Samsung, LG Urged To Dump Android

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The South Korean government has advised its mobile device makers to shift towards a home-grown mobile OS

The South Korean government has urged Samsung to move away from its current dependency on Google’s Android operating system for its smartphones and tablets, amid a continuing international patent dispute with Apple over Samsung’s tablet devices.

South Korea called on Samsung and LG Electronics to join a government-backed consortium aimed at developing a home-grown mobile OS. The move comes in the wake of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, making Google a direct competitor to Samsung and LG in mobile hardware.

Google co-opetition

Seoul’s Ministry of the Knowledge Economy announced the OS plan last week and said it would make details public in October. Samsung and LG are the world’s second and third-largest makers of mobile handsets.

“In the long term, we cannot go on like this by solely relying on Google,” said Kim Jae-hong, a deputy commerce minister, according to reports.

Samsung noted the plan was still in the “initial stages” while LG said it was “willing to listen” to government’s ideas.

In the meantime, Samsung said on Monday it will delay the launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in Australia until the last week of September due to a court hearing underway in the country.

“Following today’s hearing in the Federal Court of Australia, Samsung has agreed to delay the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 pending the court’s decision in the week commencing 26 September, 2011,” Samsung said in a statement. “It should be noted that the court has not issued an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the court did not make any ruling during today’s hearing.”

The company said it will file a fresh patent claim against Apple in the Australia’s Federal Court. Apple claims the Galaxy Tab violates Apple patents and the two companies are engaged in legal actions in countries including South Korea, Germany, the US, the Netherlands and Japan.

‘Slavish’ imitation

Apple initially launched the patent war in the US in April with a charge that Samsung had “slavishly” copied the iPad and iPhone. Earlier in August Samsung overturned the European Union ban on sales of its flagship tablet, an action prosecuted by Apple, while in the same week Apple’s iPad 3 launch was “put back” because of technical problems.

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