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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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