The world’s two largest manufacturers of smartphones and tablet PCs Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. will soon face off in court over patent infringements. A US District Court Judge has placed a temporary injunction on the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 after Apple claimed the Galaxy is a copy of the iPad.
The injunction does not apply to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II.
The judge says: "Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products.”
Apple filed for the ban in April, and if it is proven unnecessary in court, Apple will have to pay Samsung $2.6 million in damages.
Samsung filed an appeal with the federal appeals court, but says the injunction should not impact business. The trial will begin July 30.
Analysts believe Apple may be trying to stamp out competitors. Since 2010, it has tried to limit Google’s Android system, and Samsung’s Galaxy tablets operate on Android. HTC and Motorola have also been challenged in court by Apple.
Similar injunctions in Germany, Australia and the Netherlands all have been overturned. Earlier this year, a federal judge also dismissed a patent infringement claim against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit.
Worldwide, there are 20 lawsuits pending against Apple and Samsung. A ruling about a patent infringement case Apple filed in early 2012 in regards to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has not yet been made, and another complaint filed against both companies with the US International Trade Commission has also yet to be decided.
Tablet Market Booming
The demand for tablets and smartphones is expected to grow; according to IHS iSuppli, some 123.5 million units should be sold before the end of 2012.
Android is the world’s best-selling operating system.
According to research firm Display Search, during the first quarter of 2012, Apple sold 13.6 million iPads, giving it a 63% global market share. Samsung sold 1.6 million Galaxy tablets, giving it a 7.5% global market share.
In late June, Microsoft launched a line of tablets, and expects some 4,873,000 units to be sold in 2012.
Google will also soon have a tablet on the market co-branded with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc.
Key Statistics - US Tablet PC Market (source: TechSci Research)
- Apple’s iPad sold more than tens of millions of units globally in its launch year, setting the benchmark for tablet PC sales.
- In 2011, the tablet PC market reached $35.3 billion globally. The market is forecast to continue to grow until 2016.
- In the US, the tablet PC market is predicted to grow at the CAGR of nearly 11%. This is due to the increased demand from companies and the wide acceptance of tablets.