Obama administration vetoes ITC's iOS ban

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Aug 2013

The Obama administration has vetoed a US ITC decision ordering an import ban on some older iPhone and iPad models, citing concerns over the potential impact on competition.

US trade representative Michael Froman has overturned the ITC's decision. In a letter to the ITC, Froman said his decision was in part based on the potential impact such bans would have on the competitive conditions of the US economy.

Licensing standards-essential patents on fair and reasonable terms is a key component of the Obama administration's policy on promoting innovation, he said.

Samsung is free to pursue remedies through the courts, and the veto does not constitute an endorsement or criticism of the ITC's verdict, Froman added.

The ITC in June had released a decision demanding an import ban on AT&T models of the iPhone 4, the iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G, as well as the discontinued iPhone 3 and 3GS models.

In separate statements, Apple welcomed the veto, while Samsung said it was “disappointed” by the decision. Samsung claims Apple is unwilling to take a license to its patents on reasonable terms, while Apple claims Samsung's demands are unreasonable.

In other news in the ongoing war between Android and iOS, two separate research firms are estimating that Android beat the iPad by tablet shipments in the second quarter.

Android overtook iOS during the quarter to take a 53% market share, according to Canalys. Apple's iPad shipments meanwhile fell 14% and its market share declined to 43%.

Apple easily remains on top of the vendor rankings, with nearest rival Samsung having a market share of 21.6%. But Samsung's shipments increased 294.8% year-on-year, compared to a 14.2% decline from Apple.

Strategy Analytics meanwhile puts Android's share for the quarter at a strong 67% and iOS at 28%. Windows Phone still has only 4.5% of the market, but this is up from just 0.5% a year earlier.

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