Samsung’s delay in getting the Galaxy Note 4 out to the masses will surely have an effect on overall sales, particularly given the unexpected popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, and now, the Korean outfit is facing another hurdle. According to a suit filed by NVIDIA, Sammy’s Exynos processors, along with a number of SoCs manufactured by Qualcomm, are in violation of the graphics specialist’s GPU patents, and if NVIDIA’s claims are founded, the Galaxy Note 4 may face a sales ban in the United States.
Having announced the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Samsung’s two-pronged assault on the smartphone market looked assured. But despite announcing its larger smartphones almost one week prior to Apple’s iPhone 6 event, the vast majority of consumers are still waiting on its arrival.
A minor launch in Samsung’s native South Korea has already taken place, but the Note 4 has yet to grace the major worldwide markets, and having finally prepared the shipments and begun heavily promoting the all-new phablet, this NVIDIA case could well throw a major spanner in the works.
It’s not just the Note 4 that’s under scrutiny and facing a potential sales ban, but given that it’s Samsung’s most recent, any ruling would hit the company like a freight train.
Along with Samsung’s Exynos processors, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 400, 600, 800, 801 and 805 are all said to be in violation of NVIDIA’s own GPU patents, and with the graphics hardware company requesting that the ITC ban the Note 4 along with the Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab 2, the consequences for Samsung could be dire.
It’s not the kind of news that will appease those affiliated with Samsung, and given the recent estimates of a 60 per cent drop in profits, the timing really couldn’t be much worse.
The Note 4 is expected to roll out Stateside on October 17th, more than six weeks after the initial announcement. Samsung hopes to shift 15 million or so units in the first month of sales, but given the popularity of the iPhone 6 Plus, one has to wonder whether the series that introduced the idea of the phablet will be able to maintain its stronghold.