Posted by Greg MIlls
Ever since iPhone 1 was launched, the competition has been searching of the Holy Grail of technology, a true iPhone killer. So far, the mythological device has never actually been launched, but perhaps, the Samsun Galaxy 2 Android handset has come closest.
Apple has sought to ban the import of Samsung Galaxy tablets and Galaxy touch screen phones as "slavishly stealing the look and feel of Apple products". The US International Trade Commission has taken the case and might issue it's ruing in time to stop Samsung from introducing the hottest Android handset yet, slated for release in the US on August 31.
The Samsung Galaxy 2 is larger, faster and has the newer high speed G4 radio chip set. Samsung intends to offer the new handset at a price identical to Apple's iPhone in the giant US cellular market. If the rest of the world's reaction to the new handset is any indication, the Samsung phone might indeed steal a lot of the iPhone 5 thunder.
The rave reviews in the tech press fail to take a number of "got ya" situations into account. First, Samsung, even being allowed to sell the new Galaxy handset in the Untied States is not a given, due to the possible importation ban that might come out of the ITC. Secondly, Comparing the new Samsung phone to iPhone 4 fails to take a year of R&D at Apple into account. Comparing iPhone 5 to the Galaxy phone might not be so persuasive.
Finally, the Android OS and handset hardware is also under attack in US Federal Courts with Apple citing numerous patents that Samsung is accused of infringing. The USA Federal Courts can grant serious damages to Apple and give Apple an injunction banning the importation and sale of devices that infringe Apple's patented technology.
Pressure from Apple as the August 31 launch of the Galaxy 2 Samsung phone approach might get the ITC to rule quickly, before serious damage is done to Apple. The recent ruling against HTC is really based upon similar complaints Apple has lodged against Samsung for Android similarities to the iOS platform.
Since Samsung sells a lot of electronic ingredients to Apple for the iPhone and iPad, they have an obvious window into the likely specs of the coming iPhone 5 and iPad 3. Samsung is perhaps the prime company to be able to match the iPhone from a hardware point of view. Just how well Samsung was able to skate around the known patents that are just now being issued by the Untied States Patent office will be the fodder of more litigation.
The timing of the release of iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy II is no coincidence. Using the most recent chip sets is one factor that likely held back the release of iPhone 5. Could the delay in releasing iPhone 5 have been to allow the use a lower heat and energy sapping 4G chipset that was rushed through the development process? If the Samsung Galaxy 2 has a G4 radio and the iPhone 5 is still using G3, the market would punish iPhone 5 as being way behind in the latest cell phone technology.
Apple famously decided to wait one iPhone model to put a G3 iPhone out since the networks weren't ready at that time and the 3G chips available at that time sucked power like there was no tomorrow. Hopefully, this won't be the achilles heel of iPhone 5 that stumbles the stellar Apple reputation for innovation. Apple tends to get the earliest availability of cutting edge chips, so the delay in releasing iPhone 5 might well be to take the wind out of Samsung's sails. Apple can be expected to do the unexpected. That is Greg's Bite