Samsung To Seek iPhone 4S Ban In Italy, France
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics said it will file patent-infringement claims in France and Italy to ban the sale of Apple's new iPhone less than a day after it was unveiled, intensifying a legal battle between the two top brands.
It will also file legal cases in other countries to stop the sale of the iPhone 4S after further review, the South Korean maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets said in a statement.
Samsung has emerged as a credible challenger to Apple's mobile devices and the two companies are battling over patents in courtrooms around the world. They have sued each other in 10 countries involving more than 20 cases since April.
The latest salvo from Samsung comes hours after Apple's newest iPhone launch left investors and Apple fans wishing for more than a souped-up version of its previous device introduced more than a year ago. Apple shares fell as much as 5 percent before recovering to close down 0.6 percent on Tuesday.
"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free-ride on our technology," the South Korean firm said in a statement. "We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property."
Samsung said preliminary injunction requests for a ban on iPhone 4S sales will be filed on Wednesday and each case involves two patent infringements related to its wireless technology.
Under French and Italian laws, companies can seek and courts can order a ban on sales of a product even before it hits the market, Samsung spokesman James Chung told Reuters.
Apple and Samsung are vying for the top spot in the global smartphone market.
But the intensifying legal battle with Apple threatens to derail Samsung's telecoms and component businesses. Apple is Samsung's biggest customer, buying mainly chips and displays.
On Tuesday, Apple rejected an offer from Samsung to settle a tablet computer dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the commercial viability of the new Galaxy tablet in that market.
Samsung is set to report sharply lower quarterly earnings on Friday on persistent declines in chip prices, while investors look for signs its telecom business can sustain its booming growth.
Samsung's intensifying attack comes after a series of setbacks in Europe and Australia.
Apple and Samsung are due to meet again in courtrooms in the United States, the Netherlands and South Korea next week.
Apple says Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad.
Samsung, widely expected to overtake Apple as the world's No.1 smartphone vendor in unit terms in the third quarter, rejects the claims.
Samsung accused Apple of not paying licensing fees for some of its patents before it started selling iPhones in 2007. Apple argues Samsung never demanded a license fee until 2010 and before that Samsung remained silent because Apple is an important customer.
The iPhone 4S adds to Apple's iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 products that Samsung claims infringed its wireless-technology patents.
Samsung's latest Galaxy tablets, powered by Google's Android operating system, have already been blocked in Germany. So too have some smartphone models in the Netherlands.
Shares in Samsung closed up 1.7 percent on Wednesday after the new iPhone failed to wow fans and investors, leaving Android rivals better placed to grab market share.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)
Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions
13 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BOUT THE iPHONE 4S:
Apple debuted the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/siri-apple-iphone-4s-voice-personal-assistant_n_994605.html?1317758678" target="_hplink">Siri virtual assistant</a>, a voice-controlled interface designed exclusively for the iPhone 4S. Siri lets the user schedule calendar events and reminders, set alarms, find information about local businesses--just by asking. The hands-free system even talks back to you. <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/nickbilton/status/121288597952405504" target="_hplink">The New York Times's Nick Bilton</a> notes that it sounds like "A female Hal who had too many vodka tonics at the bar." <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/04/apple-reveals-siri-voice-interface-the-intelligent-assistant/" target="_hplink">According to TechCrunch</a>, "Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The iPhone 4S is built around Apple's dual-core A5 processor, which also powers the iPad 2. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Apple claims that this new chip</a> "delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Better Download Speeds
Although the new iPhone isn't a 4G device, Apple claims that it can rival high-speed devices. <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">Writes Gizmodo</a>, "the new iPhone 4S runs on faster HSPA+ networks. That means that your telephone will download stuff faster from the Internet. Before it was up to 7.2 Megabits-per-second downloads." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
New Operating System
Right out of the box, the new iPhone will run Apple's upgraded operating system, iOS 5. Apple says the new OS introduces over 200 new features, such as push notifications to all mobile devices, wireless upgrades, improved mobile browsing via Apple's Safari app, location-aware reminders, a webcam shortcut that's accessible from the lock screen, the ability to edit photos and many others. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
More Carrier Choices
In addition to availability through AT&T and Verizon, the iPhone 4S will be offered by a new carrier: Sprint. "[T]he specs for Sprint's version perfectly match the Verizon model -- both have an EVDO radio for 3G within the US, and a GSM one for service outside the country," <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/04/sprint-iphone-officially-announced-on-sale-october-14/" target="_hplink">Engadget writes</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
Apple's latest iPhone is a "world phone," which means users can use it to place calls and surf the web on different networks, an ideal feature for jet-setters and one that previous iPhones didn't offer. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">From Apple's official press release:</a> <blockquote>Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.</blockquote> <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
In the United States, customers can pick up a 16GB iPhone 4S for $199, a 32GB model for $299 and a beefy 64GB model for $399. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
<a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S begin on October 7</a>. The device will hit shelves in the U.S. on October 14. Consumers around the world will have to wait until December 2011, when the handset will make its way to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple</a>. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Longer Battery Life
Apple promises that the faster A5 processor won't degrade battery life but will actually allow the iPhone 4S to use energy more efficiently than the iPhone 4. Indeed, the company promises up to 8 hours of battery life when placing calls via 3G. "If you set your phone to 2G, you will get 14 hours of talk time," <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">writes Gizmodo</a>. "3G web browsing will give you six hours of battery life, while Wi-Fi access runs up to nine hours." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
The new iPhone also comes with a camera upgrade. The device's rear-facing webcam has been bumped up from 5 megapixels up to 8 megapixels and will offer 1080p HD video recording. Images captured on the iPhone 4S will feature over 60 percent more pixels than on the previous handset, <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/04/apple-roundup-apple-throws-the-press-for-a-loop-with-iphone-4s-but-no-iphone-5/" target="_hplink">that's a resolution of 3264 x 2448</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
A feature of iOS 5, <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/10/04/airplay-mirroring-comes-to-iphone-4s/" target="_hplink">Airplay Mirroring</a> allows the iPhone sync wirelessly to an Apple TV, letting the user watch videos or view photos from their phone on the big screen. <em>Images courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone looks just like its predecessor, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">measuring</a> 4.5 inches high, 2.31 wide and 0.37 inches thick, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple's measurements</a>. The 4S will weigh 4.9 ounces, just a hair heavier than its predecessor, which weighed 4.8 ounces. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone will be available in white as well as black. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
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