It is becoming hard to keep up with who is suing whom. As I’ve reported, HTC is being sued by Apple, who in turn is being sued by Nokia. This latest example is new, as Nokia is suing Apple over patent infringement regarding the latter’s iPad and iPad 3G.
This probably shouldn’t be seen as unexpected. Nokia and Apple have been in court before, and will likely be in court again. While this all might seem like big news – and in fact cases involving household names are news worthy – the truth is that someone is always suing someone else. In the business world this is just business as usual.
And again, this isn’t exactly unexpected. Nokia sued Apple last fall claiming the iPhone infringed on many Nokia patents. Apple did the usual countersuit against Nokia over intellectual property. Nokia upped the ante by filing a motion with the International Trade Commission (ITC), and filed a second complaint aimed to stop the import of iPhones and other Apple products. Meanwhile Apple has sued HTC, maker of many Google handsets, this time over claims of patent infringement and intellectual property.
So what does all this mean to small businesses? Nothing really, except for those interested in rather uninteresting drama. There maybe bloggers who will post, “Apple could be ruined as Nokia sues,” but this is far from a life or death situation for any of these companies. Nokia’s lawsuits won’t kill the iPad, and neither Google nor HTC is going to stop making the respective Android operating system or handsets that support it. In the world of technology it is just par for the course, and business as usual.
Google Gains in Q1
Two years ago the Apple iPhone was going strong and for those looking for a smartphone that was truly part business, and part play, there was no alternative. Then in the fall of 2008 Google changed that when the HTC produced G1 for T-Mobile arrived on the scene. Flash forward to today, and according to the latest numbers from NPD Group Google’s Android OS now accounts for nearly 28 percent of the smartphone market. But what is even more surprising is that Apple’s iPhone has just 21 percent of the market.
As I’ve reported previously these gains are someone else’s losses. Research in Motion’s BlackBerry still maintains a lead in the smartphone market with 36 percent, but the losers are Palm (no surprise given the company’s recent troubles), as well as Nokia – which could explain some of the motivation behind the aforementioned legal dramas.
So what are the factors driving the Android? As I’ve also suggested one of the biggest factors remains choice. While two years ago there were no Android phones, that changed in 2009 when it went from one Android phone to several models. And although none of these – including the Droid – have been a smash hit compared to the iPhone, there are still choices. Thus every small success easily contributes to an over all bigger success. Apple meanwhile has several models, but it evokes what Henry Ford said about the Model T, as in you can get in any color you want as long as it is black. So you can still get any type of Apple handset you want, as long as it is the iPhone.