Sale of older iPhones, which include the iPhone 4, to be banned in the US after Aug 4.
The (not yet banned) iPhone 4 is an attractive option at $0.99 on AT&T.
Business sure makes strange bedfellows as Apple and Samsung continue to go at each other in the courtroom, with each winning key lawsuits in various cases. Last month, Samsung won a key point against its bitter rival: The International Trade Commission (ITC) banned the import of older Apple iPhones which include the 3, 3S and iPhone 4. Rightfully so, the Cupertino giant is worried that this will eat into their profits so are in the process of challenging that ruling.
Enter Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle. According to Betanews, all three of these technology giants have come to Apple's defense. The basic premise of the argument is that "standards essential" patents should not be used to ban the sales of devices. This would include patents that are based on wireless technology, as that is a key component of a mobile device. The list of companies doesn't stop there, as both Verizon and AT&T have also taken an interest in the case. Instead of arguing directly with the ITC, the wireless carriers went directly to the Obama Administration, asking US Trade Representative Michael Froman to invalidate the ITC ruling; the United States has not reversed an ITC ruling since 1987.
Although the iPhone 3 and 3S is no longer sold in the US, currently a few providers are still offering the iPhone 4 for sale, one of them being AT&T which have it on sale for just $0.99 with a two year contract.
While we understand the reasoning for the requests - all of the companies in question stand to lose a lot of money if Apple's phone is not sold in the marketplace - we can't help but wonder why important technology patents, like wireless communication, should be invalidated but frivolous designs like "rounded corners" should cost a potential infringer billions.