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How Will Samsung, Apple Patent Verdict Affect Android?
Shortly after a California jury handed down a billion-dollar judgment against Samsung in its patent trial against Apple, the chatter quickly turned to how this might affect Google’s Android operating system.
Shortly after a California jury handed down a billion-dollar patent judgment against Samsung in favor of Apple, the chatter quickly turned to how this might affect Google’s Android operating system.
“I think the next Android update will be called Ketamine, to help Google numb the inevitable patent pain Apple will put it through,” TechRadar’s Marc Chacksfield joked on Twitter.
Others tweeted about being the proud owners of an Android phone that now officially infringes on an Apple patent, while others suggested going out and picking up an Android phone before they disappear from store shelves.
But is that an accurate assessment? At this point, Friday’s verdict does not include product bans – just a hefty $1.05 billion in damages. Many of the products involved in the case, meanwhile, are relatively older Samsung devices rather than brand-new flagship phones like the Galaxy S III . That hasn’t stopped Apple from trying to target the newer gadgets, but for now, they’re not involved.
At a higher level, talk about how today’s decision will affect Android is more about what might happen down the line rather than how it might impact the devices currently lining the shelves at Best Buy. Will manufacturers think twice about releasing an Android phone for fear that Apple (or even Microsoft) will come after them for another $1.05 billion? Can today’s touch-screen smartphones and the OSes running on them be altered enough to avoid Cupertino’s wrath?
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Samsung called the verdict a loss for consumers.
Speaking of Microsoft, the software giant was pretty tickled by tonight’s decision. “Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now,” Bill Cox, senior director of marketing for Windows Phone, quipped on Twitter.
Windows Phone has been well-reviewed but has struggled to make a dent in Android and iOS market share. There have been small gains in recent months – but we’re talking a jump from 2 to 3 percent market share, for example, compared to Android’s more than 50 percent. As a result, Redmond will likely welcome anything that might help slow Android mobile domination.
Whether that means manufacturers turn to Windows Phone over Android remains to be seen. You also still have to get the consumer to buy it. New Windows Phone devices are expected soon with the release of Windows Phone 8, but can it entice smartphone users away from Android, or iOS, for that matter?
As PCMag’s mobile analyst Sascha Segan put it on Twitter: “The only non-Apple phone makers not freaking out right now? Nokia and RIM.”
Segan suggested that “Apple won’t sue Google [because] Google doesn’t sell phones or software.”
Apple, however, has sued Motorola, which is now owned by – yep, you guessed it – Google. The two firms have been battling it out since before Google forked over $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility about a year ago. In the U.S., a Chicago judge dismissed the two companies’ cases, but Motorola recently tried to revive it via the International Trade Commission. Bringing things full circle, Motorola is also battling Microsoft on patents.
For more, see Apple or Samsung: You Decide, as well as PCMag’s continuing coverage and the slideshow below.
- Apple, Samsung Patent Trial: What Did We Learn?
- Apple’s Huge Win Over Samsung: What They’re Saying
- Samsung Calls Apple Patent Verdict ‘Loss for American Consumer’
- Full PCMag coverage of the Samsung-Apple patent trial
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag