* Delay comes as legal battle with Apple hits fever pitch
* Says no changes in scheduled court hearings with Apple
* Most crucial U.S. court hearing scheduled for Thursday
* Apple, Samsung also meeting in Dutch, Australian and
* Samsung shares up 1.6 pct vs 0.4 pct rise in wider market
(updates share price, edits)
By Miyoung Kim
SEOUL, Oct 10 Samsung Electronics Co
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.
Samsung 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 its Mobile Unpack
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
Jobs died last Wednesday following a years-long battle with
pancreatic cancer, and tributes from world leaders, business
rivals and fans have poured in.
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 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 U.S. firm to ban
the sale of Apple's new iPhone in France and Italy after a
series of setbacks in Australia and Europe.
Apple says Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and
tablets "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad. Samsung rejects
the claims and argues the U.S. firm infringed on its mobile
Samsung is the most credible challenger to Apple in
smartphones and tablets. It said on Friday its quarterly profit
should top the most bullish market forecasts, with smartphones
becoming its main profit engine despite intense competition from
bigger rival Apple.
Apple unveiled its latest iPhone last week, leaving
investors and fans wishing for more than a souped-up version of
last year's device at a time of heightened competition from
rival smartphone makers. But U.S. mobile carrier AT&T said
on Friday it has seen "extraordinary demand" for the new iPhone
with more than 200,000 pre-orders in the first 12 hours.
Last week, Apple rejected an offer from Samsung to settle a
tablet computer dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the
commercial viability of the new Galaxy tablet in that market.
Samsung is the biggest maker of mobile phones that are based
on Android, which is available for free to handset vendors such
as Motorola Mobility and HTC Corp . Android
phones have a greater combined market share than Apple's iPhone,
the world's best-selling smartphone.
Shares in Samsung closed up 1.6 percent, versus a 0.4
percent rise in the wider market .
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by David Chance and Ken