Apple has petitioned the International Trade Commission to overturn a fast-approaching US ban on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, which would see imports of the firm's older phones and tablets barred in under four weeks time. The ruling, granted to Samsung back in June but not enacted for 60 days, would "sweep away an entire segment of Apple's product offerings" Apple argued in a motion filed on Monday with the ITC, not to mention potentially damaging the company's carrier partners, it's suggested.
As Apple sees it, although the impacted devices - the most recent of which include the second-gen iPad and the iPhone 4 - have all been superseded by newer phones and tablets, they still represent an entry-level option which could have introduced new customers to the brand. The iPad 2G 3G and iPhone 4 present "the opportunity to gain new smartphone and tablet customers who otherwise would have purchases these entry-level Apple devices" the company points out.
It's not only Apple which is at risk, the company's lawyers claim. Carriers - redacted in the published version of the motion, but presumably AT&T and T-Mobile - will also be at a disadvantage, especially against their CDMA rivals.
"The products subject to the Commission’s orders have been purchased by [REDACTED]. They remain very popular and are strong sellers for the GSM carriers" Apple writes. "As noted above, the GSM carriers will be placed at a competitive disadvantage against their CDMA competitors because the Orders will prevent them from offering these popular, entry-level devices."
As Apple sees it, the 3G GMS patent at the center of Samsung's successful import ban request is likely to be overturned. An import ban would be premature, then, the company says. "Under the unique circumstances presented in this case," Apple writes, "a stay of the Orders is warranted to maintain the status quo until the Federal Circuit decides Apple's appeal."
Unlikely is that President Barack Obama will weigh in, and overrule the ITC ban, as is the only other way to avoid the embargo beyond the appeals process.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung has been keen to see the ban enacted. "We believe the ITC's final determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung's technological innovations" a company spokesperson said back when the ITC first reached its decision.