Apple is selling older iPhones in Germany again, amid an ongoing dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm.

The two companies have come to an agreement that will allow the iPhone 7 and 8 to be bought again in Germany, Apple said.

But it remained committed to fighting the argument that led to the ban, it said, and continued to attack Qualcomm over the patent dispute that has blighted both companies.

“Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands.  In many cases they are using patents they purchased or that have nothing to do with their cellular technology to harass Apple and other industry players,” an Apple spokesperson said.

“To ensure all iPhone models can again be available to customers in Germany, we have no choice but to stop using Intel chips and ship our phones with Qualcomm chips in Germany.  Qualcomm is working to eliminate competition by any means they can, harming consumers and stifling industry innovation along the way. 

“We are as committed as ever to standing up for innovation and we will continue to fight for what’s right.”

The ban came after Qualcomm sued Apple in Germany over its claim that some older iPhones violated its patents. The argument revolves around a feature called “envelope tracking”, which allows the phones to improve their battery life while they send and receive wireless signals.

Qualcomm claimed that some of the non-Qualcomm chips Apple was using infinged those patents, and should be removed from sale.

German courts agreed with Qualcomm, and banned sale of the iPhones that used those chips. That led Apple to completely remove those phones from sale in both its retail and online stores.

Now Apple said it will put those phones back on sale, but will only use the versions that feature the Qualcomm chips and so will be in line with the court’s decision.

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm has been felt across the world. In December, Apple was also ordered to stop selling some iPhones in China because of a similar argument.


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