12 February 2019
Apple has been banned from importing and selling some of its older iPhone models in China, as well as Germany due to its legal fight with Qualcomm. The chip maker has filed a legal suit against Apple for not making royalty payments which has led to some iPhone models being banned for sale in Germany.
Apple has been working to reverse the ban and is reportedly planning to work on implementing some hardware changes to its higher-selling devices like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in a bid to continue their sales in the Germany market.
Apple is currently examining the possibility of creating a slightly modified version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in Germany. Apart from software changes, the models will have an infringing component pulled out from the design and will be replaced with another.
The components are a part of the injunction, were produced by Apple supplier Qorvo, and are alleged to have violated an “envelope tracking” patent which is held by Qualcomm. The method of conserving battery power while the modem is active.
If Apple changes the component it will be able to sell its devices in Germany and even the Chinese market without having to pay Qualcomm a patent licensing fee.
At the time of the ban, Apple said, “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.”