According to mobile phone trade-in Samsung smartphone users are dumping their devices in light of last week's court victory to Apple. Samsung customers appear to be worried to hold on to their phones, and aren't pleased knowing that their phone maker is about to have to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages.
"Samsung smartphone owners aren't happy one bit,"says Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle's tech editor. "We expect this trend to continue and to even intensify, especially with this latest court verdict." Scarsella added that his company, which buys used mobile smartphones from consumers, has seen a 53 percent increase in the number of people looking to rapidly unload their Samsung phones since Monday alone.
The sudden upsurge in supply has led Gazelle to drastically drop the prices it pays for Samsung devices by at least 10 to 15 percent, and Scarsella hints that prices could drop even further as the selling spree is rapidly accelerating.
And one of the main reason for all the dumping could be that Apple has requested court injunctions barring all U.S. sales of at least eight of the Samsung phones named in its lawsuit. Some might think customers would be rushing to buy up the remaining stock of Samsung devices while they're still on shelves, not unloading the ones they already have, but as Scarsella points out, the exact reverse is actually what's happening since Monday.
Let's not forget that Samsung devices are running Google's Android operating system. Mobile makers aren't known for keeping their older phones up to date with the latest Android OS as it stands, and customers might fear that Samsung will be even less likely to issue updates for models that it isn't allowed to sell anymore.
And should Google worry about Apple's big victory against Samsung last week ? Well, Google's stock was down almost $20 a share when markets opened Monday morning, so it does appear that some shareholders are concerned. Time will tell.
Although Apple's injunctions will only affect U.S. sales, America is by far the largest market for smartphones. And the same is true for the iPhone. Only China comes close, and while Samsung technically leads that market (for now at least), it does so with only a 19 percent market share, compared to Apple's 31 percent share in the United States.
Luckily for Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has put off ruling on Apple's injunctions until December 6, 2012, so customers still have plenty of time to buy its product from U.S. retailers.
But if the court does approve Apple's injunction request, it's easy to see Samsung dropping its support for models that no longer bring in any U.S. revenue.
Nevertheless, budget conscious consumers who don't mind using an older Android version might be wise to keep an eye on reseller sites, which might soon have an abundant supply of used Samsung phones available. As of this writing, an eBay search for 'Samsung Galaxy S II' yielded 1,524 results as of yesterday.
It will be interesting to see how this whole thing unfolds itself in the next few weeks. One thing is for sure -the impact of this big legal victory for Apple will greatly impact the wireless industry for the next couple of years. And yes, it has already started.