With just a day to go for Apple's (AAPL) Sept.12 event, where the Cupertino-based technology giant is likely to unveil the next-generation iPhone, referred to as "iPhone 5," confirmed reports have emerged that South Korean handset manufacturer Samsung (005930) is contemplating legal action against Apple over reported use of Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity technology.
The report gains credence especially since both smartphone manufacturers are engaged in high-pitched patent trials across several countries. Previous reports claim that "iPhone 5 launch," is likely to enjoy global LTE-enabled fourth-generation wireless networking in the device as this increases the speed of Internet.
Quoting industry sources, a report published in Korea Times stated: "It's true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States -- Apple's home-turf -- are our primary targets."
A report published in CNET notes that Apple may be at a disadvantage with regard to LTE as U.S. International Trade Commission Judge hinted that Cupertino technology giant may not be able to persuade him that a pair of HTC patents relating to 4G LTE technology must be invalidated in a case that lead to an import ban on latest iPad and the upcoming next-generation iPhone.
LTE-enabled smartphone market has proved highly beneficial for Samsung as Galaxy S3 smartphone reported 20 million unit sales within 100 days of its launch that are remarkably faster than Galaxy S and Galaxy S2, Korea Times noted.
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Though previous reports emerged that Samsung will strike back over LTE patents, Apple seems to be under significant pressure to release a LTE compatible handset. Though it was widely believed that the previous iPhone model, iPhone 4S will debut with 4G LTE technology, it featured HSPA+, a slightly faster technology than 3G, but a distant cry from 4G, which can be 10 times faster.
Meanwhile, the Apple scrip (AAPL) closed down Sept. 10 at $662.74 losing $17.70 about 2.60% lower than the previous close.
In a related development, Market Watch noted that investors who took long term position on Apple Inc have fared well over last five years, but timing trades to launch of popular products is a bit dicey.
Investing in Apple around launch events, Shaw Wu, an analyst with Sterne Agee noted depended on the time horizon an investor has on the company. For those focused on short- or middle-term trades, predictions are challenging, given the volume of hype surrounding new products and the big run for the stock this year. "There's been such a huge move already [that] there may be some near-term profit taking on the shares, like we saw [Monday]," Wu told MarketWatch in an interview.
"For long-term investors, now is as good a time as any," Wu said adding the price target for the shares were $780. "We think the stock has more upside from here."
The Samsung Scrip closed flat Sept.10 at 1,256,000 KRW.