Last year, older iPhone models which had the chips from Qualcomm were banned in its stores in Germany, as the aforementioned chip manufacturer is in a global legal battle with Apple. On Thursday, Apple said that the sale will resume in Germany.
In December, Qualcomm won the patent infringement lawsuit against iPhone. The Cupertino based company said that in order to comply with the lawsuit it had no other resort than to use some Intel chips in those iPhones which were to be shipped to Germany.
Apple in Germany, was sued by Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile chip supplier, alleging that some older models of iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 violated patents of Qualcomm around envelope tracking- a feature that enables battery power saving of mobiles while the reception and sending of wireless signals. The suspected patent violation did not root from Intel chips but rather another supplier of Apple- Qorvo- the chips of whom were present only in older phones of Apple that had Intel modems.
Qualcomm was sided by the court and Apple was banned from the sale of some of its iPhone models that consisted of Intel modem chips, as a result from 15 retail stores in Germany as well as from the country’s online store, Apple had to pull its devices. For Qualcomm, in terms of legal conflict against Apple, the ban was a victory.
It has been alleged by the Cupertino based company that Qualcomm got involved in illegal patent licensing in order to sustain a monopoly on the so-called modem chips (which are responsible for connecting mobile phones to wireless data networks). To counter it, Qualcomm alleged that its patents have been infringed by the iPhone maker. In April, a major case between the two companies goes to trial in the U.S.
After a record breaking exclusivity of using chips solely from Qualcomm, in 2016, Apple began phasing in Intel’s modem chips and finally Apple dropped the chips from Qualcomm completely in last year’s iPhone models, and went with Intel’s.
For older models of iPhone, Qualcomm is still continuing to supply chips though on Thursday, Apple openly said that it would only use those chips for the iPhone 7 and 8 models for Germany.
In a statement to reporters, Apple stated:
“Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands.”
Intel’s general counsel, Steven Rodgers quoted in a statement:
“Intel’s modem products are not involved in this lawsuit and are not subject to this or any other injunction.”