Apple-Samsung Case Won't Chang Things Anytime Soon
Don't expect them all to go away.
To hear some news reports of the Apple-Samsung lawsuit outcome, it sounds as if anyone who doesn't get an iPhone will be stuck buying models sporting round or triangular screens with no icons. But in the short term, at least, shopping for smartphones now won't be different than it was last Thursday.
"Some of the devices [affected in the lawsuit] are old and may not be sold anymore," said William Stofega, who heads up wireless research at analyst firm IDC. Indeed, in the rapidly changing world of smartphones, the grinding legal process may always trail the rapid turnover of new models.
"The Samsung Galaxy S III is not on the list," noted Brad Akyuz, an analyst at rival firm NPD Connected Intelligence, referring to the company's new top-of-the-line smartphone that just hit the market in late June.
And Stofega thinks that Samsung may be able to "design around" the items that Apple won patent protection for. The biggest of them, he thinks, is the design of icons, which should be an easy fix, although "it may not be the most artistically beautiful," he said. And if a judge rules it necessary, it would even be pretty easy to change the icons on current phones through a routine software update, Stofega believes.
Many of these issues are up in the air, however, until Judge Lucy Koh issues her injunction on September 20th, determining what actions Samsung has to take. The decision date, coincidentally, is the day before rumors say that the next iPhone will go on sale.
But whatever happens, it's more likely to affect Samsung than consumers, the analysts believe, since plenty of other companies sell smartphones. It may just mean that people turn to other makers of Android phones. While Samsung shares took a dive this morning those of fellow Korean smartphone maker LG went up slightly.