07 February 2019

Apple Planning for Modifying iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Software and Hardware in Germany

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07 February 2019
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Apple has reportedly found a way to circumvent the sales ban on iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 in Germany, which was the result of a patent infringement lawsuit lodged by Qualcomm against the company. Apple may be able to change iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 significantly enough by modifying certain parts of iOS and swapping out one component that they no longer infringe Qualcomm's intellectual property rights. The company did not confirm any of these rumors, but said it intended to challenge the verdict of the German court. The sales ban came into force on 4 January.

Apple allegedly made changes to iOS, much like it did in China, but the case in Germany also includes a specific hardware component to manage the phone's modem 's power consumption. According to AppleInsider, it could help Apple resume sales and prevent Qualcomm from paying a licensing fee if possible. German website WinFuture.de first reported the news. 

In December 2018, Qualcomm secured a legal order against Apple in Germany following a dispute over intellectual property. The American processor and modem manufacturer claimed that Apple used its patented technology incorrectly, while Apple maintained that Qualcomm used a monopoly on modems illegally. 

The decision only affected older iPhone models, since Qualcomm's modems have been stopped by Apple. Apple withdrew the iPhone 7 Rs. 37,999 (Review) and iPhone 8 Rs. 60,214 (Review) from its 15 stores in Germany, but its partners, including mobile service carriers and third-party retailers, were allowed to continue to sell them. The ban came into force on 4 January after Qualcomm posted a EUR 1.34 billion bond.

Both companies have also been involved in similar legal disputes in other countries. After a similar decision in China, Apple modified some parts of iOS, including animations, to deny the claims of Qualcomm. For similar reasons, affected iPhone models could remain on sale while companies file appeals, but Qualcomm also tried to ban the new iPhone Xs Rs. 96,699, iPhone Xs Max Rs. 107,900 (Review) and iPhone Xr Rs. 74,867 (Review).

Apple and Qualcomm are also involved in litigation in the United States, where the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the infringement of Qualcomm's antitrust rules, and the US International Trade Commission is also investigating the infringement of patents, but has already refused to block the import and sale of iPhones.
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