South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung recently pushed an update for its Galaxy S3 devices under Sprint network removing the Universal Search functionality in which Apple claimed to have been infringing one of its patents. Apparently, this is the easiest way out for the company to avoid further legal battles with the Cupertino-based tech titan.
Prior to the update, the Universal Search will scan the entire phone and display items related to what users are searching for including contacts, messages, files, or almost anything that could be found inside the handset. Apple claimed that such functionality is one of the features of the handset that infringes some of its patents. Eventually, the tech giant filed an injunction over the said issue.
As of the writing of this report, only the units under Sprint network are affected by the update. There is no information if Samsung would push another updates for other carriers.
The Universal Search bar can be found on the homescreen of Galaxy S3. Once the new update is installed, owners who will use it will be provided with search results from Google search engine without displaying anything from the inside of the phone. While it may have a small effect and relevance to majority of the owners of Samsung’s flagship, it will still build disappointments knowing it is one of the key features the company was boasting about during the official launch of the device in May.
Reports also suggested that a new security patch will be pushed for Google Nexus, one of the devices that Apple claimed to have also infringed several of its patents. The patch will take the Universal Search function from Nexus as well. This is one of the desperate measures both Samsung and Google are willing to take in a bid to fix the sales ban imposed on the device.
Apple and some smartphone manufacturers have engaged into court battles over patent claims. While it is the right thing to do for any company trying to protect its intellectual property, it seems like the competition is now being brought to court instead of competing in the real market where devices with great features and high specs often win. Experts haven’t expressed their ideas what the long-term effects would be. But let’s wait and see if there are good things to come out of this.
Source: Mobile Mag