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The Galaxy S (pictured) is outselling Apple's iPhone in Japan, but Apple hopes to change that by banning its competitor from the market.  (Source: Japan Now)

Those tricky devils! Somehow movie makers traveled back in time 37 years to infringe upon Apple's patented iPad design, which it fantasized in 2005, finally figuring out how to produce it commercially five years later.  (Source: Cinerama)
Samsung is outselling Apple, but Apple hopes lawyers will succeed in restricting market selection

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has a very big problem.  It can't compete with the superior hardware and broader selection of devices running Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system.  But its large legal staff has devised a clever solution -- it will try to kill Android in court [1][2][3][4][5].

I. In the Court of the Rising Sun

Apple's quest to remove its competitor from the market has now taken it to the "Land of the Rising Sun", Japan.  In Japan, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics, top Android handset maker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO 005930) Galaxy S smartphone has been outselling Apple's iPhone.  But Apple's lawyers have a plot to change that situation.

News broke late yesterday that a couple weeks back Apple filed yet another lawsuit against Samsung, this time seeking to ban Japanese sales of the company's bestselling Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones, as well as the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet.

The new Japanese suit, filed Aug. 23, makes the familiar accusation that Samsung "slavishly" copied Apple's smart phones and tablets.  It seeks 100 million yen ($1.3M USD) in damages and a complete sales ban.  

Apple initiated the court battle, suing Samsung in multiple courts in the U.S., Australia, South Korea, and Europe.  Samsung responded by counter-suing in these regions.  It was in fact Samsung who struck first in Japan, filing suit in April.  Samsung is looking to fight fire with fire and is asking for a ban on iPhone and iPad sales.

Sources we've spoken to close to Samsung indicate that the device maker does not truly wish to restrict consumers selection, rather they hope that a potential sales ban would force Apple to drop its questionable lawsuits out of self-interest and let consumers decide which company's products are victorious.

II. Does Apple Own the Exclusive Right to Make Smart Phones and Tablets?

Apple claims to own exclusive rights to produce any modern smartphone or tablet, claiming ownership of all multi-touch in mobile devices and all thin, rectangular minimalist mobile device designs.

Apple has been granted design patents in many regions that appear to grant it sweeping ownership of minimalist tablet designs.  In short the patents declare Apple to own exclusive rights to making thin rectangular tablets with a minimalist single (homescreen) button design.  

Apple was granted the design patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2005.  Apple would not be able to produce its vision commercially until five years later in 2010.

Similarly, Apple claims to own exclusive rights to develop multi-touch devices.  It was granted a patent on multi-touch in mobile devices, despite the fact that Myron Krueger and the University of Toronto developed and published papers on virtually equivalent technology almost 25 years prior to Apple producing its first multi-touch device (the iPhone).  

III. Outlook for Apple's Plot is Mixed

Apple's plans may be in jeopardy given a recent Netherlands court ruling, the first major decision in the case.  The judge in that case rejected Apple's claims of owning exclusive rights to the tablet design and multi-touch as ridiculous.  He wrote, "There was no violation by Samsung on any of Apple's design or copyright..."

The judge essentially handed Samsung a victory, declaring that it only infringed on one minor patent that dealt with a feature in Android's Gallery application.  The verdict cleared Samsung to continue sales in Netherlands, much to Apple's chagrin.

Apple has succeed in securing temporary sales bans in Germany and Australia.  The Australian case will be decided September 26, while the German case should be decided tomorrow, September 9.

If Apple can't topple Android's top handset and tablet makers with lawsuits its hopes of being the market's top player look bleak.  Reports indicate that Android is outselling Apple nearly 5-to-2 globally, a gap which is widening with every passing month.  

Meanwhile Apple has seen its tablet market share plunge from approximately 94 percent to 61 percent in a year, while Android has risen from 3 percent to 30 percent over the same period.  Most expect Android to soon pass Apple in tablet market share as Apple continues to stick to limited product selection (just a single product in the tablet market, in fact) and a sluggish release schedule (one new design per year).

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Entire article is tabloid material
By vision33r on 9/8/2011 12:17:05 PM , Rating: -1
The 1st line starts out saying Apple is afraid of superior hardware from Android and being outsold.

This is complete BS. Apple has the #1 most sold phone model worldwide. They are only selling 2 models of phones. There are dozens of Android phone models and none of them are outselling the iPhone on it's own. If you add up all the free + cheap phones and high end phones, sure it adds up to be more but hardly comparable.

Samsung phones except the SGS2 are hardly better than the Iphone 4 in hardware.

This article is completely partial and biased.

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By MrBlastman on 9/8/2011 12:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
No. Android was outselling Apple prior to the barrage of injunctions.

Quit drinking the Kool Aid. Your post is full of brainwashed desperation.

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By AnalogToDigitalKid on 9/8/11, Rating: -1
By MrBlastman on 9/8/2011 2:34:59 PM , Rating: 2
Huh, what? Apple has superior hardware? I think I'm reading this wrong.

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By VooDooAddict on 9/8/2011 3:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree.

Without apple there was a vibrant smart phone market. It just wasn't chic and cool for the masses. RIM, Palm, and Nokia all quite nice offerings.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/8/2011 6:55:58 PM , Rating: 1
Smartphones pre-2007 were garbage

By DeluxeTea on 9/8/2011 11:06:11 PM , Rating: 1
They lie, cheat and steal their way to the top.

Perfect description of Apple.

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By adiposity on 9/8/2011 5:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, I think, that Android phones outsold iPhones, but I think the poster was saying no single Android model outsold the iPhone.

Of course, that's kind of unimportant, because the important thing is the size of the Android market, not the individual models.

On the other hand, if you include iPod touches, are there more iOS devices than Android devices?

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By B3an on 9/8/2011 6:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
The Galaxy S2 has been outselling the iPhone here in the UK since release in April and remains the best selling phone, it's the same in many European countries, also in Japan it's vastly outselling the iPhone.

By adiposity on 9/8/2011 6:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't doubt what you say at all, but how many Galaxy S2 have been sold globally vs. iPhone 4? I couldn't find the answer to this.

By lukarak on 9/10/2011 6:55:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sure it is. With a ton of Arm11 320x240 devices, of course it is outselling Apple by the number of devices.

If you look at the more important figure price*units, things change. Almost 360.

RE: Entire article is tabloid material
By nocturne_81 on 9/8/2011 6:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Although I do not appreciate the bias of this article, it's obvious you hold just as much if not more bias against non-Apple products...

Sure, the iPhone 4 is indeed the best selling single model, but Apple is still a ways from the top of the market.

And hardware specs..? Seriously, look at them on paper.. The iPhone 4 is incredibly outdated -- it was when it was released. To put it in perspective, compare the specs of the upcoming iPhone '5' against the first series of Galaxy S devices -- yes, the ones that came out more than a year ago.

By B3an on 9/8/2011 6:42:02 PM , Rating: 3
No... it's the best selling phone in the U.S, and this might come as a surprise to you yanks but the U.S does not = world.
In many countries the iPhone is not the best selling phone and has been overtaken by the Galaxy S2. Even the original Galaxy overtook iPhone sales in Japan early on in the year.

The Galaxy S2 is outselling the iPhone in pretty much any country it's been released in and has been doing this for months. It's not outselling the iPhone in the U.S simply because it's not been released there yet.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/8/2011 7:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
Does it really matter when WP7 on Snapdragon or iOS on A4 is faster and smoother than Android on the technically faster Hummingbird? Seems irrelevant given the state of the OS right now.

Paper specs don't mean much when the operating system is holding things back.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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