Samsung's run of misery continues today after South Korea's Fair Trade Commission announced its intention to launch an investigation into allegations by Apple that the electronics firm is abusing its leading position in the smartphone market to disadvantage its rival.
It adds further complications to an already complex global legal battle with the iPhone maker and follows the landmark US case between the two firms last month that resulted in Apple walking away with over one billion dollars in compensation after Samsung was found to be violating multiple patents.
"We are reviewing whether allegations in the complaint lodged by Apple are true," an unnamed Fair Trade Commission official said, on the condition of anonymity, as the details are still private. "Apple filed a complaint earlier this year that Samsung is breaching fair trade laws."
For its part, Samsung is seeking a ban on infringing Apple products in several markets for allegedly using several of its third-generation patents for its wireless technology without license agreements. Apple maintains that the patents in question are essential technology for wireless 3G devices, and their South Korean counterpart is refusing to offer licenses to use the patents under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
On August 24, a South Korean court ruled that both firms were infringing on patents they held. The fines levied were relatively small but products from each side face bans as part of the verdict. Apple had its iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2 barred from sale, and for Samsung's wrongdoing, 12 of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets joined Apple's devices. The court even went as far as to say that Samsung was within its rights to pursue a sales ban and was not abusing its position.
The South Korean firm strongly denies any abuse of power. Referring to its 1998 agreement with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to license its 3G patents on FRAND terms, a spokesperson said "Samsung has at all times met its obligations to the fair licensing of its telecommunications standards-related patents."
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first tablet from Samsung with a 10.1-inch HD display and supporting HSPA+, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity. It also features a 3 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, providing seamless 1080p HD video. The device is powered by a 1GHz dual core application processor.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
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