The Apple/Samsung design/patent battle rages on, but it’s been a while since anything of note has happened.
This latest chapter, however, is a potential biggie, with various iPhone and iPad models facing a potential US sales ban after the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favour of South Korea’s Samsung.
For centuries now, Apple has asserted that Samsung has ripped off the design and feel of the iPhone and iPad with various members of its burgeoning Galaxy range, while Samsung traditionally moans about patents.
Here, we’re looking at "a method of encoding and decoding a transport format combination indicator", and the ITC reckons Apple has piddled all over it.
In particular, the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are in trouble, alongside the original iPad 3G and the iPad 2 3G. Obviously the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 are the relevant ones here, as they’re the only devices still “current” and sold by Apple.
The iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are essentially the cheap(er/est) iModels, with the iPhone 5 and fourth gen iPad acting as the flagship products. The iPhone 4S slots in the middle, and there's the iPad mini, too. The ruling seemingly won’t affect the current generation.
Needless to say, Apple has declared its intention to appeal, but if it’s unsuccessful, it’s goodbye iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G in the US.
Probably fair to say it's not that big a deal, as Apple is expected to introduce a new generation of iDevices in a few months' time anyway.