Bad Apple day - shares fall below $500

Judge refuses to ban sales of Samsung smartphones

LAST UPDATED AT 08:14 ON Tue 18 Dec 2012

A US judge has refused to grant a plea by Apple to ban the sales of smartphones made by Samsung, its Korean rival, the BBC reports.

Apple has already won $1.05 billion in damages at the Californian court after Samsung was found to have violated the American tech giant's patents. But District Judge Lucy Koh said there was not enough evidence that the infringed patents had hurt Apple's US sales and said Samsung could go on selling Galaxy Nexus phones.

"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," said Koh.

The news came on a bad day for Apple, which its share price plunging at one stage to below $500 for the first time since February. The Daily Telegraph reports, record sales last winter enabled Apple to join "the exclusive $500-a-share club" in February - and in September shares briefly crossed the $700 mark.

But with the price hitting a low of $497 in pre-market trading yesterday, analysts are warning that the tech giant could be losing momentum. Apple shares closed at $518.83. · 

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