Did Apple Just Help Samsung Sell a Ton of Smartphones?
On Friday, a California jury ruled in favor of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and ordered Samsung to pay just over $1 billion for infringing on the iPhone maker's patents. Many critics have been quick to analyze the verdict, but there appears to be an interesting side effect that no one saw coming: increased sales of the Galaxy S III.
According to Trip Chowdhry, the managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research, customers "rushed" to buy Samsung's flagship phone after the verdict was announced.
Chowdhry investigated multiple retail outlets -- including Costco (NASDAQ: COST), AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) -- to get an update on how the Galaxy S III performed this weekend.
Two out of three Costco stores were completely sold out of the T-Mobile and AT&T versions of the phone. The third location had the T-Mobile version in stock, but was sold out of the AT&T version.
All five of the AT&T stores that Chowdhry investigated experienced "significant sales" of the device, which has been outselling the iPhone 4S this month. The Galaxy S III has also outsold Apple's smartphone at all five of the Sprint stores and all three of the Verizon stores that Chowdhry examined. However, only two of those Sprint locations had completely sold out of the Samsung-built device.
This is an intriguing outcome for Samsung, which had already produced smartphones that collectively outsold the iPhone by more than 20 million units. While it is unlikely that consumers decided to buy a Galaxy S III on the verdict alone, (which affects older Samsung devices), it is interesting to see where consumer desire is headed as we approach the release of the iPhone 5.
The demand for the iPhone 4S' successor is through the roof. Competitors are so concerned about the iPhone 5's arrival that they are doing everything in their power to stifle its unveiling. Once the iPhone 5 is released, the world will be watching to see if the Galaxy S III can continue to compete successfully.
Regardless of current or future sales, Chowdhry stands by his belief that the jury verdict will lead to a cross-licensing deal between Apple and Samsung.
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