In a surprising move, Samsung Electronics has rolled out a ‘stability’ update to disable the on-device search functionality on the Galaxy S3 smartphones to avoid a possible ban.
Though the update has been deemed as an attempt to improve the ‘stability’, it is evident that the update would considerably downgrade the smartphone model. However, it is believed that the update is a preemptive step to avoid any possible ban on the company’s largest selling smartphone due to the local search patent involved. Apple owns the patent that covers the local search functionality, although it has not used this patent in any of the legal battles between Apple and Samsung.
Legal war over patent disputes between the Californian giant and the South Korean phonemaker has cost Samsung dearly with the recent blow being the European Union ban on the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Limiting the functionality of the smartphone has been chosen by Samsung over facing more legal battles over patent disputes with Apple.
Earlier, Apple had lodged patent infringement case against Samsung over the “Quick Search Box” option on the Google Samsung Nexus smartphone, which is believed to have violated the patent owned by Apple. Fearing a similar possible situation for the fastest selling Galaxy S3 smartphones, Samsung has decided to strip out the local search functionality.
An analyst on condition of anonymity said, “Samsung may be doing this as a precautionary measure to prevent it having to pay damages on devices sold outside the US in case Apple prevails in the States and then pursues a similar suit elsewhere.”