Editorial: Here’s A New Take On Suit-Gate…

Lawsuits are crippling the cellular industry. Seriously, they are. You have Google suing Apple, Apple suing Samsung, HTC suing Apple, Microsoft lurking, RIM ready to defend itself… The only winners in all this gibberish is the lawyers. The losers, the end users – the consumers – or you and me…

Here’s a new idea… Everyone is making great phones and for the most part, they are making them differently. Sure, there are overlapping swipes, file systems, and most importantly – they all work as phones, but overall, they all have major pluses and minuses. Perhaps what the universe needs right now is patent lawyers to jump off the train and let the consumers decide on who does the best job making software and hardware.

Apple’s iPhone sales won’t be hurting if HTC makes an iPhone clone – because it will still be an HTC interface that doesn’t work as well with a Mac. Just like Samsung’s market share won’t increase if they continue to make the Galaxy phone’s look like iPhone knock-offs. The end user want’s the experience – not the pitch – to be the reason for purchasing a device.

Microsoft was first on the scene with Windows Mobile and ran that OS for 7 years, straight in to the ground. Did people complain, sure, but it worked. Then along came Apple with iOS and the game changing iPhone. Did people complain, sure, but again, it worked. Now Android has come on and is sweeping the world, mainly due to people not wanting to be locked up with an iPhone, but again, people are complaining – and it still works.

The fact of the matter is, if Microsoft wanted to sue the world, they could – and they’d probably win. Their patent library is very extensive and covers much of what the modern smartphone ‘does’ on a day to day basis. That’s why so many ‘partners’ are paying Microsoft those licensing fees for Android instead of risking a major lawsuit. While Apple may be able to go after designs and motions, the core processes that run a smartphone still date back to Redmond’s control over the industry. We’d even go as far to say that if Apple and Microsoft hadn’t shook hands back in 1997 and agreed to play nice, that Microsoft would have hit Apple over the head when Windows Mobile lost their first 10% of the market to the iPhone.

What we’re getting at here is that everyone is copying someone. It’s not who’s right or wrong, first or last, it’s about money. The more people sue each other, the less the consumer wins. Apple may be in the right for suing everyone for infringing on their patents, but I’m willing to bet that if they just took $5 a handset from Samsung, everyone would be happy. Unfortunately, Apple is cash loaded at the moment and that won’t happen. They are now out for world domination – not playing nice with friends.

Hopefully, Apple will take the consumer hint and realize that they make an amazing product. They will know that an iPhone user won’t leave them for a Samsung Galaxy device. They will see that an iPad is still what all the others are measured by. Eventually, even if they keep innovating like they are now, the world will catch up. The world is always looking for the next big thing and it might be right around the corner. It might be Windows Phone, QNX handsets from RIM, or even something new that nobody has seen yet. But until that day, Apple is still the bar, and everyone else is jumping to it. So, stop the suits, get rid of your lawyers and keep making good products for a hungry public – and that means ALL of you!



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