It looks like Apple have struck a major blow against rivals Samsung by taking legal action in Germany to prevent the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold across most EU countries. The Telegraph reports that the injunction prevents Samsung from advertising or selling the tablet in all countries including the UK, where it has been released in the last week.
Some commentators have mentioned that Apple have been quite canny in picking Germany as its base for the European attack on Samsung due to the prevalence of German courts to support intellectual property infringements. Most interesting is the fact that the judge did not hear a defense by Samsung at all and based his decision purely on Apple’s evidence (which may well be the way things are done in Germany).
Regardless, it is clear that Samsung has its work cut out for it. But furthermore, Apple are playing a dangerous game with high stakes. If they win then there is the possibility of stamping out all credible competition and that can only be a bad thing for consumers.
Samsung have not slavishly copied the iPad 2. They have clearly improved on the things it perceived to be important to consumers who want an iPad like device in terms of aesthetic nature. Functionally, Android is a totally different beast to Apple’s iOS in how it operates and there is quite a difference between the Honeycomb operating system and the software on the iPad. Personally, Samsung should have thought to differentiate itself a bit more by including options such a external memory card storage. Their logic obviously followed that if that is not a problem for the millions of iPad customers then why sacrifice the bragging rights of offering the world’s thinnest tablet? Certainly, it is these attributes which most offend Apple (and no doubt halt certain advertising campaigns).
I don’t agree with the court ruling and there is little to be done other than let the legal process take it’s course. But Apple’s actions do nothing other than reinforce the perceptions raised by Cory Doctorow in today’s Guardian.
I don’t like being told what I can or cannot purchase. And I don’t like being restricted in what I can or cannot do with my gadgets. At least Google are relatively open on their path to making billions, unlike Apple.
Do you agree with Apple’s tactics or the court action? If not, join in with the @AndroidGenusTwitter campaign using the hash tag #FreeTheGalaxyTab. We want to be free to pick whatever tablet we choose.