During the past five years, the smartphone developed into an industry standard for mobile phones. The release of the first Apple iPhone marked the boom of the smartphone industry and set the stage for smartphones to enter the global market. Taking the lead once more, Apple introduced its iPad in 2010 which is now the most popular tablet. However, as with the iPhone, Apple is not alone in the tablet marketplace. More specifically, we have seen tablets introduced by the likes Hewlett-Packard (HP), Research in Motion (RIM), HTC, Samsung, and even Amazon.com with its new Kindle Fire. Some, like HP’s and RIM’s tablet, failed miserably while others enjoy success like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Amazon’s Kindle. Samsung’s success has not gone unnoticed, especially by Apple.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab continues to experience a great deal of success in the tablet marketplace. Running on Google’s Android operating system, the Galaxy Tab provides users with a viable alternative to the iPad. In response to the success Apple continues to make many attempts to keep its high market share in the tablet marketplace by pursuing legal action against Samsung for infringement on its patents for the tablet’s design. In response, Samsung has also been taking legal action against Apple for patent infringements. This has truly become a clash of the tech titans for the ages.
From Deutschland to Down Under
This legal battle all began in April of this year when Apple filed suit against Samsung in the United States. However it was in August of this year when the battle really picked up pace as Apple filed and won its lawsuit against Samsung in Germany regarding the Galaxy Tab and the patent for the iPad. The German courts placed an injunction against Samsung temporarily banning the sale of all Galaxy Tabs in Germany[i]. This victory proved to be a major step for Apple as it was able to set a precedent for future lawsuits as well as establishing Apple as the primary player in the tablet industry.
In the most recent legal battle between the two, Apple once again has come out victorious over Samsung – this time in Australia. Citing the same reasons of patent infringement on its iPad, Apple filed a lawsuit in Australia and won its case in October. As was the case in Germany, the Australian courts placed a temporary ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab until the conflict between the two companies is resolved. These two rulings are major blows to Samsung if it hopes to continue to be a strong competitor of Apple and a big player in the tablet industry. Losing two large markets like Germany and Australia spells out a big hit to their sales potential and only helps Apple in its attempts to remain the sole player in the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry.[ii]
Fighting Back with Phones
In large part as a response to these lawsuits from Apple, Samsung too has recently filed lawsuits in France, Italy, Japan and Australia citing patent infringement on the wireless communication and user interface technologies of its smartphones[iii] and is seeking to have sale of Apple’s recently released iPhone 4S banned in these countries. These constant legal battles between Apple and Samsung cannot be good for either company, especially considering the business relationship that exists between the two.
**Due to technical difficulties we recently had to switch domains and transfer all of our website content. Please keep in mind that while we have been publishing articles for two years, the published dates shown may not reflect the initial publish date.