Apple vs Samsung vs The World

Apple and Samsung have recently had a milestone legal battle over the patent for Apple designed products and whether or not Samsung has illegally copied them. After a long fight and a lot of throwing money at lawyers and lawyers throwing words at each other, a decision was finally reached. Apple won, big time. The jury ruled in favor of Apple and a remarkably Apple-friendly ruling was made in terms of what falls under an Apple design. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple 1.5 billion dollars. Samsung will definitely appeal the verdict, but that will most likely only change the dollar amount and not the ruling. This will have a huge effect on the mobile phone world for years to come.

What this means for Apple users is more content. With more developers already making Apple products and now Android and Google’s old developers worrying about the platform’s future, there will be a bigger pool with newly switching over developers looking for a more secure platform for their apps. Be prepared to see a lot of Android only apps switching over and some new apps to pop up soon. But with the way Apple approves developers, it won’t be a massive jump, leaving some developers in the dust.

What this means for Apple is that they can now load up the war horse and go to town on any other iDevice like manufacturer. The patent was intensely encompassing of a lot of features you see in almost every touch device. Not only does Apple have the power, the have a bullet proof legal shield with which to assert themselves upon anyone else in the market and take them down, or at least give them a crippling set back. Apple can and will enforce this and it will shake the market first and innovation second. With all the manufacturer hurting, there will only be space for innovation at the Apple camp. This leads to Apple being the only outlet for new features, and them being able to choose when and for how much these features will cost. Right now Apple has become the biggest power player.

What this means for Samsung users is that life will get hectic? Your phones may get a lot of updates that will change the user interface. This will mostly be so that they don’t infringe on Apple’s patent as far as the interface goes. Those wanting a Samsung phone should hurry and get one before the bigger changes start to come into effect. You’ll also start to see less app updates for cross platform apps but more updates for Samsung only apps to support the UI changes. Then app updates will in general slowdown for a while so that everyone can see how the changes to the mobile world go. Things will be ok though Android users. You can get through this.

For Samsung this is a hard hit. Be prepared to see all devices from Samsung that violate the Apple patent to soon be ordered to be taken of the shelf. Apple may even try to eat Samsung all together. Samsung will lose a lot of money due to the case, but that is nothing compared to the money they will lose from phone sales or developers they will lose from being taken out of the touch screen phone market. Things will get bad for a long time, but Samsung can pull their selves out if they can redirect their efforts into the devices Apple doesn’t have a patent against. Or they could innovate a new design. This was a war of intellectual property, so intellectual growth will dig them from this hole. Samsung will most likely circumvent this problem by adding a physical QWERTY pad to their previous designs and growing from the original Galaxy to the design of the Galaxy S3. It will be rocky times though if they don’t think of a solution soon.

But worst affected will be all other developers. They now have to play chicken with how long they keep their phones on the market and how the design their new products and how they will handle an Apple lawsuit. Any of the three could happen to any manufacturer right now and everyone needs to be on their toes. Apple has one more than just intellectual property rights. Apple has won more power in a market where their power was fading. And they won it against their strongest rival. While it is against the law to blatantly copy your competitors, I see the two as having grown off of each other over time. This will secure Apple’s power but it definitely hurts the touch screen phone market and will hurt innovation more. It has turned the tides of growth so that Apple can be touch screen and everyone else cannot. This could be good for Apple or lead to a slowing of growth and an ultimate downfall. But no matter what, the ball is in Apple’s court now.

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