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Apple’s workaround to Qualcomm patent woes in Germany is to use Qualcomm chips

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‘We have no choice but to stop using Intel chips’

The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus are once again available in Germany, after a patent dispute forced Apple to withdraw the sale of the phones at the beginning of January (via The Wall Street Journal). In a statement, the company said that “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.”

The workaround mirrors a move by the company in China, where Apple released a software update in the region that tweaked one of its animations in an attempt to circumvent the sales ban. Qualcomm had previously won a court injunction, which banned Apple from importing some older iPhone models in the country.

Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm in Germany is just one of the many legal battles the two companies are involved in worldwide, with cases also pending in China and the US. The dispute dates back to a 2017 complaint filed by Apple, in which it accused Qualcomm of charging unfair prices for modem chips.

Apple’s full statement is below:

“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.

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.”

Update February 14th, 10:37AM ET: Added full statement from Apple.