Bad bedfellows: Verizon Wireless takes legal stance with Samsung, against Apple

Verizon seemed pretty buddy-buddy with Apple when Big Red got the iPhone 4 earlier this year. Who wouldn’t be happy to get the single most popular phone on the market? Yet it seems that the honeymoon has ended, or maybe VZW doesn’t play favorites. Verizon has claimed that the ban of Samsung’s mobile devices in the US would hamper their ability to extend their high speed network. The ban in question (on the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G and Droid Charge smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1) covers the top of the line Samsung phones out there, and they all share one thing: 4G.

The requested injunction of certain Samsung products will harm Verizon Wireless and U.S. consumers… it also has the possibility of slowing the deployment of next-generation networks — such as Verizon Wireless’s — contrary to the stated goals of the U.S. government

See, Verizon thinks that Apple won’t crank out the right devices to work on their new LTE network, and knows that Sammy will. We’ve speculated on past podcasts that Apple isn’t going 4G for the next iPhone (but we’ll know on Oct 4) so it makes sense that Verizon isn’t going to wait for Apple to catch up. They must also realize that Samsung’s popular Android devices mean a good chunk of money for them. However, they don’t stop there; the mention of the Broadband plan is a key argument. The US is aiming to catch up in terms of broadband internet penetration, and if Verizon can’t sell devices that utilize the network, then they won’t be able to afford expansion. Who is Apple to stand up to Uncle Sam?

Reuters reports that other carriers have not noted that they will weigh in, but this argument applies to all carriers who are expanding their networks. It’s also worth noting that Verizon is trying to stay officially neutral in terms of copyright infringement: “Verizon Wireless takes no position on whether a preliminary injunction should be granted if the Court finds a likelihood of success on the infringement of Apple’s design patents.” This is smart, because any display of favoritism would likely derail the strength of their other claims.

How will this affect the Verizon iPhone5? I wager that it won’t, as the research has already been done, units have been built and tested, and Apple will still sell their devices to anyone who can pay. However, it’s no secret that Verizon is biased towards Android, and that they played a key role in Android gaining a toehold in the US. For more detailed analysis of the possible results of this legal action, visit Foss Patents.

Thanks @KillahKazx

Sources: Reuters, FOSS Patents

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