October 13th, 2011
05:18 AM GMT
Sydney, Australia (CNN) – In the latest maneuver in the smartphone wars, Samsung is offering its latest Galaxy S II smartphone for a token $2 to the first 10 people in line each morning at a temporary store just steps away the Apple flagship store in Sydney.
Normally priced at $850, the deep discount attracted some young buyers to camp out three or four nights to snatch the phone. "We calculated that the amount of money we are saving ... makes it equivalent to being paid $15 an hour just to loaf around for four days,” one person waiting for a phone told CNN.
“Apple gives no discounts on the iPhone, so honestly I’m not sure why you would line up to pay full price for a phone that’s not as good as a Samsung,” said James Constantine, who bought a $2 phone after waiting outside for three days.
Apple and Samsung have been waging an aggressive legal battle since April, filing more than 20 lawsuits against each other in nine countries, including the United States, France, Italy, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Apple contends that Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phone and tablets “slavishly” copied its iPhone and iPad, while Samsung claims that Apple has infringed on its mobile patents.
Last week, Apple rejected an offer from Samsung to settle the tablet dispute in Australia, prolonging the ban on Samsung’s launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that market. Apple also secured a ban in Germany last month on direct sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In addition, a court in the Netherlands has barred Samsung from selling three models of its smartphone. A court ruling in California is expected today.
Samsung said it postponed the release of its latest Galaxy smartphone out of respect for Apple visionary and former CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away last Thursday, a day after the unveiling of the new iPhone 4S. However, Samsung has said that it does not plan to delay court hearings. In fact, it extended its patent-infringement lawsuit to France and Italy to ban the sale of the iPhone 4S less than 24 hours after its introduction.
Samsung and its Android-based smartphones pose the strongest challenge to Apple’s wildly popular iPhone. While Apple’s iPhone is the world best-selling smartphone, smartphones using Google’s Android operating system have a greater combined market share. Samsung is the largest maker of Android smartphones.