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Apple's Samsung Win Slams Asian Phone Makers

A visitor photographs the side profile of a Huawei Technologies Ascend D quad mobile phone at a launch event prior to the Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.
A visitor photographs the side profile of a Huawei Technologies Ascend D quad mobile phone at a launch event prior to the Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Samsung wasn’t the only Asian smartphone maker to suffer through a Black Monday. The Suwon (South Korea)-based company’s shares plunged 7.5 percent on the first day of trading after a jury in California ruled on Friday that Samsung must pay more than $1 billion to Apple for violating six of its patents. With the defeat calling into question the ability of other Android players to fend off the lawyers from Cupertino, the pain spread to other parts of the Asian smartphone world: In Hong Kong, for instance, the share price of ZTE, the largest publicly traded maker of smartphones in China, fell 7.1 percent. In Taiwan, the shares of Samsung rival HTC, already beaten down 47 percent this year after enduring patent battles of its own against Apple, fell another 2 percent. “In general, it seems the Android camp is losing the patent wars,” says Dennis Chan, an analyst in Taipei with Yuanta Securities.

But for some Chinese phone makers, there may be short-term opportunity in the ruling, as well.