Apple’s legal war with Samsung raises profile of Galaxy devices

Apple’s (s aapl) battle with Samsung over tablet patents may have had a positive effect on Samsung’s profile, at least in some markets. Samsung Australia is saying that’s exactly what happened down under following the reversal of a ban against sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The Samsung tablet will hit store shelves in Australia starting this week, after the Australian Federal Court overturned the preliminary injunction Apple had previously managed to secure. Apple was denied the chance to appeal the Federal Court’s ruling to the High Court on Friday. Preorders for the tablet at some Australian carriers have already begun.

Samsung had originally intended to launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in late summer 2011, but at first it voluntarily delayed its launch in compliance with recommendations from the Australian court and then was formally prohibited from selling the device.

The subsequent delay in its launch must have cost Samsung sales, but the company’s Australian VP of Telecommunications, Tyler McGee, was all about the upside in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. He said, “At the end of the day the media awareness certainly made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a household name compared to probably what it would’ve been based on the investment that we would’ve put into it from a marketing perspective.”

McGee anticipates, in fact, that Samsung won’t even be able to bring in enough supply to satisfy demand for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the near term. Telecom analyst Foad Fadaghi isn’t quite so sure Samsung’s rosy estimates will necessarily bear fruit, however, saying that while the case definitely has given Samsung significant mind share, that won’t necessarily translate to actual device sales.

Still, Fadaghi predicts that Samsung will move into second behind Apple in the tablet market in Australia. It is already first in mobile phones and smartphones in the country, having moved into the top spot in August.

Apple’s goal in picking patent fights seems to have been to shut down the competition completely, at least according to Apple’s own lawyers and statements made by former CEO Steve Jobs. But if it is actually raising the profile of Apple’s next-closest competitor, one has to question whether the occasional gains are worth the ongoing expenditure.