Apple goes for the kill on the Galaxy S II
Apple is seeking speedy bans on the sale of eight Samsung phones, moving swiftly to translate its resounding court victory over its rival into a tangible business benefit.
The world’s most valuable company wasted no time in identifying its targets: eight older-model smartphones, including several variants of the Galaxy S II and Droid Charge. While Apple’s lawsuit encompassed 28 devices, many of those accused products are no longer widely available in the world’s largest mobile market.
We expect there’s a two-thirds chance of an injunction against Samsung products
Although Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III phone was not included in the trial, the jury validated Apple’s patents on features and design elements that the iPhone maker could then try to wield against that device. Apple may not have to seek a new trial over the S III, but can include it in a “contempt proceeding” that moves much faster, according to legal experts.
Many on Wall Street believe Apple now has momentum behind it in the wake of its near-complete triumph over the South Korean company on Friday.
“The evidence and weight of the case are heavily in Apple’s favour,” said Jefferies & Co analyst Peter Misek. “We expect there’s a two-thirds chance of an injunction against Samsung products.”
An injunction hearing has been set for 20 September. If US District Judge Lucy Koh grants sales bans, Samsung will likely seek to put them on hold pending the outcome of its appeal.
The phones Apple wants banned
Galaxy S 4G
Galaxy S2 (AT&T)
Galaxy S2 (Skyrocket)
Galaxy S2 (T-Mobile)
Galaxy S2 Epic 4G
Galaxy S Showcase
Samsung said it will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of its products in the US market. A source familiar with the situation said Samsung has already started working with US carriers about modifying infringing features to keep products on the market should injunctions be granted.
Apple’s win on Friday strengthens its position ahead of the iPhone 5’s expected 12 September launch and could cement its market dominance as companies using Google’s Android operating system – two-thirds of the global market – may be forced to consider design changes, analysts say.
Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages after a US jury found Samsung had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad. The verdict could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products.
Apple’s stock scored another record high on Monday.
While the victory does not cover new Samsung products including the Galaxy S III, Apple will push its case on these products in the near-term, Evercore Partners analyst Mark McKechnie said.
“While a ban would likely increase Apple’s leading smartphone share in the US market, we believe this verdict could lead to Samsung also delaying near-term product launches as it attempts to design around Apple’s patents,” Canaccord Genuity analysts said in a note.
Google finally responded to the court verdict on Sunday. “The mobile industry is moving fast and all players, including newcomers, are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,” Google said in a statement. “We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don’t want anything to limit that.”
Apple’s shares gained 1.9% to close at $675.68 on Monday, tacking on another $12 billion-plus to its already historically leading market value. Samsung lost about the same amount in market capitalisation as its shares slid 7.5 percent in Seoul, although they rebounded slightly today.