Apple vs. Samsung: the aftermath


Over the summer, Apple and Samsung sued each other for copyright infringement. According to Apple, Samsung crossed seven of Apple’s copyrights, which included the physical designs of the iPhone and iPad and the ability to zoom by tapping.

Apple stated that eight phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S and its family, contained their technologies. Samsung, on the other hand, countersued Apple for stepping over five of their lines, including 3G capabilities for mobile phones. Samsung also said that this is merely Apple’s attempt to create a monopoly, and the supposedly stolen features do not significantly have an effect on the sales of the phones.

Although a price had not been stated, the amount would have been about 2.5 % of all iPhone sales. It should be noted that Apple buys much of its hardware from Samsung, even though the two companies do not agree when it comes to licensing. When the trial came to a close, Apple was awarded one billion dollars to be paid by Samsung.

This was significantly less than the maximum $7.5 billion that they could have been awarded. Samsung got nothing from the lawsuit; however, Samsung seeks to appeal the case.

“[It’s] hard to say [about Samsung’s future and the outcome of the trial], as obviously Samsung will appeal the decision, so until that decision comes, it’s all up in the air,” Mark Fugate, MC’s director of information technology, said. “Some of the patent infringements were silly in my opinion, as several of the so-called Apple patents have been in technology use of years.”

After Apple’s battle against Samsung, Google’s Android, the rival operating system to Apple’s iOS, seemed to be next. In fact, Google issued a lawsuit against Apple during the trial for copyright infringement, with one such patent being Apple’s iconic Siri. All Apple mobile phones, which include iOS, would then have their sales stopped.

When asked about the possibility of Google and Apple suing each other, Fugate was skeptical about the possibility.

“[Google and Apple are] two different business models ,” Fugate said. “Apple makes money from software, hardware and apps, whereas Google sells very little hardware, gives away the phone OS for free and makes money on the apps.[I] wouldn’t be surprised truthfully to see Google come out with their own phone hardware.”

The providers that go under the radar in this series of lawsuits include Microsoft and Nokia, both of which could potentially benefit. If Google and Apple get serious about these lawsuits, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system would be an easy alternative for companies like HTC and Samsung, who primarily use Android.

Windows also has the benefit of being significantly different than Apple’s iOS, giving Microsoft a trump card over Google. Windows, however, has a significant climb, because Google’s Android currently leads the mobile phone operating system market, with the runnerup being iOS.

Fugate also speculates on Microsoft’s lack of one innovation that could potentially keep them from competing: apps. “[The trial] could be a boon to them, as other phone manufacturers may shift away from Android OS to MS,” Fugate said. “[But]I really think there is limited potential there until they [Microsoft] get on onboard the app train.”

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