Samsung tried to block Apple's new iPhone 4S in France and Italy, where the world phone based on iOS 5 is expected to go on sale Oct. 14.
That didn't take long. Less than 24 hours after Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced its iPhone 4S world phone, Samsung Electronics said it has filed preliminary injunction motions
France and Milano, Italy courts to block the sale of the device in those
Apple introduced the iPhone 4S at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters
showing off a device that is remarkably similar to the iPhone 4 launched 16
months ago and disappointing some watchers expecting a shiny, new iPhone 5
The iPhone 4S has several improvements within the
handset, including a speedier new processor, an 8 megapixel camera, an
intelligent assistant application and the ability to run on both GSM
networks worldwide. When it launches Oct. 14 in the United States, Australia,
Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK, it will be the first iPhone
run on Sprint's 3G network.
Samsung, which is the largest maker of smartphones based
on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, isn't having it.
The company, which was first sued by Apple for patent
infringement in April after Apple said the Samsung Galaxy S handset design
"slavishly copies" the iPhone, claimed the iPhone 4S infringes on two
wireless communications technology patents in both France and Italy. Specifically,
the technology covers Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards
for 3G mobile handsets.
"The infringed technology is essential to the
reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that
Apple's violation has being too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred
from sales," Samsung said in a statement. "Apple has continued to
flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our
technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our
new complaints are in addition to existing preliminary injunction
requests Samsung filed versus Apple. Samsung said it will file similar
to halt the iPhone 4S in other countries.
South Korea-based Samsung chose France and
Italy to begin its gross litigation against the iPhone 4S because they are considered key market.
The legal imbroglios
between partners Apple and Samsung, whose Android-based handsets are popular,
In one of the more serious cases, Samsung's legal counsel
said the company may not launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet in Australia because Apple has successfully
blocked it there since August.
If Samsung can't began selling it in that country in time
for the holiday sales rush, the product could be "commercially dead,"
the company's attorneys complained this week.
The stakes are high in smartphones. Apple's iPhone has
sold more than 128 million units worldwide. Samsung has shipped tens of millions of
smartphones based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, helping
that platform reach 40 percent market share, roughly double that of the iPhone
Interestingly, Samsung and Apple are partners. Samsung
makes the A5 processor that powers the iPad 2 and new iPhone 4S, as well as
display technology for both Apple gadgets and other devices.
Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek, who predicted Samsung would ask for injunctions preventing the launches of the new
iPhone in the United States and Europe
, said the "relationship is souring"
because Samsung has emerged as Apple's top handset rival in the global market.
Apple, he said, may then in turn seek to tap other OEMs
for components for its leading mobile devices.