US officials in shock iPhone import ban

US REGULATORS slapped an unexpected import ban on some versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad last night after it said that the devices infringed copyrighted Samsung technology.

The decision, the latest shot in the long-running patent wars between Apple and its major competitor Samsung, applies to the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G that are designed for AT&T’s mobile network. All the models are at least two years old but the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in particular are still strong sellers.

The import ban, which President Barack Obama has the opportunity to veto, will become effective in 60 days. The US International Trade Commission decided to impose the ban after declaring that Samsung’s patented wireless technology had been used in the devices.

The two companies have traded several blows in courts around the world in the last year.

Apple said it would appeal the ruling, and that the ban would not affect the products’ availability.