Apple won a major decision against Android with the award of a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The injunction will go into effect as soon as Apple posts a court-ordered bond of $96 million. While the injunction is just one more to be awarded and typical Apple vs. Samsung, in reality it takes the battle directly to Google with the ban on Google's flagship phone in the huge U. S. market.
The ruling was handed down in response to Apple's ongoing claim that Samsung's Galaxy products infringe on the former's patents. Apple has sued Samsung in several countries to get Galaxy products taken off the market. The U. S. smartphone market is so big this may be the most significant court decision handed down in quite some time.
As soon as Apple posts the bond, which goes to Samsung should it ultimately prevail against Apple's claim, then the Galaxy Nexus injunction will immediately go into effect. This will halt all American sales of the phone until a resolution to the court case is reached. The case is not expected to go to trial until next year, so the injunction effectively kills the Nexus in this country.
Apple's strategy of taking Google's Android partners to court instead of going after Android itself, has in effect turned up a notch with this injunction. The Galaxy Nexus is Google's Android flagship phone, which before the injunction was sold in Google's Play store as well as by other retailers.
The timing of this injunction is bad for Google, having just announced the next version of Android at its I/O conference last week. While the newly announced Nexus 7 tablet will be the first new device shipping with Jelly Bean, as the flagship phone for the platform the Galaxy Nexus would have likely been the first phone to get the new version. It is not sure if this injunction will affect that situation, or if Google will scramble to get another Android phone to work with Jelly Bean first.
Apple's strategy for these Android suits is now proven to be brilliant. Even though Steve Jobs was known to have it in for Android as a platform, by going after Google's partners they have been able to keep the latter's deep pockets out of the fray.
That may change soon even though this suit is another against Samsung, given how it affects Google's primary platform phone. Google may have to get involved to put a stop to these suits once and for all to keep Apple from going after each flagship phone in succession.