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Rumors swirl around potential Samsung lawsuits over iPhone 5

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Sep 2011 11:17

Rumors swirl around potential Samsung lawsuits over iPhone 5

As the presumed October launch of the iPhone 5 gets closer, signs that Samsung may launch a series of patent lawsuits to block sales of the device continue to surface.
Over the weekend a report came out of South Korea that Samsung is leaning toward a suit blocking sales of the next iPhone in that country. Now it seems they may take the same approach in Europe.

Samsung had no comment on the claim from an unnamed source according to a Reuters article.

From Apple's point of view, the obvious question is what, exactly, do they stand to gain from killing Android?

The iPhone is by far the most successful smartphone on the planet. If they are planning to introduce a discount model based on the iPhone 4, and that seems likely, it stands a good chance of being the number two model.



The hype of a new iPhone is unmatched by any competitor. In fact, you could argue Samsung's Galaxy S II's public visibility was increased more by Apple's legal campaign than anything Samsung could have done.

The iPhone 5 would almost certainly have set sales records regardless of the competition. Given the ever increasing number of smartphone users, they shouldn't need to convert any Android users to accomplish that.

A budget unit based on the iPhone 4, on the other hand, almost certainly would take sales from low end Android handsets. And unlike litigation, it would make, rather than cost, Apple money.

Even worse for Apple is what could happen if they win all these lawsuits. The Android ecosystem would almost certainly collapse. Barring a huge boost in Windows Phone sales, it would potentially leave them in a near monopoly position in the US, Europe, and Australia.

That would certainly mean severely increased regulatory scrutiny over everything from phone pricing to carrier deals to app store policies.

If Windows Phone, Bada, or some other competitor takes Android's place, Apple hasn't gained anything, except perhaps more companies to spend money suing.

How is any of this more profitable for Apple than putting all that money into new products?

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