As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, the mobile phone and operating system you choose is often quite a territorial decision. It’s a bit like living in London – if you are born and bred in Bermondsey, then Swiss Cottage might give you nosebleeds, whereas if you are from North of the river and get invited to a party in Elephant & Castle, you’ll probably use any excuse you can think of to avoid going that far South.
We’ve got Android, Apple, BlackBerry, and Windows users in the office, and Friday night drinks can sometimes get a little bit heated as we compare size, specs, and prices.
But we are going to let you in on a secret…
It doesn’t matter!
Or, rather, it only matters to the lawyers.
Android vs. iOS
There have been more than fifty lawsuits worldwide between representatives of Apple phones and Samsung phones, and whilst it is the patent suits between these two companies that usually get all the press, the very first suit in the so-called ‘Smartphone Patent Wars’ was Nokia vs. Apple.
The original federal complaint in the ongoing battle between Samsung and Apple was made in April 2011, against several Samsung phones and tablets. Specific claims included “patent infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.”
Since then there have been a number of both vague, and specific, claims made by each company against the other.
Both utility and design elements have been called into question, for example the “pinch to zoom” function, which is now found on most devices, as well as methods of synching, and certain parts of the mobile infrastructure technology.
In one British case in July 2012, with Samsung demanding that Apple admit their Galaxy tablets were not iPad copies, a judge ruled in favour of Samsung. His ruling included the somewhat double-edged statement that the Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design” and that Galaxy’s tablets “are not as cool.”
An end to the war
Thankfully, as of June 2014, both Samsung and Apple have signed an agreement to end all lawsuits outside of the U.S.
This doesn’t mean that the suing and counter-suing will end, but it should simplify matters somewhat.
Whilst the very nature of published patents means that your rivals can see what you’re up to, it also means that we – as consumers and enthusiasts – can gain access to the sorts of rumours that we love.
As well as the rumours regarding the upcoming Galaxy S6, some of the patents that have been awarded to Apple recently have seen speculations about the iPhone 7.
We know that Apple have been awarded a patent related to 3D GUI (graphical user interface), which might mean the inclusion of 3D capabilities in the new phone. There is also a patent which hints at Apple trying to combat the brittle screen problems they have had with past models.
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Image – metserve.com