Samsung was prepping to roll out its new Galaxy Tab 7.7 -- the latest in attempts to erode market share from tablet leader Apple -- but a legal victory from its rival instead forced the company to remove the device from displays just days after it was revealed.
The South-Korean technology giant said on Sunday it will halt production of the new tablet in Germany after Apple won an injunction against the company on grounds of patent infringement.
It also removed the device from its showcase at the IFA trade show in Berlin, an embarrassing blow and latest setback as it goes head-to-head with Apple's iPad and iPad 2.
Samsung respects the court's decision made on September 2 and therefore decided not to display any more the GALAXY Tab 7.7 in IFA, the company said . However, we believe it severely limits consumer choice in Germany.
The German decision adds to its previous injunction against the 10 tablet, and comes just two weeks after Dutch courts ruled Samsung devices would not be allowed to be allowed on shelves in the Netherlands for the same reason.
The Netherland ban includes Samsung's venerable Galaxy S2 smartphone, the device many see as a threat to the iPhone 5, and original Galaxy S and Ace smartphones. The court did not include Samsung tablets, however.
Galaxy Tablet roll-outs were also delayed in Australia over similar suits.
Apple and Samsung have been stepping up battles against each other as they both vie for more market share in the smartphone, and now tablet arenas.
Apple became the No.1 smartphone vendor in the world in the second quarter, but Samsung is close behind, moving less than 1 percent less in terms of units shipped. In the tablet market, the iPad series of tablets reigns supreme.
While analysts predict the worldwide tablet-computer market to 60 million units this year, up from 55 million previously, Apple is expected to command almost 40 million units, or 66 percent of the market.
Apple previously said that Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets slavishly copied its own iPhone and iPad. The companies have thrown suits back and forth for months.
The recent court decisions also highlight Apple's heightened efforts to deploy lawyers alongside its engineers to push its products and services inside the lives of more consumers.
In July HTC lost a preliminary ruling from the International Trade Commission after rival Apple filed suit against it, seeking a halt to the import of its products into the US. The suit came more than a year after Apple filed its initial suit against HTC, alleging 20 instances of patent infringement, all dealing with various elements of the iPhone.
We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it, Steve Jobs said at the time.
U.S. rival Motorola Mobility has also been sued after Apple claimed that its host of Android phones infringe on several multi-touch and operating system patents.