Every week we hear about a new lawsuit or catfight between Apple and some manufacturer of Android devices. As of now, Apple hasn’t really gained much despite spending hundreds of millions in legal fees to fight off Android. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying he would go “thermonuclear” in his fight because he believed Android was stealing from Apple.
Windows phone has about 2% of the market in smartphones in America. Microsoft knows that Android and the phones and devices Android manufacturers use infringe on their copyrights. What is Microsoft’s plan? Not to fight, but to try to compete and just charge for licensing fees. It was recently reported MS struck a deal with Samsung to get between $10-12 per Android device sold. Counting just the Galaxy S and Galaxy S2, that is about 30 million devices. That alone is $360 million. When you count in other devices, HTC, LG, Motorola then Microsoft is going to make more than a billion dollars off of Android this year. To date, MS makes more from Android then it does from sales of all WP7 phones.
Should Apple try to take this approach? People much smarter then me have figured out Apple could make about $10 per device sold by farming out patents for use. They wont for now. Steve Jobs wasn’t for it and the current guys in charge wouldn’t dare cross him. The people who might pressure Apple to pursue this would be the board and majority shareholders. You see, they care about money. And they are missing out on potentially billions of dollars per year in profit for the company. Profit that is rightfully theirs. By stopping sales of certain phones or devices from other manufacturers, Apple wont really gain a lot of new buyers. So in a numbers game would the company make more by licensing or by fighting? The answer is clear. it’s just motivation that isn’t. All of the brilliant Apple patents that the company has should be viewed as an asset, not a point of leverage in a fight. In the end I think all consumers would like to see a healthy competition between manufacturers and would like things handled the way MS does with patents.
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Co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of GizmoNinja.com.
During the day I work in graphic design and also do photography. By night I try to play with programming and code of all different types. I love the opportunity to write for the site and hope to see it grow as time goes on.