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Apple’s court victory spells trouble for local tech firms

By Doug Young (Global Times)

08:33, August 28, 2012

Apple's big courtroom victory in its smartphone patent dispute with Samsung could send a chill through China's up-and-coming technology sector, with the US giant likely to soon file a series of similar lawsuits against companies like Huawei and ZTE. This probable new twist in Apple's ongoing quest for global smartphone dominance would not only hit Chinese firms financially, but would also shine a spotlight on the uncomfortable fact that most still depend strongly on foreign technology for many of their higher-end products.

Most observers were focused on the immediate fall-out for Samsung after last week's landmark US court ruling, which found that the company's smartphone operating system copied the one powering Apple's popular iPhones. In addition to slapping Samsung with a $1 billion fine, the ruling means that Samsung must stop selling infringing smartphones in the US market.

While the lawsuit directly targeted Samsung, most observers believe it was more broadly aimed at Google's Android smartphone operating system, which powers not only most of Samsung's popular smartphones but is also used in many best-selling smartphones made by other manufacturers.

Following this initial victory, Apple is expected to launch a broader offensive against other smartphone makers that use Android, not only in the US but also in Europe.

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