The jury in Apple and Samsung’s U.S. patent infringement trial gave the iPhone and iPad maker a landslide victory on Friday along with over US$1 billion in damages. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley sees that win as a strong boost for Apple’s smartphone market lead, and as a big setback for Samsung and other Android-based smartphone makers.
“Following its record patent victory over leading Android smartphone OEM Samsung, we believe Apple has an even stronger competitive market position ahead of its iPhone 5 and other anticipated product launches,” he said. The next iPhone, or the iPhone 5 as Mr. Walkley called it, is expected to be introduced on September 12 and start selling several days later.
Apple and Samsung squared off in court over claims that they have been using each other’s patented technology without proper licensing. The case didn’t, however, work out as Samsung had hoped with the jury ruling it infringed on nearly every patent Apple listed. That ruling opened the door for Apple to seek an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s infringing products, too.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for Samsung, the jury also found that Apple didn’t infringe on any of the patents the electronics maker included in its complaint.
“While a ban would likely increase Apple’s leading smartphone share in the U.S. market, we believe this verdict could lead to Samsung also delaying near-term product launches as it attempts to design around Apple’s patents,” Mr. Walkley said. “We also believe other Android OEMs, such as HTC, Sony, and LG, will review this patent verdict and potentially alter and delay planned Android smartphones and tablets.”
Android-based product delays would be bad news for Google and the companies that make smartphones and tablets based on its mobile OS. By holding back new products, Apple’s competition will be giving the iPhone and iPad even more time to extend their already strong competitive leads, and could potentially lead to an increase in marketshare for mobile Windows devices, too.
“We believe this verdict strengthens Apple’s already strong competitive position in the smartphone and tablet markets ahead of upcoming key product launches such as the iPhone 5,” he added.
Mr. Walkley is maintaining his “Buy” rating and $797 target price for Apple’s stock. Apple is currently trading at $678.87, up 15.78 (2.38%).