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Big implications for smartphone market in Apple verdict

Apple’s recent victory over Samsung in its patent dispute has increased pressure on the manufacturers of smartphones all over the world to design handsets which can stand up to the iPhone and offer consumers choice in a market worth approximately $219.1 billion.

A jury decided Apple would get $1.05 million in damages after finding Samsung had infringed 6 patents on mobile devices, a crushing defeat for Apple’s largest competitor in the smartphone market.

After the verdict

The verdict will strengthen Apple’s position as it tries to discourage its competitors from manufacturing devices similar to the iPhone.  An analyst at Yankee Group, Carl Howe, says that while the verdict is a blow for Samsung and their software partner Google Inc. and their efforts to challenge Apple, he believes that the outcome will be a greater range of devices and a lot more options for consumers as competitors try to avoid expensive legal tussles.  “This is a big win for Apple,” Howe notes.  “It’s good for innovation.

It says that if you create something new, others can’t just piggyback on it.  From a competition point of view, it says create your own stuff.  Copying is not okay.”

Appealing future

Howe’s opinion is not shared by many others, however, and nor is the verdict by any means the end of the fight.  Samsung are expected to ask US District Judge Lucy Koh to overturn the verdict of the jury and will appeal the case if she refuses.  “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung spokeswoman Mira Jang says, whose message is the direct opposite of Howe’s.  “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices.”

Toronto-based International Data Corporation analyst Kevin Restivo agrees that the gap between that verdict and reality is enormous, saying that Samsung is not likely to surrender the market leadership of smartphones or mobile advertising to Apple.  Many others have noted that the jury failed to follow instructions, strengthening Samsung’s right to overturn or appeal the verdict.


Image courtesy of Apple

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