Tue, Jul 03, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Samsung slides after US court blocks Nexus sales

LEGAL BLOW:If the same legal rationale is applied to phones like the Galaxy S III, it will hurt Samsung, for whom the US is the biggest source of overseas revenue

Bloomberg

Models pose with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus during its official launch in Hong Kong on Oct. 19 last year.

Photo: AFP

Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s top handset maker, saw its share price fall the most in a week in Seoul trading after Apple Inc won a court ruling blocking sales of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the US.

Samsung dropped 2.3 percent, the most since June 25, to 1,174,000 won at the close of trading on the Korea Exchange.

The latest US ruling puts handset sales in a major market at stake for Samsung, as Apple has sought to bar as many as 25 Samsung smartphones, including the latest, the Galaxy S III.

“People are concerned that this could spill over to the S III, because if the same rationale applies to the S III, it’ll be a big blow to Samsung,” Seoul-based Dongbu Securities Co analyst Shin Hyun-joon said by telephone. “This isn’t an issue that will conclude any time soon.”

Sales of the Galaxy S III, the latest version in Samsung’s best-selling smartphone series, started in the US last month. Sales in the US were the largest overseas source of revenue for Samsung last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Samsung appealed the ruling on Sunday, Samsung spokesman Nam Ki-yung said yesterday.

The impact of the ban on the Nexus smartphone alone will not be big for Samsung, because the model is estimated to sell fewer than 1 million units a year in the US, Shin said. Samsung, which does not disclose shipment figures for smartphones and tablet computers, sold 44.5 million smartphones globally in the first quarter, topping Apple, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics.

The ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, follows her June 26 order blocking sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country. On June 7, Koh expedited evidence sharing for Apple’s bid to block sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

The Nexus smartphone, the first smartphone to run Google Inc’s Android version 4.0, was unveiled by Samsung and Google in Hong Kong in October last year.

The disputed patent that led to the June 29 ruling involves a Google search function that shows results from multiple sources and Samsung is working closely with its US partner to resolve the ban, the South Korean company said on Saturday in a statement.

Google may be able to tweak its software to dodge the ruling, Seoul-based Nomura Holdings Inc analyst C.W. Chung wrote in a report yesterday.

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