Why Apple Wants to Ban Galaxy S 3 Before it Hits the U.S.

Apple and Samsung have been in a bitter battle over patents for the past 2 years. It all started with Apple filing a lawsuit claiming that Samsung phones using the slide to unlock” feature were in violation of an Apple patent. This sparked a war of lawsuits, with each company trying to block the sales of the other company’s products in every market that has patent laws on software, design and processes.

One of the notable lawsuits in this war is Samsung’s lawsuit against Apple in France, claiming that Apple has infringed on three of its technology patents regarding UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System). Another notable lawsuit is the one filed by Apple in various countries stating that the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Smartphones have copied the look and feel of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The latest round of patent wars surround Apple’s attempt to block sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3.

The court has denied (for now) Apple’s demand to ban Galaxy S III sales in US, but Apple is arguing that the S III is “similar enough to the Galaxy Nexus to be bundled in the same motion.” Apparently, the iPhone-maker is claiming the S III infringes two of the four patents currently aimed at the Nexus: universal search and smart links. Apple has yet to decide if it’ll pursue the S III for the other two patents, which are slide to unlock and keyboard suggestions.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is the heavily marketed successor to the well reviewed Samsung Galaxy S II which did a great job in capturing a significant portion of the smartphone market. It runs on the Android OS developed for mobile devices. Most consumers agree that the look and feel of iPhone and Galaxy Smartphones are very similar. Consumers tend to prefer Android phones for a variety of reasons such as the vast number of apps available, lower price point, lesser cost of accessories and easy compatibility with Windows computers. The ability to jailbreak the phone to install unpaid apps is another underlying factor in the phone’s success in the Asian markets.

Among this battle of patents, this week the preliminary banning of the Galaxy S III from sales in the United States requested by Apple amid an upcoming court case has been denied by judge Lucy Koh.

Samsung Electronics Co said the latest version of its flagship smartphone Galaxy S 3 will go on sale in the U.S. market as planned, starting July 21, despite a sales injunction request filed by Apple to a U.S. court. Be sure to have a peek at our full Samsung Galaxy S III review (in its international iteration) and stay tuned for the rest as they hit the USA!

On the other hand, supporters of Apple iPhone and its ecosystem of products tend to prefer Apple products for the cult status that it has achieved. The build quality and speed of Apple’s iPhones are definitely at a higher level. Users who own another Apple device like the iMac or iPad also experience the advantages of running the same operating system on all their devices. Apple phones are also frequently updated with the latest version of the iOS which means that even older phones would have all the features that the newer phones offer.

If we look at the rationale behind this patent war between Apple and Samsung, it is interesting to note that Apple has not filed lawsuits against Google for the Android OS. It is worthy to note that since mobile phone models have extremely short life-cycles of 30 to 40 days. Even a temporary ban in a key market like the U.S can seriously impact the profitability of a particular model. The latest chapter in the Apple-Samsung war is reminiscent of the Mac OS and Microsoft Windows patent wars that happened in the last century.

Guest Author: This is a guest post by Mark Dwayne of buytimewarnercable.com, a site that offers savings and current information on Time Warner Cable.

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