- The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus are no longer for sale in Germany.
- The devices have been pulled from Apple.com as well as the 15 official Apple stores in Germany.
- The sales ban is in response to legal troubles the company faces with chipset-maker Qualcomm.
Towards the end of December, a German court determined that Apple infringed on chipset-maker Qualcomm’s intellectual property for power savings in smartphones. In response to this, the District Court of Munich ordered Apple to pull iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models from its store shelves in Germany.
Today, Apple did just that. As of now, the iPhone 7 and 8, as well as the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus, are no longer for sale at official Apple storefronts, including the German version of Apple.com. Apple has 15 physical stores in Germany, all of which no longer sell the allegedly infringing devices.
Here is an image of how Apple’s German site looked before and after the ban, via MacRumors:
The ban also forces Apple to pull the infringing iPhone models from third-party German stores. However, this is a huge undertaking and, as one would expect, the iPhone models in question are still available at plenty of German retailers both online and physical.
In order to ensure the ban took place, Qualcomm had to pony up 1.34 billion euros (~$1.5 billion) worth of security bonds. This huge backing of cash proves Qualcomm is serious about fighting hard to win this case against Apple. The money is being kept aside in case Apple’s appeal of the verdict ends up in its favor.
Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in tough legal battles throughout the world. Although each one is a little different, they all are based on the idea that Apple is using various Qualcomm patents in iPhones and not paying Qualcomm the proper licensing fees. Apple accuses Qualcomm of abusing the patent system, while Qualcomm accuses Apple of taking advantage of its property rights.
Recently, Qualcomm earned a big win in China against Apple, and this German case looks to be going well for the chipset-maker, too. However, similar cases in the United States — the home turf of both companies — ended in Apple’s favor, and Qualcomm has been accused of playing dirty in some of the cases.
Apple also recently became mired in controversy after CEO Tim Cook published a letter to investors revealing iPhone sales are not as good as originally anticipated. You can read more about that — and how it affects the smartphone industry at large — by clicking the link below.