No iPhone 5 - and now no iPhone 4S? Samsung sues to ban handset, as Apple shares wobble in wake of lukewarm launch

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

-Samsung sues in France and Italy due to local laws
-Other injunctions 'outstanding' in countries such as US
-Korean giant refuses to rule out further suits
-Apple share price falls in wake of 'underwhelming' iPhone 4S
-Apple suppliers Foxconn drop 6.9 per cent

By Rob Waugh

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the iPhone 4S - but apart from the voice-control functions, the phone does not offer a huge amount that's new

Samsung has filed patent infringement lawsuits in France and Italy stating that iPhone 4S should be 'barred from sales' - due to infringement of wireless patents held by the Korean company.

Samsung picked those countries for 'local legal processes,' said a spokesperson.

Samsung alleged, 'Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.' The company refused to rule out further lawsuits.

Meanwhile, Apple also saw its stock fall because of disappointment about the upgrade unveiled last night. Its stock fell more than 4 percent in afternoon trading before rebounding to close at $372.50, down 0.6 percent.

Apple suppliers were also hit by general disappointment in iPhone 4 - the Taiex exchange in Taiwan fell 0.8 per cent overall. Tech stocks generally rose 2.63 per cent in yesterday's trading.

A Samsung executive told the Korea Times, 'When the iPhone 5 arrives here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung's wireless technology related patents.'

This is in response to Apple's continued legal action against Samsung's Galaxy family of touchscreen tablets and smartphones - some of which are currently illegal in Europe, thanks to Apple lawsuits claiming they are 'slavish' copies of iPhone and iPad.

It was Cook's first launch since he took over as CEO from Apple founder Steve Jobs - and seen as a significant test of his leadership. So far, reaction has been lukewarm.

The new iPhone is iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5 - looking very similar to the current model, but voice-controlled and with other hi-tech features (full hands-on first impressions are below). The phone launches on October 14.

The feeling inside the tech community was of general disappointment, though. There was no redesign, no 4G version, nothing to put Apple as far ahead of its competitors as iPhone 4 was.

New release: But the IPhone 4S looks similar to its predecessor and has few added functions

It is a significant upgrade from the old phone, though, even if the casing and the Retina screen remain the same.

The new handset will have a dual core A5 processor like the one in iPad 2, and an eight-megapixel camera - all of which puts it in competition once again with rivals such as Samsung.

The most talked-about feature, though, was the phone's new 'artificially intelligent' assistant.

The feature, called Siri, will allow you to 'talk' to your iPhone like you talk to other people - for instance, you can ask the phone 'What is the forecast today?' while holding down the Home button, and it will bring up a weather forecast.

You can also simply say, 'Wake me up tomorrow at 8am,' and the device will set an alarm for you. You can even dictate your messages to the phone. The idea is that you will speak to Siri as if to a human being (see fact box, below). At launch, Siri will work in English, German and French.

Voice control will be a huge part of the new iPhone - but will it work better than similar functions already offered by Android handsets and apps such as Dragon Dictation?

The battery life has been improved - offering a reported 8 hours talk time.

The phone will be compatible with fast HSPA+ networks (not 4G, but offering faster data speeds than current networks). Only around 20 phone networks offer this service worldwide, however.

Cook revealed new touch-friendly functions for iPod Nano - quashing rumours that the smallest of the iPod family would be killed off.

It will now be cheaper, and include watch-like faces to wear on your wrist. New versions and prices for iPod Touch and iPod Shuffle were also announced. Even the bulky iPod classic survived.

'Let's talk iPhone' was the first event for new CEO Tim Cook, who took over from Apple founder Steve Jobs

The new iPhone 4S is a barely visible tweak on the old design - Mail Online had a look at one of the new phones, and you really had to squint to tell the difference

Launch: The Apple store in Covent Garden was the UK venue for the hotly anticipated event

A new version of Apple's iOS operating system, iOS 5, will release on October 12, Cook recapped some of the features of the new operating system.

Apps such as iMessage - a messaging system that also lets you send picture and video - were confirmed for the new iOS 5 version of Apple's iPhone software, as well as Notifications - an app which pulls system messages such as emails and texts into one message centre.

Notifications brings iPhone into line with Android phones, which have offered a similar 'notification' service for some time.

Likewise, iMessage will enable iOS to compete with BlackBerry's BBM.

New 'location aware' reminders will remind you of tasks when you're near the place you have to do them.

Twitter users will also be able to 'Tweet' pictures direct from their photo album on iPhone, and take pictures with one tap from the home screen.

None of these features were new, however.

Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, speaks about the iPod Nano's new 'wristwatch'-style faces

A new music sharing service, iCloud, will allow users to 'share' music between all their Apple devices, free - any music purchased from Apple Store will always be available, anywhere.

To use the new iTunes Match service, which also lets users share music they have bought elsewhere, will be a subscription-based service costing $24.99 in the US.

No launch date is confirmed for this service anywhere else in the world.

Cook revealed that iPhone now accounted for 5 per cent of the total world phone market, and a quarter of a billion iOS devices had sold.

Apple's previous launches have often been at conference centres in San Francisco, rather than its HQ, which led to a heightened sense of anticipation around this launch - headlined, 'Let's Talk iPhone,' and showing four of the company's phone icons.

Apple was also desperate to brand Tim Cook as a proper successor to Steve Jobs.

But some insiders such as uSwitch's Ernest Doku described Cook's performance as an 'understudy' performance - and said 'Others will be bitterly disappointed that what was announced was an upgraded iPhone 4 rather than a messianic new model.

'This was the stage once reigned over by Steve Jobs, the totemic former leader whose obsessive drive for perfection turned Apple products into global icons.'

It has been 15 months since the last iPhone launch, and expectations of the world's largest technology company were at fever pitch.

The sign outside Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California today served to whet fans' appetite for the latest launches from the tech giant

Apple's annual launch of new iPhones generates so much excitement it has the air of a technology Oscars - except it's only one company that walks off with the prizes.

This year, however, the surrounding technology landscape is not as certain.

HTC, Samsung and Google are all to launch new flagship phones within the next week - boasting high-speed processors and touchscreens similar to the ones in Apple's handsets. The days when Apple had the smartphone market to itself are very much over.

In some cities, you could be forgiven for imagining that Apple had the entire smartphone market to itself - but in reality, rivals such as Android phones have made serious gains

The iPhone’s U.S. market share in August was 28 percent, making it No. 2. Android was No. 1 with 43 percent of the U.S. market, Nielsen data show.
Every day, 550,000 new Android devices are activated.

Apple's corporate headquarters at 1-6 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California - few outsiders ever visit the campus, whose address is a geeky programming joke

Longer-term, investors are more focused on Apple’s international push, particularly in Asia - a push that could take Apple far beyond its 'comfort zone' of selling relatively low volumes of extremely expensive products to a 'captive market'.

The cheaper prices of some of the new models - the 'old' iPhone 4 and 3GS in particular - could be seen as an aggressive move into new markets.

Cook has said China is a key market. The world’s most valuable technology company has mostly catered to the higher end of a booming market in those countries, but may now attempt to capture a larger market in emerging economies such as China and India.


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