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Apple and Samsung's battle could cost consumers

Published: 11:01AM Wednesday August 29, 2012 Source: ONE News

Consumers may bear the brunt of technology giants battling it out in court over patents, says a technology commentator.

Over the weekend, Apple scored a court victory over Samsung, with a US jury finding the Korean company had copied some key features of the iPhone.

Apple walked out of court with just over $US1 billion in damages.

Technology commentator Peter Griffin from the Science Media Centre told onenews.co.nz smartphone buyers could see prices lift.

"Ultimately Samsung will have to pass the cost on to the consumer - my concern is that more of these companies are going to court for these patents, and all of that needs to be paid for," he said.

"We are not going to see prices increase by 100 bucks or anything, but the more activity we see, if it gets out of hand, will be passed on to the consumer."

Griffin said collecting money from patents can be a lucrative trade - even Microsoft gets around three to four dollars for every sale of an android phone.

But though prices may creep up, Griffin said he does not expect the range of phones to be limited, with Samsung's Galaxy S4 still on track for release next year.

"We will still see the S4 come out and that is probably a year away," he said.

"Samsung has already found a new way to get around the 'bounce feature', when you're scrolling and you get to the bottom of the screen, it glows blue."

He said while there are always solutions for some issues, for others Samsung may just have to pay itself out.

"Apple has gone around the world with injuctions - they wanted to go thermonuclear with Google," he said.

"It has very deep pockets to mount a big legal challenge."

However, he said Apple may restrain itself from throwing around its weight too much, especially when its online music sales are going strong.

And as for Samsung, Griffin said it would not be overly upset, as long as the company keeps up momentum for its new phones.

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