Document Actions

Sweeping Apple win, but Samsung set for bounce-back

Reuters - Defeat in a bitter patent wrangle with Apple Inc (AAPL.O), its smartphone rival and biggest customer, will dent Samsung Electronics Co's (005930.KS) $21 billion cash-pile, but could actually help cement its leadership in the global smartphone market.

A U.S. court has ordered Samsung - which sold around 50 million phones in April-June, almost twice the number of iPhones - to pay $1.05 billion damages, after ruling that the South Korean firm infringed on some Apple patents.

While the verdict was a big win for Apple, the damages are less than half the $2.5 billion compensation it sought - although that could yet be increased by the judge - and are just 1.5 percent of annual revenues from Samsung's telecoms business.

That phone and tablet business is the powerhouse behind Samsung's growth, earning around 70 percent of total profit. The group had net profit of $4.5 billion in April-June.

Samsung could also see its popular Galaxy smartphone banned from sale in the United States. But its skill as a "fast executioner" - quick to match others' innovations - would likely mean tweaked, non-patent infringing devices would be on the market soon after any ban came into place.