C-Spire, Hong Kong, South Korea get iPhone 4S on Nov. 11

Nov 2, 2011
Tech

Apple is bringing its latest smartphone handset to new markets in just 10 days, including regional U.S. cellular carrier C-Spire, as well as overseas markets including Hong Kong and South Korea. Apple released the information about the upcoming iPhone 4S launches with a press release, which states that the iPhone 4S will also be showing […]

Apple is bringing its latest smartphone handset to new markets in just 10 days, including regional U.S. cellular carrier C-Spire, as well as overseas markets including Hong Kong and South Korea.

Apple released the information about the upcoming iPhone 4S launches with a press release, which states that the iPhone 4S will also be showing up in 13 other countries on Nov. 11. The new countries are Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania and South Korea, and they join 22 other countries in which the iPhone 4S was released on Oct. 22. Apple intends to have released the iPhone 4S in 70 countries by the end of the year.

While Apple has seen some major successes with the iPhone 4S so far – including a record-breaking release of 4 million sales in the first weekend – it faces an opponent standing against the device’s release in countries around the world: Samsung.

Samsung and Apple are already duking it out all over the world in patent disputes and are also the top best-selling smartphone companies in the world (Samsung just took the top spot with its smartphone sales in the quarter that ended at the close of September). Mostly, Apple is taking the lead in those battles, and has won injunctions against the sale of Samsung devices in three different countries after claiming Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPad and the iPhone with its devices. But Samsung has said it would be stepping up its efforts to fight back, and vowed to block the iPhone 4S in South Korea, where the company is based.

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In Australia, where Samsung is already engaged in a patent fight with Apple, Samsung is trying to get the iPhone 4S banned in the country by claiming Apple has infringed on three of its wireless 3G patents. It sounds like that’s Samsung’s plan in other countries, including South Korea. The company has said that Apple would have to remove much of the iPhone’s cellular functionality in order to avoid infringing on its patents.

It’s not clear whether Samsung’s argument in Australia will be successful – that case resumes on Nov. 4 – but if it is, it could lend some credibility to a potential lawsuit in South Korea. That would be Samsung’s home turf, too, but only time will tell how things might shake out with the iPhone 4S launch.

Meanwhile, if Apple’s numbers so far are any indication of popularity and demand for the device, it should see some massive sales in these new markets. Whether Samsung could be a speed bump remains to be seen, but like Samsung was able to pull down a huge number of sales despite its legal troubles with Apple, it’s probable that Apple will see similar successes despite court battles with Samsung.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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