‘Disappointing’ & ‘Unfair’: JB Hi-Fi & Harvey Norman Lament Tab Ban

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JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman are not happy campers. “Disappointing” and “unfair” is how leading retailers described the banned sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Retailers are majorly peeved at the ban slapped on Samsung’s new Android Honeycomb Galaxy Tab 10.1 last week by a Sydney Federal Court Judge, after Apple claimed it infringed patents and was a copy of iPad 2, the current market leader.

“Obviously, the more competition in the market, the better,” Terry Smart JB Hi-Fi’s CEO told SmartHouse today, describing the ban of Galaxy Tab 10.1 as “disappointing.”

Ben McIntosh, Harvey Norman’s Computing GM also echoed these sentiments, telling the SMH he was “very disappointed” and it was “not fair” that Australian retailers were losing out on the Tab, thought to be the top Android rival to Apple iPad 2.

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McIntosh also called on Apple and Samsung legal parties to resolve the issue immediately.

This comes as SmartHouse revealed yesterday that several online sites are still offering the Galaxy Tab to Aussie consumers and bypass the legal judgement passed last week, which means the Tab most likely won’t be on retail sale here this side of Christmas.

Other local distributors are also said to have obtained stock from overseas, using a legal loophole to sell the banned Samsung device here.

Read Banned Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Goes On Sale In OZ

This ban will hit both Samsung and retailers Christmas tab sales – seen as the ‘must have’ computing category this year.

Analyst Telsyte estimates it will cost retailers 50,000 in lost sales. Just last week the same analyst increased its sales forecasts for media tablet in Australia to almost 1.2 million units for the year

Half a million Apple iPads are already thought to have been sold this year here, to date, and it looks like iPad’s reign will continue if the Oz ban isn’t lifted.

“It is restricting the range available to customers” Smart admitted, saying he would like to see “more alternatives in the market.”

So are Google Android tabs now set to become a dying breed since the prime time Samsung 10.1 inch tablet is now banned for the foreseeable from Aussie shelves? Not exactly, says JB’s Chief.

 

“Other Android devices will [still] have a look in,” he says , adding “people will weigh up the options that are currently available.”

However, it is likely iPad 2 will dominate the tabs purchased this holiday period, which could push it current 70% market share as high as 90%.

However, more worryingly US patents expert, Florian Mueller, claims all forthcoming Android devices from the likes of HTC and Motorola may not also be facing a ban, while the Apple V Samsung patents war is being played out.

 “Whether Apple will aggressively pursue all other new Android product launches in Australia in the near term remains to be seen.

“At this point, Apple is in litigation with Samsung, Motorola and HTC, which are the three leading Android device makers. I believe any new Australian product launches by those vendors will be at considerable risk to say the least,” Mueller wrote on this blog following the Australian ruling last week.

But it may not be just be tabs that are banned from shops, if Samsung has its way.

In retaliation to Apple, Samsung applied in Australian court to ban the iPhone 4S yesterday, accusing it of stealing wireless technology patents.

JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman are not happy campers. “Disappointing” and “unfair” is how leading retailers described the banned sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

 

No decision has been made on the application yet.

Read Samsung Asks Judge To Immediately Ban iPhone 4S Sales

However, its not looking good for Samsung in any of its cases which are going on in courts spanning the globe, with a US Judge finding it did violate Apple patents last week, although warned Apple it still had to prove the validity of patents under law. 

Apple are seeking to ban both Galaxy Tab and S II smartphone from going on sale in the US.

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