Thursday said it will resume the sale of older iPhone models in its stores in Germany after they were banned last year, but only with Qualcomm chips, which are in a global legal battle against the Cupertino company.
Apple said it had "no choice" but to stop using any chips from Intel in the iPhone that led to Germany to comply with a patent jurisdiction Qualcomm won against Apple there in December.
Qualcomm, the world's largest mobile chip supplier, sued Apple in Germany claiming that some older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models violated Qualcomm patents around so-called envelope tracking, a feature that helps cell phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals. The alleged patent breach was not from Intel chips, but another Apple provider ̵
The court sat down with Qualcomm and banned the sale of some iPhone models that used Intel modem chips, which led Apple to pull the devices from its 15 stores in Germany and its online store in the country.
The ban was a victory in Qualcomm's legal conflict with Apple.
The iPhone manufacturer has claimed that Qualcomm is involved in illegal patent licensing practices to protect a monopoly on so-called modem chips, which connect mobile phones to wireless computer networks. In turn, Qualcomm has claimed that Apple has violated its patents. A big case between the two goes to the US trial in April.
Apple began phasing Intel's modem chips in 2016 after many years of using only Qualcomm's chips. Last year's iPhone models dropped Apple Qualcomm's chips to the benefit of Intels.
But Qualcomm has continued to deliver Apple with chips to older models, and Apple said Thursday it would only use those for the German iPhone 7 and 8 models.
"Qualcomm is trying to ban our products to try to get Apple to undermine their extortionate demands," Apple said in a statement to Reuters.
Newer iPhones with Intel chips remain on sale in Germany.  "Intel's modem products are not involved in this lawsuit and are not subject to this or any other order," said Steven Rodgers, Intel's Secretary General, in a statement.