Qualcomm took steps to enforce a court order banning the sale of some iPhone models in Germany following a patent dispute, a move that will likely see Apple pull those models from its German stores. The Tame Apple Press has been ringing around resellers and suppliers trying to find those who are still selling iPhone 7 and 8s to reassure fanboys that Apple has beaten Qualcomm really.
Gravis, Germany’s biggest reseller of Apple products, said on Friday that it still had all Apple products on sale, including the iPhone 7 and 8 models, but it is difficult to see how that will last.
Qualcomm posted bonds of 1.34 billion euros ($1.5 billion) as required for the German court order to come into effect. The court found on 20 December that Apple had infringed Qualcomm patents on power-saving technology used in smartphones.
Apple said in a statement after the verdict last month that it would pull iPhone 7 and 8 models from its own 15 retail stores in Germany during an appeal process once the order came into force. However, it said it would continue to offer all of its phones at thousands of retail and carrier locations across Germany, a direct contradiction to Qualcomm’s interpretation of the order.
Apple had appealed the court’s 20 December ruling, but that is its standard legal tactic.
According to the court order, Apple has to stop the sale, offer for sale and importation for sale of all infringing iPhones in Germany. The court also ordered Apple to recall the affected iPhones from third-party resellers in Germany, according to a statement by Qualcomm.
Apple’s announced intention to pull iPhones from stores in Germany contrasts with how it has handled a court decision in China, where there was a much broader ban on iPhone sales after a court ruled the devices violated Qualcomm’s patents. Apple has continued to sell phones in China, saying it believed its phones were legal in the country.
Still, Apple also pushed a software update to address concerns over whether it was in compliance with Chinese courts. Qualcomm has said those software updates were insufficient and that Apple must still withdraw its phones. Apple had filed a request for the Chinese court to reconsider its decision, but no outcome has been announced.
Of course Apple could just save its money, pay its bills and leave Qualcomm for Intel but it is more likely that it does not want to walk away from Qualcomm, which has better technology than Intel, and just wants it to give it a low price.