Apple will be barred from selling certain iPhone models in Germany, after a court ruled that Apple was infringing on a Qualcomm patent. While the ban isn’t immediate, provided that Apple appeals it, Apple has said that it will stop selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Apple Stores until the matter is resolved.
The decision against Apple comes shortly after Qualcomm scored a similar victory in a court in China. It will not affect the iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max.
As we noted earlier today, Apple hoped to circumvent the possible iPhone ban in Germany by making an iOS modification in the country, which it believed stopped it from infringing on at least one of the patents named in the suit. However, the patent infringement which seemingly lost Apple the case is one that helps iPhones save battery while sending and receiving wireless signals.
In a statement reported by CNBC Apple said that:
“Qualcomm’s campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn’t do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple’s 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores.”
As part of proceedings to enforce the decision, Qualcomm needs to post a bond of 668.4 million euros ($765 million). The ruling affects the iPhone 7 through iPhone X models.
Both Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo Inc. — the latter which makes the chip that allegedly violates Qualcomm’s patent — have both spoken out against Qualcomm.
Apple has acknowledged that a ban of certain iPhone models in China would cost it millions of dollars a day, and force it to settle with Qualcomm. If Qualcomm is able to continue racking up similar patent victories around the world, this situation is surely only going to get worse for Apple. We’ll keep following this story with interest.