Apple scored a major victory in court today against Samsung. And it extends beyond the $1.05 billion in damages the jury awarded the company for Samsung infringing on various Apple software patents. Any company that makes an Android phone should be feeling nervous right about now. In fact, they might want to consider ditching Android for Windows Phone.
"The jury found that user interface elements can be patented, and Samsung knowingly infringed on them – this should bolster Apple’s case against Samsung and other Android licensees elsewhere," said Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis.
"If Google doesn’t succeed in blunting Apple’s IP with the patents it bought through the Motorola acquisition, Microsoft could be the big winner, Greengart continued. "Google distributes Android for free, but the IP licensing costs – from Apple lawsuits and Microsoft’s successful IP licensing business – are getting quite expensive. If you’re already paying Microsoft to build an Android phone, why not just build a Windows Phone?"
There's no question that Windows Phone needs all the help it can get in terms of market share. Ironically, Samsung, which already makes Windows Phone devices, may have just given Microsoft's chances a much bigger boost than anything Nokia may be announcing Sept 5th.
Not surprisingly, Microsoft's senior director of Windows Phone marketing communications, Bill Cox, tweeted the following shortly after the verdict: "Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now."
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Garnter, doesn't believe the Apple-Samsung verdict will change that much in the short term. "Samsung will appeal and then will go away and come up with a work around for those patents. Long term I think vendors will look at what they are bringing to market and will make sure to differentiate or pay their dues when that is an option."
In other words, mobile device makers will need to focus on making products that are truly unique. "Innovation and uniqueness should be at the heart of anyone's portfolio. This is what gets consumers to buy your products and at a premium and long term stay loyal to you."