Apple ship iPhones with only Qualcomm chips to German shops

(Reuters) – Apple Inc said Thursday that it will resume the sale of older iPhone models in the shops in Germany after they were banned last year, but only with chips from Qualcomm Inc, who in a global legal battle against the Cupertino company.

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo is seen in a shop in Los Angeles, California, USA, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Apple said that it had “no choice” but to stop with the use of a number of chips from Intel Corp. in iPhones the way to Germany to meet with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against Apple in December.

Qualcomm, the largest supplier of mobile chips, Apple sued in Germany claimed that some older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models infringed Qualcomm patents around the so-called envelope tracking, a feature that helps the mobile phones battery power during sending and receiving of wireless signals. The alleged patent infringement do not steal from Intel chips, but yet another Apple supplier – Qorvo Inc – of which the chip is only present in older phones with a Intel modems.

The court of justice on the part of Qualcomm and a ban on the sale of some iPhone models that used Intel modem chips, leading Apple to pull the devices out of the 15 retail stories in Germany and the online store in the country.

The ban was a victory of Qualcomm’s legal battle with Apple.

The iPhone maker has asserted that Qualcomm engaged in illegal patent licensing practices for the securing of a monopoly on the so-called modem chips that connect to mobile phones, wireless data networks. Qualcomm has in turn claimed that Apple has infringed on the patents. An important case between the two goes to research in the United States in April.

Apple began the gradual introduction of Intel modem chips in 2016, after years of use chips exclusively from Qualcomm. In the last year’s iPhone models, Apple had Qualcomm chips completely in favor of Intel’s.

But Qualcomm has continued to supply Apple with chips for the older models, and Apple on Thursday said that the use of only the for German iPhone 7 and 8 models.

“Qualcomm is the prohibited use of our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters.

Newer iPhones with Intel chips will remain on sale in Germany.

“Intel-modem products are not involved in this case and are not subject to this or any other provision,” Steven Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel, said in a statement.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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