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Galaxy S3 dumb search ‘feature’ coming to international version via OTA update

July 25, 2012

The Apple vs Samsung legal patent war, so far won by Apple, at least according to the favorable pre-trial verdicts the company got, already has an unwanted effect on the overall Galaxy S3 user experience.

Samsung is rolling out a firmware update that dumbs down the search app of the phone – instead of getting local and web results when performing a search you’ll only get web results after the update is applied. The update has already been made available to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S3 buyers (in that order) and it looks like it’s also coming to international Galaxy S3 versions.

Galaxy S3 owners in Canada report that a Galaxy S3 over-the-air (OTA) update is available at this time, and firmware version XXBLG6 that measures 27MB will remove local search from the Search app. We’re not sure whether Galaxy S3 buyers in other regions of the world are also getting the update, so keep us in the loop by using the comments section below!

The company is obviously trying to prevent an Apple injunction attempt that would target the new Galaxy S3 smartphone. Apple already tried to delay the Galaxy S3 launch in the U.S. but its motion was denied, and chances are the iPhone maker will continue to look to obtain an injunction against the Galaxy S3.

Just recently, Apple was granted sales bans in the U.S. on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (upheld after two lost Samsung appeals) and the Galaxy Nexus (stayed on second appeal). One of the Apple patents found to be infringing by the latter was the “unified search” patent, that describes a technology that offers device users local and web results when performing a search.

The Galaxy Nexus has also received its own “dumb search” feature, and the Galaxy S3 will follow, as Samsung is trying to avoid future Apple actions against the smartphone.

The U.S. trial between the two companies is set to start on July 30, in just a few days. We have already learned that Apple is asking for $2.525 billion in royalties and damages for allegedly infringing Samsung products although it would rather obtain an injunction against those products instead of cash.