once installed, the malicious software “primarily focused on stealing files and uploading live location data,” Beer said, adding it had been able to access encrypted messenger apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and iMessage.

Google hangouts and Gmail had also been affected, he added in the post, which provided a detailed breakdown of how the malicious software targeted and exploited iPhone vulnerabilities.

Most of the vulnerabilities targeted were found in the iPhone’s default Safari web browser, Beer said, adding that the Project Zero team had discovered them in almost every operating system from iOS 10 through to the current iOS 12 version.

Once embedded in a user’s iPhone, the malicious software sent back stolen data, including live user location data back to a “command and control server” every 60 seconds.

Beer said Google had informed Apple of the attacks in February, and Apple subsequently released a security patch for the iOS 12.1.

Long the driver of Apple’s money-making machine, iPhone revenue overall was down 12 percent from last year to $26 billion.

The tech giant sent out invitations on Thursday to a September event at its Silicon Valley campus where it is expected to unveil a new-generation iPhone.

Apple To Unveil New iPhone On September 10

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 14, 2016 the Apple logo/AFP

 

Apple sent out invitations on Thursday to a September 10 event at its Silicon Valley campus where it is expected to unveil a new-generation iPhone.

In its trademark, tight-lipped style, Apple disclosed little about what it plans to spotlight in the Steve Jobs Theater at its headquarters in the city of Cupertino.

For years now, Apple has hosted events in the fall to launch new iPhone models ahead of the Christmas holiday shopping season.

READ ALSO: Huawei To Launch New Handset Without Google Apps

Introduction of “iPhone 11” handsets would come as the global smartphone market tightens and Apple makes a priority of selling digital content and services to fans of its hardware.

New iPhones are expected to boast improvements including ramped-up processing power and camera capabilities, but no radical changes or offerings for super-speedy 5G telecom networks that are starting to take shape.

Apple last month delivered stronger than expected results in the just-ended quarter as growth from services helped offset weak iPhone sales.

Chief executive Tim Cook said the company had its “biggest June quarter ever — driven by all-time record revenue from services, accelerating growth from wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends.”

Long the driver of Apple’s money-making machine, iPhone revenue overall was down 12 percent from last year to $26 billion.

The premium smartphone market has grown fiercely competitive and overall sales have cooled as a lack of stunning innovation has caused people to wait longer before upgrading to new models.

Rivals in the premium smartphone market also field champions to fight for market share during the prime shopping season.

Google typically holds a Fall event to launch new Pixel smartphones powered by its Android software.

Samsung recently introduced a new-generation Galaxy Note large-screen handset starting at $950 and said it will work closer with Microsoft so that services function better across its array of devices.

Apple lost more ground in the shrinking smartphone market last quarter, with a sales tracker saying the tech giant was pushed off the top-three seller list by a Chinese rival.

Apple fell to fourth place in global smartphone sales, shipping 35.3 million iPhones in the second quarter compared to the 36.2 million units shipped by Oppo, according to a report from IHS Markit this week.

South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung remained in first place with 23 percent of the market, having shipped 75.1 million smartphones, China’s Huawei shipped 58.7 million smartphones to claim 18 percent of the market, IHS Markit calculated.

Other smartphone market trackers such as Counterpoint Research and International Data Corporation concluded that while iPhone shipments sank in the second quarter, Apple remained in third place what it came to global shipments.

AFP

Apple Cuts Sales Forecast As China Sales Weaken, iPhone Pricing In Focus

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 14, 2016, the Apple logo/AFP

 

Apple Inc on Wednesday took the rare step of cutting its quarterly sales forecast, with Chief Executive Tim Cook blaming slowing iPhone sales in China, whose economy has been dragged down by uncertainty around U.S.-China trade relations.

The news, which comes as a spotlight grows on Beijing’s attempts to revive stalling growth, sent Apple shares tumbling in after-hours trade, hammered Asian suppliers and triggered a broader selloff in global markets.

The revenue drop for the just-ended quarter underscores how an economic slowdown in China has been sharper than many expected, catching companies and leaders in Beijing off balance and forcing some to readjust their plans in the market.

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to investors.

Apple finds itself in a tricky position in China, a key market for sales and where it manufactures the bulk of the iconic products it sells worldwide, after the high-profile arrest in Canada of the CFO of domestic rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd

Since the arrest last month, at the request of the United States, there have been sporadic reports of Chinese consumers shying away from Apple products. Even before then, local rivals like Huawei had been gaining market share over Apple.

Apple Risks IPhone Ban In Germany After Court Case Loss

 

A German court on Thursday found in favour of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of iPhones in Germany.

“The ruling effectively outlaws the offering and placing on the market of the finished product in Germany, including the sale. The iPhones 7plus, 7, 8, 8plus and X are affected,” said the regional court in Munich in a statement.

Given that Apple can appeal the initial ruling, the court said the injunction banning sales of affected iPhones could only be imposed immediately if Qualcomm laid down a security deposit amounting to 668.4 million euros ($765 million).

The court said it had sought the large sum as that could be the amount awarded to Apple in terms of revenue losses if the iPhone maker manages to get the Munich ruling overturned by a higher court.

Thursday’s ruling marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10 ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.

The two Californian tech giants have been locked in a long-running battle over patents and royalties that has played out in courts and administrative bodies worldwide.

At the heart of the dispute in the German case are chips made by one of Apple’s suppliers used in iPhones, with both parties at loggerheads on how the chips actually work, said the court.

Among the functions of the chip is the conservation of battery power.

The court said it had to go with Qualcomm’s explanation of how the chip worked as Apple would not give details on its functioning, citing the industrial secrecy interests of its supplier.

“If the defence can only be carried out when one reveals a secret,” then one must either do so, “or one can keep the secret and then possibly lose the case, as has happened today,” said the judge Matthias Zigann, according to remarks carried by national news agency DPA.

Larger battle 

Earlier in December, a China court also ruled in favour of Qualcomm in a dispute based on patents which enable consumers to adjust and reformat the size and appearance of photographs, and to manage applications using a touchscreen.

The two cases are an extension of a wider battle between the two IT giants.

Apple has claimed that Qualcomm is abusing its market power over certain mobile chipsets in order to demand unfair royalties, joining a string of antitrust actions against the chipmaker.

Qualcomm has countersued Apple and earlier this year escalated its legal fight, claiming the iPhone maker stole trade secrets and shared them with mobile chip rival Intel.

According to Qualcomm’s US lawsuit, Apple’s goal was to buy mobile chips from Intel instead of depending on Qualcomm.

Qualcomm itself is meanwhile facing antitrust probes in South Korea, the European Union and the United States over its dominant position.

Qualcomm in 2015 agreed to pay $975 million to settle antitrust charges in China.

AFP