updated 10:05 pm EDT, Wed October 12, 2011
Apple wins key ruling on Galaxy Tab in Australia
Apple scored a key victory late Wednesday after Australia's Federal Court granted it its desire for a preliminary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country. The ruling will keep the Android tablet off of the market in the country unless Samsung wins in a trial. Samsung had offered a deal to try to keep the Tab 10.1 on shelves but had been rejected as they were only software changes, not some of the design traits Apple considers too similar to the iPad.
The decision could see the Tab 10.1 exit the market permanently even if it has the option of an appeal. Samsung has said it might quit marketing the device altogether as the time it would have left wouldn't justify effort behind a relaunch.
Apple took the superficially counterintuitive strategy of trying to portray the current Galaxy Tab as a major threat to the iPad 2 despite having treated it as a non-starter in the past. It argued the Galaxy Tab would arrive with the "velocity of a fire hose" and erode the iPad's share by copying its features. Samsung, in the same breath, insisted that it was mostly competing with other Android tablets despite having redesigned the Tab 10.1 in just over a month with the sole aim of besting the iPad 2.
Losing Australia isn't necessarily fatal to Samsung, but it follows a successful German preliminary ban and just before a US hearing. The two are the largest markets in Europe and North America respectively, and they could see Samsung give up vital sales if it doesn't opt for a settlement. [via Sydney Morning Herald]