Mark one in the win column, folks. Apple has dropped Samsung's latest device, the Galaxy S III Mini, from its patent case against the Korean-based company. Apple agreed in a court filing to drop its infringement claims against the Galaxy S III Mini. Apple initially included the device because it was available for sale through Amazon.com, but Samsung argued that the device had not been officially released in the US, and therefore shouldn't be covered.
Since Samsung is not selling the phone directly in the US, Apple agreed to drop it from the list of accused devices. However, it's important to note that actions like this are common at this point in time, since both companies are finalizing which devices will be included in the upcoming trial. Plus, the Mini may be put back on Apple's list if Samsung decides to sell the phone in the states.
Samsung started selling the Galaxy S III Mini in Europe back in October, but in their filing on Friday, Apple said that their lawyers were able to purchase "multiple units" of the Galaxy S III Mini from Amazon.com US site and have them delivered to the US without any problems, despite Samsung saying that the phone isn't for sale in the US.
Of course, this is only one device out of several that Apple is dropping. They still have a handful of smartphones and tablets on their list, for which they're seeking sales bans on. Then again, we're surprised that Apple backed off so easily from Samsung's claims about the Mini, despite claiming that they were able to purchase such a product from the US.