Samsung has disabled an advanced Google local search function from its flagship mobile phone – the Galaxy S3 – following a patent dispute with Apple.
It is an update to the international version of the smartphone and once it is installed the phones no longer search contacts, apps and other on-device material using Google software.
Android Central reported that users were not made aware that the update would disable the service and follows a similar move from the Korean company in the US.
Apple claims the innovation infringes its patent to a single search interface, which was initially filed in 2000.
This is a further victory for the American firm after it managed to get sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet banned in the US via a pre-trial injunction.
Head of intellectual property at Berwin Leighton Paisner Simon Clark told BBC News: "Samsung may be doing this to prevent it having to pay damages on devices sold outside the US in case Apple prevails in the States and then pursues a similar suit elsewhere."
Posted by Peter Robinson