Legal action by Motorola and directed towards Apple has forced the company to remove some models of the iPhone and iPad from the Apple Online Store in Germany (via Businessweek). The problems stem from an injunction secured by Motorola which states that Apple allegedly infringed upon patents related to 3G devices. As a result, sales of 3G Apple devices through the online store which infringed the patent were stopped.
Not all 3G devices were affected by the ruling and, as a result, the iPhone 4S remains available to purchase through the online store. However, the iPad 2 3G version, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS have all been pulled from the Apple online store in Germany. It should be noted, however, that the withdrawal does not affect physical retail stores in Germany and, as such, consumers looking to purchase the pulled devices are still free to walk in and purchase them at Apple Stores throughout the country.
Apple is apparently intending to appeal the courts decision in the injunction and, as a result, it’s unclear how long this device withdrawal will last for. In addition, it’s not clear why the iPhone 4S was not removed from the online store, but given the length of time sometimes required for legal motions, it may simply be the case that the request for this injunction was filed prior to the release of the iPhone 4S. There’s no word on whether the injunction will be extended in the future to include the iPhone 4S or even if it will affect Apple’s brick and mortar retail stores.
UPDATE: Sales are back on again.