Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Victory, Now Who Are the Winners/Losers - buying Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Microsoft (MSFT)

A clear winner in Friday's jury verdict in a San Jose federal court was Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’, whose patent ownership claims were upheld and Samsung liable to pay more than a billion dollars to the company for having copied the designs of its devices and infringed on its patents.

For Apple, it means that it can proceed with more confidence in all the other legal cases that it is pursuing against other handset makers such as LG Electronics, HTC Corp and Motorola Mobility - all on the same platform of patent violations.

It is also a clear setback for the Korean consumer electronics giant, which at present enjoys a pre-eminent position as the biggest seller of smartphones globally.

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Whatever happens in subsequent hearings there is no doubt that the company will have to rethink its strategy. In fact last Friday also saw a court in Seoul, South Korea holding both companies - Apple and Samsung - guilty of patent violations and has immediately imposed a ban on some of their products.

It is a double whammy for Samsung, especially as the Seoul verdict comes in its own backyard.

Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG), whose Android operating system runs on most of Samsung’s phones, is likely to get the backlash from this ruling. Though the company has down played the verdict and has distanced itself from it, there is no doubt in the minds of analysts that the company has to come up with some smart solutions if it wants to prevent Apple targeting it next.

Apple's legal cases against the handset makers - all of whom are heavily dependent on Android - are seen as a proxy war against Google, which has been seen as encouraging its equipment partners to copy Apple's designs.

If Apple is successful in getting a permanent injunction on Samsung's devices, then American carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are also likely to be affected as they all have partnerships with the Korean company.

RBC's equity research team has suggested buying Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK), Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) and QUALCOMM, Inc.(NASDAQ:QCOM). 

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