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Galaxy Nexus sales ban in effect as Samsung appeal is denied, Google working on software fix

July 4, 2012

Yesterday we heard that Samsung was unsuccessful with its appeal to overturn a sales ban obtained by Apple in the previous week against Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in the USA. At the time, we wondered whether the Galaxy Nexus appeal will go any better – we’ll remind you that Apple also obtained an injunction against Galaxy Nexus sales in the region in the same court – and it looks like Samsung lost the second appeal in a row. In fact, this is Samsung’s fourth defeat in just over a week, and we’ll now ask ourselves whether other Android devices made by the South Korean company are in similar peril.

The Verge reports that Apple has now posted the $96 million bond asked by the court when granting the injunction against Galaxy Nexus sales, which means that the injunction is in full effect, at least until Samsung will be able to demonstrate that its smartphone is not infringing any of the patents used by Apple in this American trial – the two companies are embroiled in a complicated legal conflict that’s being fought in over 30 trials in 10 countries across four continents.

Here’s what Samsung said on the matter:

Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision that denied our motion to stay. We believe today’s ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior products to consumers in the United States.
We will continue to pursue an appeal of the GALAXY Nexus preliminary injunction, which we filed on July 2 to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Meanwhile, we are also working closely with Google to resolve this matter, as the patent in question concerns Google’s unified search function.

Galaxy Nexus – “Coming Soon” in Google Play

What further proves the fact that the Galaxy Nexus is not available for sale in the States anymore is Google’s own Google Play store. The Galaxy Nexus is now listed as “coming soon” with no explanation on why Google is not selling it right now. The Galaxy Nexus, regularly selling for $349 when purchased from Google Play, is also available from Verizon and Sprint, the only carriers in the region that have the device in stock. Moreover, the phone is also available from other electronics retailers in the U.S. including Amazon, Target and J&R, but if the injunction has entered effect, chances are that these companies will not ship the device to your door.

According to The Verge, Google has confirmed that the Galaxy Nexus is not on sale anymore from its online store, without explaining why that happened. But the company did say that sales will resume next week.

Even though the Search giant will not confirm the sales ban has already entered effect, this appears to be the simplest explanation for stopping sales. We’d be surprised to hear that Google ran out of Galaxy Nexus stock right now, almost seven months after its official launch. If that were the case, Google and Samsung would make sure everyone knows how well the handset is selling.

Google already working on a fix

A few days ago, after Apple won the injunction against the Galaxy Nexus, Google’s third Nexus-branded smartphone and the second one manufactured by Samsung, the Search giant confirmed that it’s going to actively help Samsung in its fight against the iPhone maker. The Next Web now reports that Google is already working on a software patch that would bring the Galaxy Nexus back on sale, as the update is basically a workaround that removes the technology Apple says it’s being infringed by the handset, or unified search.

Once the update is installed, the search feature of the Galaxy Nexus will only display results from the web, whether the user types in the search or uses voice to look for stuff. That means that any local results (stuff that’s on the phone like apps, messages and emails) won’t be displayed anymore in the results section.

In addition to the software fix that should convince the court to allow Samsung, Google and their partners to sell the device in America, we’ll remind you that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is also coming soon and that Google’s latest Android OS version that features a reinvented search feature.

Meanwhile, we’re waiting for your comments on the matter, what do you think about the court’s decision? Does the “unified search” feature matter for you? Will the software patch ruin a part of your mobile experience?