The iPhone 4S’s dual antenna may infringe on a Samsung patent, an expert has claimed, raising the spectre of more legal spats between Apple and its South Korean rival.
Unveiled last week, the iPhone 4S features two antennas and switches between them automatically to get the best reception possible.
Apple adopted the antenna design after the iPhone 4 came in for heavy criticism when users reported it dropped calls when held in a certain way.
However, hopes that this will banish the problem, dubbed 'antennagate' by tech wags, seem decidedly shakier today, after Danish don Gert Frolund Pedersen of Denmark's Aalborg University revealed that the dual-antenna approach could violate a patent held by Samsung.
According to prof Pedersen, who says he developed the dual antenna design and offloaded it to Samsung, the issue could arise if Apple has used a technology that allows the phone to register how it’s being held.
Pedersen said: "You can quite simply do it by measuring the signal strength. But you can also make it a little smarter - which one could imagine that Apple has done.
"Smartphones register whether they are being held in portrait or landscape position. The problem is that if they make calculations based on the type of smart registrations, they will violate a patent that I have which I have sold to Samsung."
If Pedersen’s claims are founded it could see yet another front opened in the festering courtroom contretemps in which Samsung and Apple are currently embroiled.
The internecine legal war, which started when Apple alleged Samsung had ‘slavishly copied' its products, has seen 20 cases involving the companies filed across the globe this year.