Apple's victory wipes $12bn off value of Samsung
APPLE’S COURT victory over Samsung sent shockwaves through technology stocks yesterday, wiping more than $12 billion from the Korean group’s market valuation, knocking Google shares and boosting struggling Nokia.
Shares in Apple rose more than 2 per cent, briefly touching a new high of $680, as analysts predicted its rivals would have to redesign devices to avoid being caught in Friday’s sweeping patent verdict.
Shares in Samsung, which was also ordered by the Californian jury to pay Apple $1 billion in damages, were down 7.5 per cent in Seoul to close at Won1.18 million.
Google shares were hit by fears about the vulnerability of its Android platform. The search group’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility was motivated by its desire to build stronger defences against this kind of litigation. Yet Google could do little to protect Samsung, the largest maker of Android devices, from a wounding defeat.
The San Jose verdict paves the way for an injunction hearing next month in which several Samsung devices could be blocked from sale in the US.
Despite Google’s insistence that “most of these don’t relate to the core Android operating system”, its shares fell 2.4 per cent in New York, although that later moderated to a 1.3 per cent decline.
Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley said: “We believe other Android manufacturers, such as HTC, Sony and LG, will review this patent verdict and potentially alter and delay planned Android smartphones and tablets.”
Samsung yesterday accused Apple of pursuing “outright abuse of patent law”.
Analysts see Microsoft and Nokia as likely beneficiaries from the disruption to Android phones. Nokia shares surged by 10 per cent and have more than doubled in the past six weeks since hitting a 16-year low.
The Finnish group has struggled to sell large quantities of its Lumia phones and therefore establish Microsoft’s Windows operating system as a rival to those of Apple or Google. It is set to unveil new phones to run on Windows 8 next week, a few days ahead of the latest iPhone.
Nokia and Microsoft have already struck patent cross- licensing agreements with Apple. Microsoft shares rose less than 1 per cent to $30.80.
Samsung’s shares are still 63 per cent higher than their level a year ago, valuing the company at $154 billion. It has reported a 75 per cent annual increase in mobile device sales to $18 billion in the second quarter of this year.
The crushing nature of Apple’s legal victory – all but one of the asserted patents were upheld against Samsung – could embolden the iPhone maker to pursue further legal action against Samsung.
Shares in HTC, which also makes Android phones, fell 1.9 per cent in Taiwan.
The Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese phonemaker ZTE slid 7 per cent. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012)