The reaction to Apple vs Samsung verdict has been curious to say least as lot of people believe that Samsung and the Android cabal are the underdogs. That they aren’t the perps. Seriously, how does the victim of a half-decade long intellectual property gang rape get painted as the aggressor? It must be Apple’s come hither marketing, sexy product packaging and, lest we forget, salaciously curved rectangles — they were begging for it, man!
Sitting on the sidelines of the entire sad affair has been Microsoft and its pretty, yet unpopular Windows Phone platform. After years of near terminal decline, a pummeling dished out initially by iPhone and then more so by Android, Redmond has an opportunity.
“Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now,” tweeted Bill Cox, a top phone marketing executive with Microsoft.
Yes, the Apple vs Samsung verdict has strengthen Microsoft’s position as Windows Phone is both unique from a design perspective, it’s actually usable, as well. Further, unlike Google and its Android mobile operating system, which Steve Jobs famously called stolen property (a position now affirmed by the court), Microsoft has cross licensing agreements with Apple.
“Some of the other manufacturers of Android products like ourselves are prepared to face similar lawsuits from Apple,” a senior executive with a major Chinese mobile maker told Reuters, while adding that, “Even though the bulk of our shipments run on Android, the trend is to diversify into other products running on Windows.”
Yup, the Apple vs Samsung verdict — the largest patent verdict in history — probably won’t cause a tectonic shift in the smartphone business, but third-party OEMs (i.e. HTC, Sony, Motorola and perhaps even Samsung) will be hedging their bets and the easiest way to do that it Windows Phone.
“From an OEM perspective, the verdict alone, and certainly an injunction on sales of any kind, levels the playing field between Android and Windows Phone,” said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. “At this point, the two platforms would have to fight on features and developer ecosystems to win.”
And, given how poorly developers have faired in the Android ecosystem where the vast, vast majority of app downloads are pirated, Microsoft clearly has an opportunity.
Yes, there will be some short-term pain (and disproportionate amount of whining), but more competition is going to be the result and competition is a good thing™…
What’s your take?