Apple Asks to Stop Legacy iPhone and iPad Sales Ban Set to Take Place in August
In a recent filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Apple requested the body stay an import ban against older model iPhones and iPads while a court considers an appeal on the ruling. The Cupertino California company’s motion, which comes less than four weeks before the sales ban is scheduled to go into effect (on August 5), says the ban would ‘sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings,” a move which would negatively impact the company’s partner carriers.
As noted by the folks over at GigaOm
, the motion claims that Apple will lose out on sales of GSM versions of both the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with cellular capability. This move would hinder the company’s efforts in obtaining new customers through entry-level devices. Since the release of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, the 8GB iPhone 4 became Apple’s free-on-contract offering, which is an important product that allows the company to introduce a wider range of customers to the Apple ecosystem.
The ban from the ITC was handed down in June after the six-member Commission determined that Apple had infringed on certain 3G wireless patents held by Samsung. The limited import ban affects GSM version so the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G as well as versions of the iPad 2 and the original iPad. According to Apple, GSM network operators will be giving up a competitive advantage if the products are taken off the market. Although the names of the telecoms were redacted from the public version of the filing, Apple is likely referring to both AT&T and T-Mobile (which are two of the nation’s largest wireless providers).
As of right now, Apple is a little over half way through a 60-day Presidential Review period in which the White House can veto the ITC order. If no action is taken, the import ban becomes effective. In arguing for a stay, Apple notes that an appeal has already been lodged with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and believes the outcome of the case will be an invalidation of Samsung’s asserted patent. If the CAFC rules in favor of Samsung, the South Korean electronics company can collect damages in another suit pending in Delaware, according to Apple.
We’ll have to wait and see which company comes out on top of this patent struggle as the war between the two continues.