The verdict on the Apple-Samsung patent case is still causing ripples all over the world. For me, the issues that I am concerned with have been expressed in an earlier post, Aping Apple – Stupid, stupid mobile manufacturers. I have been concerned that there hasn’t been significant innovation by manufacturers in the last five (5) years. Much of what we have on ground have been the results of copy work.
PhoneBoy summarised it in his reply to one of my tweets on the subject days ago:
@mister_mobility How is a bunch of phones that look and act like an iPhone “innovative’?
— PhoneBoy (@PhoneBoy) August 26, 2012
Can anyone answer that? How is a bunch of phones that look and act like an iPhone “innovative’?
Some have argued that there just so many ways you can design a smartphone. Let’s look at the issue of a rectangle with rounded edges. A mobile can have rounded corners without looking like the iPhone. Infact, many mobiles do have rounded corners and do not look like the iPhone at all. The HTC One X has rounded corners but does not look like an iPhone. Same goes for the Palm Pre, Pliris Blaze+, Motorola RAZR MAXX, Nokia 603, Nokia C7, etc, etc. I can keep that list going.
During the legal tussle, Apple mentioned Nokia’s Lumia design as an example of how this is possible. That is Apple themselves acclaiming a competitor! The N9/Lumia design is innovation. Though it is a rectangle with rounded edges, it is not copy work. The N9’s MeeGo OS and Swype UI are innovation. The Lumia 900’s Windows Phone OS and UI are innovation.
I think that people are just being sentimental in this matter. There is zero innovation in a bunch of phones that look and act like an iPhone. I will say it again: when I buy something apart from an iPhone, it is because I don’t want an iPhone. Duh.
We need innovation. We want differentiation in design and in how these devices work. We want choices. More choices is never a bad thing for a market.
People have argued that consumers didn’t know that they wanted an iPhone until Apple created one. If we follow the logical sequence of that argument, then if manufacturers innovate, I bet that there are many other ways to design both hardware and software of a mobile such that it looks and acts nothing like the iPhone and yet that consumers will fall in love with!
I am no Apple fan, but this verdict in favour of Apple will enhance innovation. Every other fallout is inconsequential. All that I am interested in is innovation.