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Samsung asks to see Apple’s next iPhone, iPad

Posted by arnon_k On May - 30 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

In an interesting turn of events, Samsung’s legal team has asked Apple to hand over next-generation versions of the iPhone and iPad to make sure its own future devices will not be subjected to the same infringement claims the company currently faces as part of Apple’s lawsuit from last month.

The motion, filed on Friday with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., and discovered by This Is My Next, asks the court to make Apple provide samples of the “final, commercial version(s)” of the iPhone and iPad, along with whatever retail packaging those products come in. Again, these aren’t announced products, they’re named in the filing as the “iPhone 4S,” “iPhone 5,” “iPad 3,” and “third generation iPad.”

The news comes a week after Apple filed a motion to see final production samples of a number of announced, though unreleased, Samsung products, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 tablets, and smartphones like the Galaxy S II, Droid Charge, and Infuse 4G. The idea behind that was to evaluate whether these devices would fall under the same intellectual-property infringement claims Apple had already placed on Samsung devices like the Nexus S, Captivate, Continuum, and Mesmerize in its original court filing.

Nilay Patel, of This Is My Next, notes that as with Apple’s handling of the request to see Samsung’s unreleased products, the Samsung request asks only that Samsung’s lawyers, and not the company’s product teams, be allowed to see the Apple devices. That said, the retaliation preys on the element of surprise, historically one of Apple’s biggest strengths when introducing new products.

Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung (PDF), back in April, alleged that Samsung had copied Apple’s mobile devices both in terms of user interface and design features. Apple also alleged that the Samsung devices in question infringed on Apple’s patents, and resulted in Samsung practicing unfair competition. Samsung fired back by launching a wave of patent infringement lawsuits targeting Apple’s products in multiple countries.

The case continues to generate intense interest from tech onlookers. While the two companies compete, Apple and Samsung have historically been close business partners, with Apple making use of a number of Samsung components across the range of its devices. Nonetheless, the relationship has not kept Samsung and its telecommunications group from being targeted.

Apple to Samsung: Stop stealing ideas

Posted by arnon_k On April - 20 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(WIRED) — Apple says it’s sick and tired of Samsung ripping off the iPad and iPhone, and the Cupertino, California, company is filing papers.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Apple accused Samsung of committing patent and trademark infringement with its Galaxy line of mobile products. That includes the Galaxy S smartphone and the Galaxy Tab tablet.

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple representative said in a statement provided to All Things Digital. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Samsung is also a supplier of components to Apple, and manufactures at least some of the A4 and A5 processors used inside the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, as well as solid-state disk drives used in many Apple products.

Tech giants are already tangled in a number of patent lawsuits filed in years past related to smartphones.

Nokia filed suit against Apple in 2009 for patent infringement, Apple filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010, and Microsoft has gone after Google’s partners offering Android-powered products.

In the suit filed against Samsung, Apple contends that Samsung is copying Apple’s products on both the hardware and software levels.

For instance, Apple says the Galaxy Tab “slavishly copies” Apple’s product design, using a rectangular body with rounded corners, a black border and an array of app icons similar to the iPad’s.

Apple also names the Galaxy S, Epic 4G and the Nexus S smartphones, according to a brief report in The Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit filing has yet to appear in the official PACER database.

Wired.com noted last year that the Samsung Vibrant, the predecessor of the Galaxy S, strongly resembles the iPhone.

Samsung, Nokia vie for control

Posted by arnon_k On February - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Lack of 3G no barrier to smartphone sales
Giants Samsung and Nokia are expected to battle for supremacy in the fast-growing local smartphone market this year as prices fall and heavy use of social media networks drives demand for versatile communication devices.

Visitors flocked to the opening day of the Thailand Mobile Expo 2011 yesterday at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center to hunt for bargains as a number of vendors showed off their latest models.

Smartphone sales are booming even though Thailand lacks a 3G wireless broadband service on the international standard 2100-Megahertz band, for which many smartphones are designed. The HSPA-based network available locally generally offers a less-optimal experience.

Wichai Pornpratang, telecommunication business director of Thai Samsung Electronics, said his company would spend one billion baht on marketing this year to lift its smartphone market share from 30% to 40% and overtake top-ranked Nokia.

Half of the 40 models the Korean company plans to launch this year will be smartphones, he said, to build on the recent success of its competitively priced Android-based Galaxy Cooper at 9,900 baht.

Samsung will focus on models priced between 5,000 and 10,000 baht that now account for 10-20% of the smartphone segment, he said.

“We certainly believe that our price below 10,000 baht is a key magnet, since our phones are the cheapest compared to those working on Android and offering similar functions,” said Mr Wichai.

He forecast smartphones would account for 30% of all handsets sold in Thailand this year, up from 9% last year.

“We expect that consumers will migrate from feature phones in a price range of 3,000 baht to buy their first smartphones at 5,000 baht. The cheaper price of smartphones is the key to expanding the smartphone user base – people would rather pay 5,000 baht if it makes them look stylish,” he said.

Samsung plans to soon introduce Nexus S, a co-development with Google, which developed the Android operating system.

Market leader Nokia (Thailand), meanwhile, will work to protect its share amid competition at the higher end from the likes of BlackBerry and iPhone.

“We foresee large room to grow in smartphones. The market size should reach 33% from only an 18% share among all mobile phone users this year,” said Shumit Kapoor, general manager of Nokia (Thailand).

However, Nokia will continue to emphasise the higher end at 15,000 baht or more, as the field is less crowded now that more players are competing at the low end.

“We have been very successful with the N8, which ran out of stock, and the upcoming E7 for business users will available in the first half. Both are offered at 15,000 and up,” said Mr Kapoor.

He said Nokia would also pay more attention to “touch-and-type” hybrid smartphones that offers both touchscreens and keyboards to tap into the youth market. These models will be cheaper at around 5,000 baht.

Somsak Athisaitrakul, senior manager for products of LG Electronics (Thailand), said it would introduce two models priced in the range of 6,000 to 7,000 baht in the second quarter to attract existing feature phone users.

Thananan Vilailuck, president of the handset distributor Samart I-Mobile, said his company would keep its price range lower than that of international brands at 4,500-6,000 baht, with a target of 100,000-200,000 smartphone sales this year out of its total of 3.5 million units.

10 million Galaxy S phones sold

Posted by arnon_k On January - 5 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(WIRED) — Selling 10 million units of any product in its first six months of initial release is nothing to scoff at. In the world of smartphones, it’s certainly a number to notice.

That’s why our eyebrows perked up when we read Samsung’s e-mail this morning, announcing that the company’s Android-based Galaxy S model has sold more than 10 million units worldwide since its debut in late June.

It’s an admirable number, although not quite in the same league as Apple, which sold 14.1 million iPhone 4 phones during the third quarter of 2010.

And it definitely gives RIM reason to worry: RIM sold 12.1 million phones in the third quarter, down 2.8% from the previous quarter, according to Comscore data released in November.

The battle for operating system share has been heated between the big three contenders: Apple’s iOS, Android and RIM’s Blackberry OS. But Android has seen a surge in attention in 2010.

More than 40% of U.S. customers purchasing smartphones over the last six months have chosen Android-based phones, according to a recent report released by Nielsen, beating out the percentage of people who chose Apple, which rests at 26.9%.

But in the same Nielsen data, Apple shows its slight (if dwindling) edge in the overall number of phones out there. Apple’s iOS has an overall U.S. market share of 28.6%, edging out Android, which rests at 26.1%. RIM’s Blackberry OS comes in only slightly behind Android at 25.8%.

There’s been a steady upward trajectory of Android-based phone sales over the past two years. Motorola’s Droid sold an estimated 100,000 units over the weekend of its release in late 2009. It took the Droid 74 days to reach the 1 million mark, according to research firm Flurry Analytics.

But it took Samsung a month less to reach the same point with the Galaxy S. The company said it had sold 1 million in the first 45 days since launch.

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