- 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.”
— Joe Braue, Group Director and SVP, Light Reading