What I, and others, might find a little bit shocking is the fact that Apple's smartphone business has grown more than 12 times that of the rest of the industry combined, which grew at a mere 11.3 percent, compared to Apple's own, and I might add whopping, 141.8 percent.
However, Apple has to keep its eyes on its back as Samsung, which some predicted would actually surpass Apple...... almost did! With shipments of 20.3 million units, Apple takes first place, followed closely by second place finisher Samsung, with some 19.2 million units shipped worldwide, a mere 1.1 million short of the iPhone! The third place holder is the former champ, Nokia with some 16.7 million units shipped in the last quarter.
Of course, all Android phones are now legally threaten by a host of patent suits that could snuff out Android completely in a moments notice, and which now has Google scrambling to buy up as many patents as it can in order to help protect itself from the coming legal onslaught.
Google recently lost out in the biggest of all patent sales, after Apple and others successfully out bid it in obtaining Nortel's treasure trove of over some 6,000 patents. Just this morning, it's being reported that Google has announced that it has succeeded in buying several IBM inventions, as it appears ever more likely that it too will becoming under direct legal attack by Apple.
Some are speculating that Google is really now feeling the heat after Apple's preliminary win over two critical patents in its dispute with and against HTC, which ended up with one of its top executive's begging with Apple to make a deal with them, since the patents in question could easily legally prevent HTC from selling any Android phones at all, and, as well, literally every other Android OEM as well, and all that in short order. As James Kendrick noted in his piece on the matter for ZDNet:
"If Apple puts HTC out of the Android device business, its next order would likely be to go after Samsung. Samsung is coming on strong in the mobile segment, due primarily to its Android business. Apple laid the groundwork to go after Samsung with the current suits for copying design, and the next step will be to file infringement suits for the same Android technology it has successfully defended in court against HTC. That would almost be a slam-dunk.
That would pave the way to stop Samsung from selling Android devices since the infringed technology is actually part of Android. With the top two Android device makers out of play, the platform would be in serious trouble. That is when Apple might finally go directly after Google for developing the infringing Android platform.
However this shakes out it is going to be a bumpy ride for Android device makers. Apple was brilliant to go after them and not Google, as it keeps the platform under a dark cloud for a longer period. It is not certain that Apple will ultimately win all legal battles against Android, but the ruling against HTC gives it a great start."
In conclusion, Google's decision to trample on Apple's, and other company's, patents without any regard what-so-ever, may now be about to turn around and bite them on their ass big time, and, likewise, from now on we may be about to see that things are about to get really ugly, really messy, and really, really expensive.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, July 29, 2011
Image via: Chaaps