Samsung has quietly removed the local search function on the newly launched Galaxy S3 amid a fresh patent dispute with its rival Apple, it has been confirmed.
The feature was expulsed in recent OTA updates from Sprint and AT&T in the US, as it allegedly infringes on an Apple patent that resulted in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus temporarily suspended from sale.
Local search allowed users to look-up information stored inside various applications on the phone, such as contacts, calendar entries, etc. However, as it turns out, Apple has already patented the feature and is unwilling to compromise as usual.
Clearly Samsung doesn’t want its flagship smartphone banned for something as trifling as this and is likely already investigating a workaround.
Luckily, the feature remains intact on the International/UK version of the S3. It’s unknown whether Apple has claim over it outside the US, but seeing that it has relentlessly pursued legal action against Samsung products across the globe, this could be the case.
We’ll be sure to keep you informed of developments.