Samsung's response has been added to this story.
CUPERTINO, Calif. (
) -- A court ruling to
will be music to the ears of new
CEO Tim Cook as the tech giant continues to get tough on tablet rivals.
"This is a big win for Apple," Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, told
. "Samsung's Galaxy is arguably the biggest competitor for the iPad now in the marketplace -- what Apple has done is shut down Samsung's ability to market the tablet in Germany, a significant European market."
Samsung's legal problems in Germany are good news for Apple.
Samsung, unsurprisingly, was less than impressed by the court's ruling, which marks the latest chapter in an
"We are disappointed with this ruling and believe it severely limits consumer choice in Germany," said a Samsung spokeswoman in an e-mail to
. "We also believe that by imposing an injunction based on this very generic design right, this ruling restricts design innovation and progress in the industry."
Samsung will "actively and immediately" appeal the ruling, according to the spokeswoman, who nodded to a recent legal decision in Samsung's favor. "Today's decision is inconsistent with the Dutch court's ruling on August 24, which found the designs of Samsung's Galaxy range of products are distinctive and do not violate the cited design right."
As Europe's most populous country, Germany is a major consumer of gadgets, a factor which likely influenced Apple's belligerent stance. Tech research firm
notes that while the U.S. marked the largest market for media tablets in 2010, western Europe grew twice as fast during the third and fourth quarters, which highlights robust demand for the gadgets.
Apple, which reinvented the tablet market when it launched its iPad last year, has already sold more than 28 million of the devices. And faced with a slew of
, Apple is clearly willing to play hardball to maintain its dominance.
Gold does not see Samsung's German struggles impacting its next big announcement, rumored to be a tablet running
Windows 8 operating system. The companies may unveil the device at Microsoft's Build developer conference next week,
according to published media reports
. Both Samsung and Microsoft declined to comment on this possibility when contacted by
Gold predicts that the new Samsung device will look very different to the iPad, despite the fact that the U.S. legal stance on design interpretation differs wildly from Europe's. "I think that it will probably have a bigger screen and will probably be a bit thicker than an iPad because they may want to put more processing in there, as well as maybe a hard drive."
The analyst also raised the possibility of Samsung launching a tablet based on an
processor at Intel's developer forum next week. "Samsung has built stuff with Intel
before," he told
. "If it's
-based, it could be announced at Microsoft's event, if it's Intel-based, it could be announced at Intel's Developer Forum."
ARM and Intel have not yet responded to
request for comment on this story. "Samsung doesn't comment on speculation or rumors and we don't have anything to share at this point," said a Samsung spokeswoman.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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