A Down Under Twist in the Samsung vs. Apple Saga

Looks like Apple’s succeeded in blocking Samsung mobile sales.  In Australia at least.  But first, a little recap:  Apple filed an infringement lawsuit against Samsung, so the handset maker retaliated by filing a similar case against Apple. This led to both companies asking for restraining orders to essentially hinder both products from being exported in certain countries.

Now back to the present: Samsung is set to release its Galaxy Tab 10.1, a different version from the one in the US, in Australia but postponed its release after coming into agreement with Apple that they will not release the product unless they have already gotten the court’s approval to do so.   Apple subsequently agreed that if Samsung wins the court battle, they will pay an undisclosed amount to Samsung.

Samsung believes that the Australian version of the product has more chances of winning against Apple, but this move is deemed weak by some.

“Apparently, Samsung didn’t want to take its chances trying to defend its U.S. product in the Australian court,” Florian Mueller observes over at FOSS Patents. “Instead, Samsung hopes to defend its Australian version. But this does appear pretty weak. If Samsung believed that the U.S. version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t infringe any of Apple’s rights, it would have defended itself as a matter of principle.”

With this injunction, Samsung agrees to provide Apple three samples of the Australian version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at least seven days before its distribution so Apple can review the product.  Justice Annabelle Bennett rescheduled a hearing for Aug. 29 to review the status of the case.

Though the two companies are battling in court, their combined market share still managed to knock Nokia off the top of the podium in the ‘Most sold smartphones for the second quarter’ category.  Though Nokia still has the most smartphones sold overall, their Q2 earnings declined when they announced that their phones will have the Windows OS rather than their Symbian OS.

Apple then snagged the number one spot with 20.3 million up from last year’s 8.4 million of units sold, while Samsung came in second with 19.2 million up from last year’s 3.1 million.  Nokia settled into third place with 16.7 million–a dramatic fall from last year’s 23.8 million, quite a hard blow for someone who’s consistently topped the charts.

As for the Samsung-Apple saga, let’s just wait for what Apple comes up with when they get the chance to scrutinize the Australian version of the Galaxy Tab.  I wonder who will win this one; it’s really hard to tell right now.