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Samsung has emerged as one of Apple’s biggest rivals and has overtaken as the leading smartphone maker. Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.

Google entered the smartphone market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip off of the iPhone’s innovations.

After shoving Schmidt off Apple’s board, Jobs vowed that Apple would resort to “thermonuclear war” to destroy Android and its allies.

If Android lose any ground in the mobile computing market, that would hurt Google, too. That’s because Google relies on Android to drive mobile traffic to its search engine and services to sell more advertising.

The Apple-Samsung trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by the judge to settle the dispute out of court. Deliberations by the jury of seven men and two women began Wednesday.

Jurors left the courthouse without addressing the scrum of international media who camped out at the San Jose courthouse for a month.

They notified the judge at about 2:30 p.m. that they had arrived at a verdict after deliberating two-and-a-half days. Many expected deliberations to last longer because of the complexity of the case.

Jurors filed into the courtroom silently Friday, the youngest juror who favored flipflops, shorts and playing videogames was wearing a Beatles sweatshirt and handed over the 20-page verdict form with little fanfare.

Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales. Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. McElhinny said those devices accounted for $8.16 billion in sales since June 2010.

From the beginning, legal experts and Wall Street analysts viewed Samsung as the underdog. Apple’s headquarters is a mere 10 miles from the San Jose courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.

While the legal and technological issues were complex, patent expert Alexander I. Poltorak previously said the case would likely boil down to whether jurors believed Samsung’s products look and feel almost identical to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

To overcome that challenge at trial, Samsung’s lawyers argued that many of Apple’s claims of innovation were either obvious concepts or ideas stolen from Sony Corp. and others. Experts called that line of argument a high-risk strategy because of Apple’s reputation as an innovator.

Apple’s lawyers argued there is almost no difference between Samsung products and those of Apple, and presented internal Samsung documents they said showed it copied Apple designs. Samsung lawyers insisted that several other companies and inventors had previously developed much of the Apple technology at issue.

Apple and Samsung have filed similar lawsuits in eight other countries, including South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia.

“This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims,” Samsung said in its statement.

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