The biggest technology news of the year, potentially one of the biggest of the decade, got heads turning and caught many industry experts off-guard. That news was none other than Apple winning its patent lawsuit against Samsung. Samsung was found guilty of infringing patent copyrights Apple holds in the operating system it uses on its smartphones. The verdict was passed and Samsung have been ordered to pay Apple just over a billion dollars.
The meteoric rise of Apple in the consumer gadgets market means that they have an unusually large number of patents. With new products being launched regularly, they keep on innovating and developing new systems, designs and other things. Hence, there is a chance that their patents might be lifted by other companies in the sector. This has proven to be the case with Samsung. With one victory under their belt, the million (read billion) dollar question is ‘who’s next in the firing line?’
Google: The Probable Next Target
When it comes to competition for Apple, there aren’t many companies who stand up to be counted. The two major competitors remain Google and Microsoft. Looking at Google, it is probably the next target for Apple. The reason for it is quite clear. Apple filed a lawsuit on Samsung and won. As you know, the smartphones produced by Samsung use the Android operating system which is owned and was created by Google.
On the surface, it seems like a sure thing that Apple would want to pursue legal investigation against Google. It would make it clear whether Samsung was the only guilty party or that Google had some hand in it too. However, Google have refuted the claim saying that they provided the operating system to Samsung and then they made changes to it. This is the case with all brands that use the Android operating system. To sue or not to sue Google is Apple’s decision.
Microsoft Looks Safe
While Android was busy placing itself as a substitute for iOS, Microsoft quietly went about its business of developing an operating system that was nothing like Apple’s. In fact, the Windows Phone operating system is so distinct from the iOS that Apple wouldn’t even think about suing Microsoft. What Microsoft has done serves as a message to other competitors of Apple. They need to be innovative and creative and bring something new to the table.
This does not mean that they would be able to capture Apple’s market share but it does ensure that they don’t risk being sued by Apple.
The Market Outlook
There has been some skepticism regarding Apple’s win over Samsung. Most experts feel that Apple now enjoys unlimited power in the market with its competitors fearing new developments would be too similar to their patents. In such a situation, it is difficult to see anything new on the horizon from any of the major Apple rivals, excluding Microsoft of course. So, if there is any company Apple is likely to sue in the near future, it has to be Google.
[Image via codenametech]