Apple today announced that it will start selling modified versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany to circumvent the sales ban imposed on it for infringing Qualcomm patents.
To circumvent the ban, Apple will only be selling iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 variants in Germany featuring a Qualcomm modem. It will no longer be selling these iPhones with Intel modem which were found to be infringing on some patents from Qualcomm.
Apple said it had “no choice” but to stop using some chips from Intel Corp in iPhones headed to Germany in order to comply with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against Apple there in December.
The patent pertains to envelope tracking that it used in modems to save battery life. While Apple is no longer going to sell iPhones with an Intel modem in Germany, the issue does not stem from their chips. It is in fact related to chips supplied by Qorvo Inc for envelope tracking which the court ruled violated Qualcomm’s patents.
“Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters.
Qualcomm won the case because it refused to hold key evidence confidential in court. Apple could not produce testimony from chip designer and the schematics of the Qorvo chip in question in court which led to the court ruling against it.
Despite the sales ban, Apple has been selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany but from carrier stores. Its own stores had to stop selling these iPhone models from December after the court handed out the ban. It also continues to sell the iPhone X and newer iPhones in the country without any issues.
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