We still have to wait and see how the jury’s ruling against Samsung over Apple patents will play out for the company in terms of actual fines, injunctions — and crucially — future device design for the handset giant. But for now the markets have spoken. Share prices for Samsung Electronics fell by 7.5% yesterday, equating to a $12 billion loss in market value. However, it looks like this was a single big hit rather than the start of a series of sustained blows for the Android handset maker: today, shares are still trading down, but not by nearly as much: 3.65%, giving it a market cap of $159.38 billion.
Samsung’s loss was really Apple’s gain. As we noted yesterday, Apple’s shares opened at a record high of $680. The feel-good factor lasted for the whole of the day, with Apple closing more than 12% higher, with its total market cap currently at $633.39 billion. But while Apple got the biggest boost, others equally saw bumps in their prices.
Some believe that the potential pressure on Samsung’s market strategy, which has been built in large part on the success of its Galaxy line of Android devices (one of the earlier models of the Galaxy S line shown here), could spell a win for Nokia, its biggest competitor in the wider mobile market (Apple competes only on smartphones and tablets).
Nokia — which Samsung usurped as the number-one mobile phone maker worldwide earlier this year — saw its shares on the NYSE go up 5.5%. However, with trading closing at $3.25 per share, it’s still less than half the value of its 52-week high of $7.38 per share. Really, it will take Nokia itself launching killer smartphones in September, and showing that it is moving the needle both in advanced and more basic handsets, for that situation to change more permanently. Nokia’s market value is now $12.17 billion.
Interestingly, RIM also saw a rise yesterday, but an even smaller one than Nokia’s: it was up 1.89% and currently has a market cap of $3.67 billion.
The beleaguered smartphone company has been rumored in the past to be a potential acquisition target for Samsung. And while there has never been a statement from either company to confirm such speculation — in fact, Samsung and RIM have denied it outright — it’s an interesting concept to contemplate particularly in light of the jury’s vote that Samsung has found smartphone success in part by copying Apple. Could a completely different approach, on a completely different operating system, potentially give Samsung a fresh start on that front?
Another loser — but not nearly as badly as Samsung — was Google. Some believe Google could become a more direct legal target for Apple, especially as it moves further into producing its own hardware through Motorola Mobility and others, rather than simply making its Android operating system available to OEMs. Its shares were down nearly 1.4%, to a market cap of $218.86 billion.