Apple loses out to Samsung in Australia in global tablet war

30 Nov 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung Electronics has gleaned a significant victory over Apple today in the tablet battle between the two tech giants, as a court of judges in Australia has today lifted a temporary ban on sales of Samsung tablet devices Down Under.

Apple has been asserting that Samsung copied its iPad design. Already, in Germany, it had victored in barring sales of certain Samsung tablets there.

In mid-November, Samsung was forced to modify the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany to bypass the ban a court inflicted on the sale of the tablet after Apple sued the Korean company.

However, Australian officials have not been so lenient on Apple today.

Australia’s federal court has overturned the court’s decision to ban sales there.

It said that because the average lifespan of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is circa 12 months, a ban would effectively kill off the device in Australia and allow Apple have “complete victory in respect of its claims”.

Germany debacle

In Germany, however, the new version of the Samsung device will be named the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. It will have the exact same features as the original, except that the bezel’s design has been changed and the speaker has been relocated. The redesign comes after the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned in Germany after Apple was granted an injunction against the company. Apple alleged that Samsung had infringed the design of its iPad.

It was one of several lawsuits between the two tech giants which involved not only their tablets but their smartphones, too. Samsung has countersued Apple, claiming it has infringed on its wireless patents.

The companies’ dispute has spread across the globe, with lawsuits being filed in Japan, the US and Italy, as well as Australia.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic