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Samsung to Sue Apple Over LTE-Compatible Next-Gen iPhone

Samsung Galaxy S III

Source: Samsung Galaxy S III | Official Website

The Korea Times reported on Monday that Samsung is preparing to sue Apple for using 4G LTE patents for its much-awaited next-generation iPhone. Although the final specification of the Cupertino-based company’s upcoming handset is not yet out, many believe that it will have 4G LTE compatibility. That’s because the new iPad, which was released six months ago, features 4G LTE compatibility.

In relation to this, last Friday’s report said that Apple’s new mobile phone would feature worldwide LTE. However, the feature would only be limited to certain markets and carriers.

On the other hand, there were previous reports that the South Korean conglomerate would “immediately sue Apple if the latter releases products using advanced long-term evolution (LTE) mobile technology.” As stated by the company’s unnamed official to The Korea Times:

It’s true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even in Unite States—Apple’s home turf—are our primary targets.

Samsung vs. Apple: The Battle of LTE Patents

Apple was able to hold 400 LTE-related patents after purchasing Nortel IP last February. However, Samsung is still the market leader with its more than 800 patents. According to another company executive:

Apple claimed the existing 3G-related patents are standard essential patents (SEPs) according to our earlier commitment to FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. But the story is totally different when you talk about LTE patents. These are new and highly-valued.

The news surfaced following the reports that Korean wireless operator SK Telecom would be carrying the next-generation iPhone on its 4G network. These claims gave a strong indication that the upcoming handset from the Cupertino-based company would feature LTE connection.

In case a 4G-capable next-generation iPhone see the light of day, it will face a stiff competition from Android devices. This includes Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III that recently passed iPhone 4S as the top selling mobile phone in the United States.

Although it is yet to be verified whether the rumors are true, Apple and Samsung are still locked up in a worldwide patent dispute. In fact, the South Korean company brings out its extensive wireless patent portfolio to counter suits from the iPhone maker.

With or without the LTE, Apple is expected to reveal its next-generation iPhone tomorrow in a special event. The company is also reported to take pre-orders for the upcoming handset on the same day, and it will be followed by U.S. release on September 21.

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