Colombia has banned the iPhone 14. Ericsson says it is in violation of its lawsuit against Apple

In a small footnote in a Recent press releaseApple has announced that it will launch the iPhone 14 Plus in Colombia later this month. The problem has been that the iPhone 14 has been banned in Colombia since its launch, due to Apple’s ongoing litigation with Swedish telecoms company Ericsson, over 5G networks. Carlos Olarte, Ericsson’s attorney in Colombia, was unaware of the announcement when Rest of the world reached out. “I think it is wrong,” he said, asserting that such a measure would directly violate the ban.

In July, a judge banned the import and sale of any Apple 5G devices after Ericsson filed a patent lawsuit against Apple in Colombia and many other countries. Ericsson You want Apple to pay for using its patented 5G technologies, although the network has not yet spread in the country. The asking price is $5 per iPhone, but Apple refused to pay. So far, Colombia is the only country that has forbidden 5G devices from Apple as a precaution until reaching the final verdict.

Rest of the world I contacted Apple for comment but received no response. The press release announcing the launch of the iPhone 14 Plus in Colombia on October 28 was still to press time.

In her lawsuit against Apple, Ericsson claimed that only Colombia[s] for about 0.2% of Apple sales worldwide.” However, the Swedish telecom giant is insisting on litigation in Colombia because it is “a precaution that sends a very important message in the [legal] Negotiations, Olarte said Rest of the world. “If you do the math, it’s still a big number.”

When the latest iPhone was launched globally in August, Colombians couldn’t find it in Apple authorized stores, large hardware retailers, or carriers. The remaining option was to buy one on the black market. Buyers and sellers said Rest of the world That traditional stores were able to get phones into Colombia through a handful of highly paid smugglers. Some sellers pay US-bound Colombians smuggling fees of up to $300 per phone to hide in their luggage. sellers Rest of the world She spoke to me that the higher prices are the cost of the risk they are taking, leaving customers to pay much more and fear that their new iPhones may not even work on the Colombian telecoms network.

“People will travel to the US and offer my bosses to return the phones,” said an employee from Thania Cel, a small phone shop in Bogotá promoting the iPhone 14 on Instagram. Rest of the world. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being identified by the authorities.

A clerk from another phone shop in Bogota told a clerk, who also spoke on condition of anonymity Rest of the world That some smugglers – often just regular passengers interested in smuggling fees paid by shopkeepers – were asked by customs officials at the airport if they carried an iPhone 14, during their usual border checks. The writer said Rest of the world The authorities did not confiscate the phones of any of the smugglers working in the store.

The uncertainty about the risks surrounding these phones is used to justify the price hike. The base model of the phone is listed at $799 on Apple’s website, but it costs 36% more in a Colombian store — nearly 5 million pesos (about $1,084). The uncertainty also means that prices vary a lot between stores: one store can charge up to 600,000 pesos (about $130) more than another for the same model.

Meanwhile, Apple has appealed the decision and, hoping for a different ruling this time around, has secured the iPhone 14 certification from the Colombian Telecom Regulatory Authority – a process the companies implement before the phones are brought to market.

While the legal technical aspects of the case persist, people continue to buy and sell iPhones all over Colombia. However, even if the economic risks of smuggling lie almost entirely on the seller, buyers still have to face the worry that their new, expensive iPhones won’t work or won’t be serviced if something goes wrong.

A technician from an authorized repair shop said: “The ban also means we can’t import hardware for spare parts.” Rest of the worldthey speak on condition of anonymity because they were sharing confidential information.

Confirmed by the writer at Thania Cel Rest of the world That the US guarantee is still valid, although the customer will have to wait a long time to get it on a distant continent.

Once this foreclosed device is sold, the dynamic power switches shift, as buyers become wholly dependent on those who sold their iPhone to them. When asked about the best way to repair a new Apple phone in Colombia, one seller chose Bid Rest of the world Vague answer: “If you have issues with your iPhone 14, bring it to me. I will deal with it.”

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