COMMENT: Despite their $86 Billion in the bank and their millions spent trying to teach Samsung a lesson in patent law, Apple have been left with egg on their face after the Australian High Court today denied Apple’s request to appeal an earlier decision overturning a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Samsung Galaxy 10.1″ tablet devices which are officially stockpiled in Singapore, but may have already been shipped into Harvey Norman warehouses, is set to be one of the hottest Android tablets running into Xmas after Apple delivered a knockout advertising and free publicity campaign for the device.
This is the device that Apple saw as the greatest threat to the humble iPad. It was the device that Apple had to stop at any cost.
As teams of lawyers packed the Australian Federal Court analysts were claiming that if Apple lost this case it would cost Apple millions in damages. SmartHouse understands that a deal between Apple and Samsung has already been struck relating to damages due to lost sales.
For Apple money is not an issue, market share is especially when it came to iPad sales which are starting to wane around the world.
Apple could have singled out several Android tablet vendors to take on; vendors such as Motorola which is now owned by Google, Asus, Acer, and Toshiba were all potential targets. Instead Apple chose to target Samsung because they were big, had the market momentum and a pretty neat tablet that was already getting rave reviews from online and printer reviewers.
Things started to unravel for Apple Late back in November when the full bench of the Federal Court unanimously reversed a ruling that banned the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia until a full hearing next year.
The court had found that the original judge, in granting the temporary ban, didn’t properly weigh up the strength of Apple’s case.
Apple’s strategy was simple; find the biggest and most successful competitor on the block and then wack them with a series of questionable patent claims.
One Apple patent argument was that the Galaxy Tab breached Apple touch patents; this is the same touch technology that appeared in the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab that hit the Australian market last Xmas.
It was also the tablet size that former Apple Chairman Steve Jobs wrote off as an “irrelevant” size.
One has to question why Apple didn’t take action then if their touch patents were so precious and were in need of legal protection.
Today’s decision was critical as if Apple was granted special leave to appeal against the decision the Samsung tablet would most likely never see the light of day, as by the resolution of the case it would have been overtaken by newer products.
Now Samsung is set to have a very merry tablet Xmas, coupled with their new Google Nexus Smartphone which is set to run the Android 4.0 OS and all the free publicity that Apple has generated for the product all Samsung has to do is get their goods into stores and that is happening right now.
Tyler McGee in an interview with SmartHouse said he was pleased with the outcome. “It’s fantastic for us and we are ready to get the device onto store shelves”.
Samsung’s tablet would be available to take home from stores ”towards the latter part of next week”, he said. The RRP of its 16GB Wi-Fi Galaxy Tab would be $579 and 3G version $729 – exactly the same price of Apple’s base Wi-Fi and 3G iPad models.