New iPhone gives rivals a shred of hope

THE TELECOMS world was yesterday digesting the implications of Apple’s latest product launch, with manufacturers hoping to capitalise on the initial lack of enthusiasm.

Nokia was trading almost five per cent up yesterday, with its new line of phones running Windows Mango expected to put it in direct competition with other high end handset makers. Taiwanese rival HTC was up slightly.

Samsung, however, slipped nine per cent, with its third quarter profits, to be announced tomorrow, expected to drop 30 per cent to 3.4 trillion won (£1.85bn). Its mobile phone business has grown exponentially, boosted by its flagship Galaxy SII handset but gains have been pared by a muted performance at its chipmaking and flatscreen TV businesses.

Samsung is widely expected to report record profit from handset sales and overtake Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor after selling just 1m fewer smartphones in the second quarter.

The firm was bracing itself for a hit following Apple’s launch but hopes the iPhone 4S’s muted reception will absorb some of the impact.

The legal battle between the two shows no sign of abating, with Samsung saying it will file patent-infringement claims against Apple’s latest phone in France and Italy, just a day after its release.

It will also consider legal action in other countries, following similar cases lodged by Apple, which accused Samsung of “slavishly” following its designs.

Apple slipped five per cent in the wake of Tim Cook’s inaugural product launch as full-time chief executive but has since recouped most of its losses.