Post-Jobs death, Samsung delays launch

Samsung said on Monday it had delayed the launch of a new smartphone based on Google's latest version of the Android operating system while the world pays tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who died last week.

The delay also comes as an intensifying legal battle between Apple and Samsung reaches a crucial point this week, when the two technology giants will meet in courtrooms in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

The company had planned to introduce the new product based on the Ice Cream Sandwich system, which will unite the Android software used in tablets and smartphones, at an event in San Diego on Tuesday.

We decided it was not the right time to announce a new product while the world was expressing tribute to Steve Jobs's passing, a Samsung spokesman said. Samsung has yet to decide on a new date for the release, the spokesman said.

Samsung said it has no plan to delay scheduled hearing dates due to Jobs' death. Less than a day before his death, Samsung widened its patent-infringement cases with the US firm to ban the sale of Apple's new iPhone in France and Italy after a series of setbacks in Australia and Europe.

Samsung and Apple are suing each other in 20 cases filed in 10 countries since April, but few of them hold as much significance as a California court ruling due on Thursday, since it could affect Samsung's mobile device sales in the United States, one of its biggest markets.

Samsung is the biggest maker of mobile phones that are based on Android and have a greater combined market share than Apple's iPhone, the world's best-selling smartphone.

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