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Friday Grok: Apple v Samsung, 30-love

Friday Grok: Apple v Samsung, 30-love

War goes on, and a crappy Google margin call.

Apple won its injunction against Samsung, delaying at least for several months and perhaps permanently the distribution of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its current form in Australia. The permanence of the result comes from an earlier threat by Samsung to take its bat and ball and go home if it missed the key selling cycle around Christmas. The argument being that the world will have moved on too far without them.

Apple's victory adds to successful judgments it has received in Germany and the Netherlands already. Ongoing actions continue across the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea. For its part, Samsung has launched counterclaims relating to patents it claims Apple has violated. You have to at least give them points for persistence. Writing in Computerworld yesterday after the judgment was handed down, Chloe Herrick noted:

"Samsung has flagged plans to file court injunctions in France and in an attempt to block the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S. The preliminary injunctions will request the courts block the Smartphone from being sold in France and Italy, alleging infringement of wireless telecommunications patents. 'Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology, and we will steadfastly protect our intellectual property,' Samsung said at the time."

So far Samsung's lawyers have yet to trouble the scorer.

Apple, on the other hand, will bank millions of dollars worth of orders for its latest smartphone today — the iPhone4S — when it goes on sale here and around the world.

The SMH started shamelessly beating up the story early today, leading on its site with a live blog headlined "Aussies go iPhone crazy." Apparently the SMH believes this is the most newsworthy story of the day in the whole world.

It's a stupid headline. Aussie's are not going iPhone crazy. Instead, a couple of hundred people around the country got out of bed early because they have trouble with impulse control. Fairfax Media's shares closed yesterday at 93 and a half cents.

The sun also rises, but not forever.

Google absolutely blitzed it last quarter, delivering an eye popping profit of $2.69 billion on revenues of $9.72 billion. Of course what's so eye popping about the result is the margin — it's only about 27 per cent. Google does not have factories or warehouses, or much in the way of physical stock on hand. And while it is probably harsh to say that its advertisements sell themselves, let's just say lots of customers don't need help from Google's salespeople to buy Google's products.

So you have to ask yourself, how did they spend $7.03 billion in the last 92 days? You do the math. Google is a great company and its search engine is an amazing product, but it's a crappy investment.

And despite that very big number today, its moment in the sun is passing.

How's that for a big call to end the week.

You can follow Andrew Birmingham on Twitter at @ag_birmingham. He owns Fairfax Media shares, not Google shares. In his defence, he didn't buy them and didn't ask for them. Still, you might be better placed getting your financial advice somewhere else.

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