Apple’s apparent victory in their patent Infringement lawsuit against Samsung is really a victory for the entire mobile industry.
Outside of Microsoft’s efforts around Windows 8, the rest of the marketplace as been settling into developing ‘iPhone like’ devices with marginally differentiating features or form factors. There hasn’t been any significant innovation taking place here recently, and Apple hasn’t really come under any pressure to do more than marginal improvements these past few years to iOS, their mobile operating platform.
If this ruling is upheld through whatever remaining legal appeals Samsung has available, it will probably force a fundamental rethink of how platform developers decide to compete in the mobile space – especially Google with their Android Operating system.
I’m hoping – maybe foolishly – that this might be a real inflection point, where radically different, truly unique, and even somewhat crazy ideas get considered, selected, and ultimately refined into new types of products, platforms, and environments. The mobile market desperately needs real diversity in the approaches that vendors are taking today. That is one of the best ways to generate the kind of competition that drives everyone to innovate and deliver excellence.
Competition like that can end up fueling the long-term health of the industry. This may just be the catalyst that makes that happen.
When all is said and done, Apple may be none too happy to find that there are far more innovative thinkers with incredible ideas in the market than they ever imagined. But having that happen would be great for everyone.
Even Apple and Samsung.
For more details, catch the NY Times article here.