Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011, originally slated for October 11th, has been cancelled. Samsung passed along the following comment from their HQ in Korea to Stuff:
Samsung and Google decide to postpone the new product announcement at CTIA Fall. We agree that it is just not the right time to announce a new product. New date and venue will be shortly announced.
Google and Samsung were expected to announce the Galaxy Nexus and Android Ice Cream Sandwich at the event. With such a generic reason for cancellation given by Samsung, it makes me wonder what transpired behind the scene. Is the phone not ready for primetime? Are their issues with Android Ice Cream Sandwich that warrant a postponement?
Update: Ina Fried from AllThingsD has posted and updated statement from the companies announcing this delay is out of respect for Steve Jobs. From the article:
We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing.
From Samsung’s official blog:
Samsung Electronics will file separate preliminary injunction motions in Paris, France and Milano, Italy on October 5 local time requesting the courts block the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the respective markets.
Samsung’s preliminary injunction requests in France and Italy will each cite two patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications technology, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.
The second paragraph plainly states this has to do with the RAND patents we’ve discussed before.
The iPhone 4S is scheduled to launch on October 14th for France, and October 28th for Italy.
On Sunday I covered how Verizon was siding with Samsung in their IP battle with Apple, and now it appears T-Mobile has also decided to weigh in on the issue. Today, T-Mobile filed an amicus brief opposing the Samsung Galaxy ban. From their statement:
While T-Mobile respects intellectual property rights and believes that owners of intellectual property deserve the right to present their arguments and evidence of infringement in court, a preliminary injunction is a drastic and extraordinary measure, and the courts should pay particular attention to its public consequences
T-Mobile may soon be the only major U.S. mobile carrier to not offer the iPhone, with rumors that Sprint will soon offer the top-selling device. Couple this with the fact that 90% of the smartphones T-Mobile sold in 2011 run Android and you can start to see why they too are concerned over the ban.
Cole Brodman, Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile USA has made it apparent that they do not know when they may carry the iPhone. From GigaOm:
“We’d love to have the iPhone whenever Apple makes that available,” he said, adding that the ball is in Apple’s court. “We are waiting for that phone call.”
I always thought a major selling point of Android was the diversity offered from multiple handset makers. But if Apple wins their case against Samsung, this could cause problems for future Android phones before they make it to market. Considering T-Mobile relies almost exclusively on the Android smartphone platform, this precedent could spell problems for them going forward.
FOSS Patents has published a great article on Verizon’s stance regarding Apple’s defense maneuvers filed against Android handset makers Samsung and HTC. From the article:
Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, implores the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to deny Apple’s request for a US-wide preliminary injunction against four Samsung products (the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G and Droid Charge smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer), arguing that such a decision would run counter to the public interest as it “would hinder Verizon Wireless in developing and deploying its next generation high-speed LTE [fourth-generation] network, the job growth dependant [sic] on that network, and will undercut key public policy goals, including expansion of American’s [sic] access to broadband networks and faster communication with emergency personnel.”
I am not sure how much good Verizon’s request will do in the legal arena, but I read it as “Verizon has bet big on LTE, and without these devices we’re screwed.” Then I came across this:
However, it remains to be seen whether the judge will believe that the market-leading carrier represents the public interest, given that Verizon’s objective of commodotizing smartphone technologies is transparent and that the same California-based federal court has in its records for another case, Oracle v. Google, a document that shows Verizon and Google promised each other unspecified favors, potentially anti-competitive ones since they did not document them in writing.
I would think that Verizon prefers Android over iOS for the simple fact that they can lock down the phones, brand them with their own logo and preload them with crapware, something not possible with the iPhone. Apple’s stance from the beginning has been that they control the hardware and software, and the phone companies are just the pipes. This view is inline with how we view terrestrial phone services and broadband internet today, but something new to the mobile space, and I am sure it makes Verizon uncomfortable.
John Paczkowski from AllThingsD asks “What Are Apple’s Icons Doing on Samsung’s Wall of Apps?”
Consider the wall of apps in this photo of the company’s new shop-in-a-shop in Italy’s Centro Sicilia, which appears to feature not only the iOS icon for Apple’s mobile Safari browser, but the icon for the company’s iOS App Store — three instances of it.
I am willing to bet that this task was outsourced to an external company, but wouldn’t you tread lightly knowing that Apple is accusing you of copying their designs?