iPhone 7, iPhone 8 being modified for German market following Qualcomm patent trial win

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 7
In order to continue selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany, following a court's decision to ban the sale of patent-infringing iPhones at retail in the country, Apple is looking into making changes to the hardware of the two models as a workaround to the court order.

The iPhone 8, one of the devices banned from sale in Germany for infringing a Qualcomm patent.
The iPhone 8, one of the devices banned from sale in Germany for infringing a Qualcomm patent.


The decision by a German court in December forced Apple to cease the sale of a number of iPhone models using Intel modems, under a ruling that Apple violated Qualcomm's patents. While Apple is working to reverse the ban, the company also appears to be implementing hardware changes to some of its higher-selling devices in order to continue their sale in the market.

German-language publication WinFuture, in a report spotted by Foss Patents, that Apple is examining the possibility of creating a slightly modified version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. Aside from software changes, the models will apparently have an infringing component pulled from the design and replaced with another.

The offending components which was the cause of the injunction were produced by Apple supplier Qorvo, and are said to have violated an "envelope tracking" patent held by Qualcomm. This refers to a method of conserving battery power while the modem is active.

It is unknown what chipset would replace the Qorvo-produced version, if the rumor is true. If genuine, this would provide Apple not only a way to continue selling iPhones in Germany, but also without having to pay Qualcomm a patent licensing fee for the freshly-produced models.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Was Qorvo in violation or was it pre-existing user? That is European patent - not USPTO. There is pre-existing user instance that can provide restarining order for patent holder. Was this determined?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Was Qorvo in violation or was it pre-existing user? That is European patent - not USPTO. There is pre-existing user instance that can provide restarining order for patent holder. Was this determined?
    According to previous reporting, Qualcomm’s lawyers wouldn’t agree to sealing Qorvo’s designs in Germany. This prevented Qorvo from providing the designs for review since Qualcomm’s lawyers couldn’t be trusted to not share the designs with Qualcomm’s engineers. 

    If if I remember correctly, in the USA Qualcomm’s lawyers agreed to seal the information and Qorvo was exonerated from infringement.

    My opinion is Qualcomm’s lawyers could let that happen again. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 4
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    Related Discussions? Is that a test feature? The noted articles don't appear to have much relationship with this one so I'm assuming so. 

    It's a good idea tho. 

    EDIT: and it's gone. That answers the question :)
    edited February 6
  • Reply 4 of 4
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,740member
    I consider the iPhone 7 the last "Best iPhone".   That's the one with all QualComm modems.   Then Apple started cheapening their phones with substandard Intel modems.    I'm waiting on upgrading because of that although it sounds like the iPhone XS is better because of the 4x4 antenna.   Maybe Apple will return to making good iPhone phones in a couple years.
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