August 1, 2013
One of Apple’s biggest moneymakers will soon become history unless President Obama says otherwise. Monday, Aug. 5 is the day the International Trade Commission (ITC) will begin enforcing its ban of the AT&T iPhone 4, which first went on sale in June 2010. Two months ago, the ITC ruled that the AT&T versions of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G infringed on patents owned by Samsung. As a result, they can no longer be imported into the U.S. after Saturday. The AT&T iPhone 4 is the only handset affected by this ban since Apple has already discontinued the other two models. Additionally, the ban doesn’t affect the Verizon iPhone 4, which first launched in January 2011. Last month, AT&T, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Verizon Wireless joined Apple in asking President Obama to overturn the ban. The companies believe that the use of essential industry patents to ban products shouldn’t be allowed except under unusual circumstances. So far, there has been no word from the White House. Apple is likely to end production of the iPhone 4 in the coming weeks regardless of what happens with the ITC. In September, Cupertino is expected to refresh its iPhone lineup to include the so-called “iPhone 5S” and “iPhone 5C.” For more information, see: Samsung Bests Apple In New Customer Satisfaction Phone Survey, The USPTO Rejects Apple's Claim To A 'Pinch And Zoom' Patent, and Apple, Samsung Renew Talks To Settle Massive Patent Battle.