Optical/IP Networks

Apple vs. Samsung: Who Is the Biggest Loser?

2:10 PM -- Besides Apple’s device competitors, global mobile carriers could be the big losers from the $1 billion Apple verdict against Samsung. Here’s why according to Berge Ayvazian, who is chairman of the 4G World Expo and Conference and senior consultant leading Heavy Reading ’s 4G Consulting Practice:

  • The verdict is a very broad ruling involving Apple’s design and interface patents, and deals a serious blow to Android, the mobile operating system of choice for the world’s mobile operators, which use it to counterbalance the power of Apple in the marketplace. Bottom line: The carriers just lost a heck of a lot of leverage.

  • The obvious problem is the legal threat: “I’d expect Motorola, HTC and others to be targeted next by Apple,” Ayvazian said. "Google will be in this mix both through its Motorola ownership and as the backer of the Android community."

  • The other challenge is product development, even if Apple doesn’t sue: “This is at least a six-month setback for the Android community to adjust development plans and eliminate any possible duplicated features and user interfaces, and carve out a path of their own,” Ayvazian said.

  • But the biggest issue is services innovation: “Carriers have relied on devices as the interface to innovation," says Ayvazian. “Operators like Verizon Wireless have been able to take Android and make it their own 'Droid' brand, whereas Apple owns the iPhone brand.”

  • So what’s the next play for mobile operators? “Now is the time for operators to try to cultivate competitive alternatives,” Ayvazian said. “AT&T and others need to give Microsoft and Nokia a real chance with Lumia and Windows 8. Same thing with RIM’s new BlackBerrys and BB10.”

Indeed, device innovation is a key theme at 4G World, where John Jackson, managing director of CCS Insight, will be discussing this with Farid Adib, product chief and vice president of product development of Sprint and Tony Lau, director of handset product, MetroPCS. The impact of the Apple-Samsung verdict will be a key focus in this Keynote Session: Ecosystem Roundtable on 4G Device Innovation on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

— Joe Braue, Group Director and SVP, Light Reading

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:22:47 PM
re: Apple vs. Samsung: Who Is the Biggest Loser?

The Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy SIII, and Samsung Galaxy Note are not affected by this lawsuit. Those are among the most profitable and best selling in the smartphone market.

This court decision could present some marketing opportunities for carriers, and a chance for them to create more store space for less popular phones, but I doubt it mean much more than that.


joebraue 12/5/2012 | 5:22:43 PM
re: Apple vs. Samsung: Who Is the Biggest Loser?

True, some big sellers aren't affected. But here's the list Apple is asking the judge to ban and some of them are selling pretty well.

Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail.


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