Apple targets Samsung in Australian court as Samsung wins in market

by Phil Hornshaw

The battle for Australia between Apple and Samsung is showing no signs of cooling off as both companies continue to pound away at each other in courts and stores. Apple is looking for legal solutions to Samsung’s alleged patent infringement, while Samsung is still finding success in Australia’s market.

According to a story from GigaOM, Apple just prepared a fresh barrage of patent infringement claims in Australia against Samsung. Apple claims Samsung copied the look and feel of its iPad and iPhone with some of the South Korean Android device maker’s products, and previously won an injunction against Samsung that banned its Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Australia. That ban was overturned earlier this month.

But while the ban is over in Australia, Apple isn’t done fighting there. Apple has 10 more patents it claims Samsung’s tablets and smartphones violate, which it first mentioned today during a hearing meant to determine another group of patent infringement claims – this time, from Samsung and against Apple.

Apple attempted to delay a trial over Samsung’s counterclaims to its iPhone and iPad patents, alleging that Apple has infringed Samsung’s patents on 3G and wireless technology. Samsung is using that counterattack all over the world in its battles with Apple, with mixed results: in France, for example, it seems a judge isn’t buying that Apple is infringing because under FRAND rules that govern these particular Samsung patents.

During the hearing, Apple also asked for more prep time before the case for Samsung’s patents claims goes to trial, which is currently set for March. A decision about the delay wasn’t made yet, however.

Samsung strikes back in sales

Apple may be working to take on Samsung in the courts, but it seems among consumers, the Android device maker is still doing just fine.

The Next Web Australia reports that Samsung now accounts for 49 percent of the Australian smartphone market and holds down 28.5 percent of the market in New Zealand. Meanwhile, Apple has 36 percent of the market in Australia and 13 percent in New Zealand. In fact, in New Zealand, Apple is in third place behind Chinese device maker Huawei, which has 20 percent of the market.

The numbers come from market research firm ABI Research, and suggest it’s Samsung’s range of products and prices that are making it popular in the country. Apple offers several of its older devices at lower prices, but getting an iPhone 3GS isn’t quite as sexy as grabbing the latest of Apple’s product iterations. Compared to Samsung’s lower-priced offerings, it seems customers aren’t opting for older iPhones as often in Australia as they might in other countries.

The battle for Australia continues to rage and it seems we can expect it to last at least through the spring. It’ll be interesting to see how and if the outcomes in the court affect the devices in stores.