Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 26th Aug 2012 10:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In light of the jury verdict in Apple vs. Samsung, the one-liners and jokes flew back and forth. One in particular, by Dan Frakes, has been copied and pasted all over the web, and it goes like this: "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious'." This is a very common trend in this entire debate that saddens me to no end: the iPhone is being compared to simple feature phones, while in fact, it should be compared to its true predecessor: the PDA. PDAs have always done with few buttons.
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Tony Swash
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A small initial point: I love the reduction of the role and significance of the Newton in your timeline to just a throw away reference in parenthesis. At least you are consistent.

I could argue the toss about this forever with you Thom, and with other motley bunch of techies, Apple haters and Android fans who want to minimise the role of Apple's innovation in the history of personal computing and to insist that the iPhone was just another incremental step in an evolution wrought mostly by others.

But why bother? You are not going to change you mind and frankly neither am I.

What is worth discussing is the significance of the Samsung-Apple verdict and what it means for the future. It seems fairly clear that given the opportunity to put to a jury its more or less full portfolio of evidence and testimony that Apple will stand a good chance of winning more such trials in the future.

So where does this leave Android, Google and the Android OEM community? If as seems likely this case marks a watershed after which Android OEMs will feel more vulnerable to legal attacks from Apple and have to restrict their product development to take on board the judgements handed down in this case, what should Google do? Should it counter attack with Motorola patents and escalate the legal war? Should it accept the partial but strategic victory that Apple has won and try to route around it?

What advice would you give Google about how they should exercise leadership in the Android ecosystem?

It seems clear to me that up until now Android has been a fire and forget weapon for Google, make it, releases it and just let things fall as they will. Google has positively tried to avoid exercising the same sort of hegemonic that Microsoft did in the old Windows ecosystem. Should Google take a more active role in managing the Android OEM community? Can it do that given that within that community so much power has accrued to Samsung?

I am posing such questions in a genuine way. The endless repeating of 'it's not fair' in ever more complex and well researched ways takes the debate no where. It happened, Apple won a big one, what happens next for Android and Google? I want to hear what a considered piece of advice would be from those that love Google and Android, those who want it to succeed.

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