TechWatch: Apple Wins, Microsoft Nips and Tucks

TechWatch: Apple Wins, Microsoft Nips and Tucks

Some of the biggest news to hit the IT columns in the past week is the announcement by a federal court jury to award Apple a $1 billion victory, a decision that will surely ripple through the ultra-competitive smartphone market.

Apple and Samsung have been involved in a bitter legal dispute across four continents for the past two years, over patent infringements with similar lawsuits in South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia. However no verdict thus far has reached a conclusions as profound as the one made by the Californian jury, where Samsung have been ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages to Apple in light of 6 patent infringements. Apple may ask Judge Koh to triple the liability to $3 billion (US), Samsung are expected to appeal and a hearing is expected in mid-to-late September.

With injunctions already set on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in multiple countries, the Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus are the most likely devices to be pulled from shelves in what could be a severely damaging blow for the Android-based brand in the $219 billion smart device market.

Additionally this could have larger ramifications across the booming Android market. Samsung has been made the example, however other providers such as HTC and Sony Ericsson could be affected based upon rulings on UI and various items withing the Samsung’s Touchwiz interface. The verdict conclusions dictate that Samsung stole the technology that it’s smart devices now carry, technology that Apple pioneering in the early days of its iPhone and iPad development.

Samsung’s lawyers have advised the judge it intends to appeal and request the verdict be tossed out.

“This decision should not be allowed to stand because it would discourage innovation and limit the rights of consumers to make choices for themselves,”

– Samsung lawyer, John Quinn

Relationship status: It’s complicated

Although involved in a spiteful legal battle world-wide, Apple and Samsung actually share production duties for the popular iPad2, new iPad and iPhone 4S at Samsung’s Austin plant in Texas. The production facility is key to the production of the custom built A5 chipset used in the aforementioned Apple devices. In light of the recent courtroom drama, the factory was recently retrofitted with newer facilities in preparation for the rumoured range of A6 chips; possibly even for the new iPhone due out in October.

Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer when it comes to mobile chips for iPhones and iPads and is also the largest chip buyer in the world.

Do we really need to take note of these rulings?

Initially the flow-on effect of the rulings may be negligible, however smartphone makers are now standing up and taking notice and Google’s unstoppable Android franchise seems to have hit its first roadblock. Some of the infringements including ‘tap to zoom’ and the ‘elastic bounce back’ animation whilst scrolling will be hard to replicate, however most of the patent infringements relate to legacy Android devices. As Australian consumers we have already been involved in another Apple vs. Samsung dispute where the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned from Australia in early 2012 along with some EU nations.

The next range of Android powered devices may reflect some of the outcomes found in the trail, even more so on Samsung’s upcoming releases. With that said, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone release occurred during the Olympics, which in my eyes is a dramatically different offering compared to the Apple range.

The highly anticipated iPhone 5 is due for global release in October and may be the critical indicator for which way the sales war will skew heading into 2013.

Microsoft uses MS Paint to design new logo

On a lighter note, the lovable software giant has decided that enough is enough of its circa 1987 italicised text logo; replaced it with a somewhat Google-esqe rendition. The four, colourful boxes and a simple sans serif ‘Microsoft’ look sharp, although I for one am sad to see the old bird go.

The curved Windows logo will remain as part of its number one product, however expect to see upcoming Microsoft devices don the new hip-to-be-square logo.

Thats all for now folks.


  • But Apple has made a huge number of nips and tucks to iOS that make the software much more pleasing to use.