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Apple stock jumps on $1 billion Samsung verdict

Updated: August 27, 2012 3:48PM

NEW YORK — Apple’s $1 billion court win against Samsung is translating into a bigger jump in its market value.

In opening trading, Apple shares hit $680.87, a new all-time high, but the stock pulled back, closing up $12.46, or 1.9 percent, to $675.68.

That boosts Apple Inc.’s market capitalization, already the highest in the world, to $633.4 billion.

Late Friday, a nine-person federal jury in Silicon Valley found that some of South Korea-based Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs from Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Investors appear to be betting that the verdict will make it harder for Apple rivals to ride on the iPhone’s coat-tails. In particular, analysts said it’s likely to slow the growth of Android, Google Inc.’s operating system for smartphones. It’s used by Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola, now a division of Google. Shares of Google fell $9.41, or 1.4 percent, to $669.22.

Samsung Electronics Co. shares fell 7.5 percent in Korean trading.

Apple could ask the judge to stop sales of infringing Samsung products in the U.S. Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, could still keep selling its products unchanged in the rest of the world. But the U.S. is the world’s largest market for smartphones, and Samsung is likely to want to remain there.

“We believe this verdict could lead to Samsung delaying near-term product launches as it attempts to design around Apple’s patents,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley.

While Apple has been the driving force in the smartphone market since the iPhone was launched in 2007, it only commands 19 percent of the worldwide market share, accord to research firm IDC. The high price of the iPhone keeps it out of consumer hands, particularly in emerging markets. That’s left an opening for Android, which now accounts for 64 percent of smartphones sold.

UBS analyst Amitabh Passi said that it’s “very unlikely” that Apple could stamp out Android by repeating the U.S. legal victory in the rest of the world. The cellphone carriers like having several suppliers to choose from, and would not accept dominance by Apple, he wrote Monday.

Shares of HTC fell 1.9 percent on the Taiwanese stock market. Google shares fell $13.80, or 2 percent, to $664.83 in U.S. trading.

Meanwhile, U.S.-listed shares of embattled Finnish phone maker Nokia Corp. jumped 24 cents, or 7.8 percent, to $3.32. That was the highest level for the company since May.

Nokia has gone against the grain and based its new smartphone line not on Android but on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone. That operating system is substantially different from Apple’s, and hasn’t landed in its legal sights. However, sales of phones using the software have been slow, imperiling Nokia’s turnaround efforts.

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