Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Won't the Real Slim Shady (Smartphone), Please Stand up?

Apple vs Samsung, Jury's Out

Picture source: http://smartphonerepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/s2_vs_iphone4.png

Following the latest news from The Telegraph of the Apple vs. Samsung patent case in California, the jury's out to consider the verdict.

Tantalizing as it is, I've arrived at a few lessons from this, no matter what the outcome is.

Might is right
In terms of creating a furore with regards to patent infringements, no one brings more muscle than Apple. I wonder what the mountain of legal documents submitted for this case looks like. So much for the paper-less society, I guess. I've always wanted a more genteel, civilized society. This has taught me: if I think I've got enemies, spend as much as possible to make sure they're eliminated.

No one is your friend.
Sounds harsh. But is it? In a symbiotic environment, Samsung Electronics manufactures components like memory chips, processors, displays for Apple devices to the tune of an estimated US$11 billion. Samsung's poised to become the world's largest OLED display manufacturers in the world. You need to ask yourself, why would you cut off that very important partner that's instrumental (pardon the pun) in creating your hardware success? In the world of mighty Apple, no one's your friend. The probable stance is that they can always go for another manufacturer to source their parts. And those likely candidates are probably rubbing their static-free hands together in anticipation. iDigress.

Where is the Love?
This is the one thing that really gets me going. Apple consumers are willing to pay their price premiums to own their products. These Apple fans do not mind plotting and waiting for the latest. As evidenced by the latest smartphone stats from Q2 2012, the free open source Android platform is making massive ingress share-wise. This doesn't come at Apple's expense, in fact they've grown to the second largest OS. With at least 5 OEMs supporting Android, there's a smorgasbord of smartphones to choose from. Consumers have spoken with their wallets. And we saw that choice is good. And we know where the love is coming from. It's YOU, Mr./Ms. Consumer who's out there in the streets, in the shops deciding which mobile phone to get.

I wonder if this sets a precedent for how technology companies will be managed in the future. Will senior managers now have to learn different sets of rules for vendor management and litigation? This might herald in a whole new age of techno-managers, lawyers, engineers.

Ultimately, I think only real smartphones will stand the test of time. Until then, I await the final verdict.