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The year in mobile: Smartphone wars escalate as competition heats up

20 Dec 2012
Apple iPhone fighting Samsung Galaxy SIII

If there was one industry that dominated the headlines more than any other throughout 2012 it was the mobile market.

Throughout the year the major players - Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, HTC, Research in Motion (RIM) to name but a few - not only innovated and created but also sued and litigated in an attempt to claw market share over their bitter rivals.

All this made for some fascinating battles, chief of which was the epic Apple v Samsung fight which raged across numerous countries including the UK, and when's all said and done, appears to still be nothing more than a draw.

In the US, Apple definitely came out on top - with a $1bn court ruling and a sense of superiority after a home-crowd jury of self-confessed non-techies found for the local firm over Samsung. Unsurprisingly the South Korean firm is appealing already.

Back in the UK and Apple lost to HTC and Samsung on design patents. The story really got interesting, though, when the judge overseeing the case ordered Apple to print apologies explaining the outcome of the case on its website, and in print and online publications.

Apple, never one to eat humble pie, did as it was told with barely concealed contempt and soon found itself back in court, claiming to an incredulous judge it would take 14 days to edit a piece of text on its website.

The judge scoffed and ordered the change, which Apple was suddenly able to do, though the judge remained less than impressed, criticising the firm for its "lack of integrity".

Among all of this the Netherlands, Germany and South Korea, to name but a few more, all saw legal action with no clear end in sight to the battle. However, perhaps a glimmer of sanity can be seen in HTC's peace agreement with Apple. Perhaps Samsung will follow suit in 2013.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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