Apple has made its concerns official. The iPhone maker fears Samsung tablet will lure consumers away from the powerful iTunes ecosystem. Apple’s been successfully leveraging iTunes to tie people to the platform through app and entertainment content sales.

The heated Apple vs. Samsung legal battle over who’s copying who is really about the ecosystem rather than the hardware or the patents. That’s the gist of today’s hearing before the Federal Court in Sydney related to an Apple-requested ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia. According to Smh.com.au, lawyers for Apple argued that the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that buyers may be “seduced” from the iOS platform.

It’s all about the apps and the broader ecosystem, Apple’s legal team told Justice Annabelle Bennett, arguing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 “is vastly the one that is going to be targeting the iPad 2″. IDC numbers released today suggest that that tablet shipments to Australia and New Zealand doubled sequentially in the June quarter, which the research firm attributed to an influx of Android tablets recently released into those markets.

Apple’s lawyers then resorted to the “fire hose” metaphor to make their case:

This is going to be launched on the market with the velocity of a fire hose and it is going to just come in and take away iPad 2 sales so quickly that by the time we get to final hearing the full impact of the patent infringement will be to the detriment of Apple and to the benefit of Samsung.

And this bit about the battle of ecosystems:

They’ll then be Android people and the investment in the apps that they make to purchase on their Galaxy Tab will be something they can’t use on an Apple product.

The full hearing pertaining on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which won’t affect other Samsung tablets) is expected later this year and Justice Bennett is expected to rule on a temporary injunction next week. Per today’s report by Bloomberg, Steve Jobs personally “initiated contact” with Samsung higher-ups last year in an effort to resolve the brewing legal dispute. “Samsung is an important supplier with whom we have a deep relationship. We wanted to give them a chance to do the right thing”, Apple’s patent attorney and senior director Richard Lutton told Federal Court in Sydney today responding to a question by his Samsung peer David Catterns. Separately, Monday and Tuesday saw the first round of hearings over Samsung’s accusations that the iPad and iPhone infringe on Samsung’s wireless patents. The Korean conglomerate is pressing to stop sales of iPhone and iPad in The Netherlands, seeking to institute a 2.4 percent royalty fee for every patent Apple allegedly infringed on. Meanwhile, back in the United States carriers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA sided with Samsung, fearing the legal spat between the two consumer electronics powerhouses may result in fewer numbers of 4G smartphones ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season. Some clarity on all this madness here.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com.

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