The consistent success of iPhones confirms that users are willing to pay a premium for a quality product. Apple has been traditionally known for its aesthetics, ease of use, intuitive designs and seamless integration of hardware and software that made it a nearly $150 billion company with a market capitalization of $627 billion. When Steve Jobs died, analysts were sceptical about the new chief Tim Cook’s ability to deliver the goods.

Nevertheless, Apple for now is smiling with its new iPhone 5 that sports a larger screen, a faster chip, a better operating system and camera, longer-lasting battery, metal back and support for Long Term Evolution or LTE networks (a 4G standard) besides the usual 3G and Wi-Fi technologies. But for those wishing to upgrade, the “Lightning" dock connecter will mean shelling out extra money.

With the pricing on par with iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 that will be sold from 21 September in nine countries, should have many takers. But users in India, unlike those in China, will have a longer wait, but sans the LTE rollout in the country, an upgrade to iPhone 5 can hold.

Analysts estimate that 6-10 million iPhone 5 units will be sold in the first week of hitting the shelves, indicating that the smartphone war is only hotting up. And, with it, the patent battle. Apple, according to a Thomson Reuters release, has filed over 1,000 patents since the launch of the iPhone in 2007—over 450 pertain to smartphones and 500-odd for mobile camera and user interface technologies. Samsung has over 4,000 patents. Nokia had filed a suit against it in 2009 for patent infringement, while Apple had filed a patent lawsuit against HTC in 2010; Microsoft chased Google’s partners offering Android-powered products, and Google-owned Motorola Mobility has a patent case pending against Apple. Late last month, a South Korean court ruled that Apple and Samsung had infringed on one another’s intellectual property and owe each other damages, while a US court jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages, which Samsung is sure to appeal against.

The stakes are high. In 2012, Samsung toppled Apple, riding on the success of Android that had a 64.1% global market share in the April-June quarter (43.4% a year ago). Apple, with its iPhone 5, hopes to remedy the situation. The dark horse in the game remains Nokia with its new Lumia phones, powered by Windows Phone 8.

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