Samsung vows to countersue Apple

19 Apr 2011

Samsung says it will take counter-action against Apple, which launched a lawsuit last week alleging Samsung copied the iPad and iPhone with its Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets.

Apple is suing Samsung for allegedly copying the ‘trade dress’ of its iPhone and iPad products to create the Galaxy line of tablets and smartphones.

Apple is alleging Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets borrow heavily from the hardware, user interface and packaging of the iPad.

It is the latest in a saga of litigation battles that involve Nokia suing Apple and vice versa, Apple suing HTC, Microsoft suing Motorola and Oracle suing Google.

Samsung is believed to be countersuing Apple on the suspicion that Apple violated Samsung’s wireless patents.

Apple is one of Samsung’s top buyers of semiconductors but Samsung said it believes it has no choice but to fight back. Apple is the largest buyer of semiconductors from Samsung after Sony.

Tablet outlook for 2011

This is a high stakes game. According to Gartner, some 50m tablets computers are expected to ship this year. Samsung started shipping its 7-inch Galaxy Tab media tablet in Q4. Although its shipments into the channel were fairly aggressive, a lack of competitive pricing and ongoing competition from Apple stifled consumer demand.

Samsung is expected to follow with a 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system later this year, but the refresh will have a tough time maintaining share as more competitors enter the market.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years