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According to industry analysts, there could be some truth to Samsung's argument that Apple's victory will cause a spike in U.S. smartphone and tablet prices. Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen speculated that because traces of many Apple-owned patents can be found in other devices beside Samsung's, some handset makers may have to start paying royalty fees to Apple for continued use of these patents. In turn, this could prompt OEMs to raise the price of their products, as a means to offset these payments.
"If we are really talking about how far this might reach, if Apple ... wins on all the points for patents and IPR [intellectual property rights], I imagine it would increase costs for consumers," Nguyen told CRN. "There are a lot of patents that Apple brings up that seem -- from a market perspective, not a legal perspective -- like many vendors are using. So, the ramifications there seem pretty widespread."
But, Apple's win isn't necessarily all bad news for the market, Nguyen continued. In fear of suffering the same legal consequences as Samsung, Apple rivals could start exploring totally unique design techniques, further driving innovation and ushering in an entirely new generation of mobile devices.
"It will force some further competitive differentiation," said Nguyen. "In the long term, everyone could innovate more."
Of course, these broader market implications could shift as Samsung presses to overturn the decision. "This is just part one," Nguyen said. "I think they are still going to go back and revisit some of the evidence."
Samsung and Apple have been waging a worldwide patent battle for over a year, since Apple first accused Samsung in April 2011 of churning out smartphones and tablets that were "slavish copies" of its own. Courts in the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany have already ruled in Samsung's favor that it did not copy Apple's designs. They instead ruled that most of the patents in question were standards-essential patents, or patents required to meet industry standards, Samsung said.