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Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Apple Verdict May Force Samsung Product Re-Designs, Delay Launches

Samsung Electronics Co. may need to delay introducing new mobile devices so it can make design changes after a U.S. jury ruled that the world’s top maker of smartphones infringed Apple Inc. patents.

Apple yesterday won a $1 billion judgment that may also halt U.S. sales of Samsung’s mobile products. The companies return to court next month for a hearing on Apple’s request for a permanent ban on devices including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung vaulted to the top of a global smartphone market valued at $219 billion by Bloomberg Industries by introducing a variety of Galaxy models using Google Inc.’s Android software and gaining share over Apple’s more-limited product range. The Suwon, South Korea-based company may have to rush to change products under development, leading to delays as it seeks to widen its lead.

“Samsung will have to change some products in its pipeline,” Chang In Whan, president of Seoul-based KTB Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of $5.8 billion, said by phone today. “There could be delays in developing and releasing new models at a time when products are coming out every six months.”

Samsung’s schedules for debuting new products won’t be affected by the verdict, James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for the company, said today by phone.

Samsung has gotten around other sales bans by modifying some features of its products. The company last year changed the frame of a Galaxy tab model and the location of speakers after Apple won an injunction banning its sales in Germany.

The global lineup for the rest of this year includes the next version of the Galaxy Note, which sold more than 10 million units in less than a year. The company began selling a tablet edition of the Note this month, following the May release of the Galaxy S III, the newest version in its bestselling smartphone series.

Samsung — the largest maker of computer-memory chips, flat-screen panels and TVs — plans to spend 25 trillion won ($22 billion) this year in capital expenditure to boost manufacturing capacity, including 15 trillion won for chips and 6.6 trillion won for flat-screen panels used in smartphones, tablet computers and televisions.

“Samsung has deep pockets and they are going to change some designs up,” said Michael Risch, a patent law professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. “Not being able to copy may make them do better things than Apple…

Read more: Business Week

 

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