The implications of the Apple vs. Samsung case has repercussions that will reverberate throughout many niche industries both inside and outside of technology. Case in point, IVR. The verdict in the August 24th case stipulates that Samsung (and all other mobile manufactures) modify both their software and hardware so that it no longer mimics the components of Apple’s iPhone or iPad.
For technologies like IVR that operate in large part via telephony and telephonic communications, this verdict may usher in a new era in mobile technology. The pro-Apple verdict essentially means that every other company (besides Apple) in the mobile phone and tablet space cannot continue to produce devices that resemble an iDevice.
Per an article in Seeking Alpha by Shelly Palmer: “Every smartphone and tablet that has a full glass screen looks like an iPad or an iPhone.” You’d be hard pressed to think of a device that doesn’t resemble an Apple device is some way, shape or form. Every smart device on the market from tablets (like the Kindle and the Nook) to mobile phone devices (like the HTC Incredible and the Galaxy S) operates with the same touch functionality first introduced by Apple.
Palmer goes on to state: “The fact is that Apple has innovated, pioneered and succeeded where dozens of others have failed. It created the modern concepts of a smartphone and a tablet and has the law on its side. Every consumer electronics company has just been put on notice – innovate or die!”
Palmer makes a valid point. There will be a new research and design trajectory for any company that isn’t Apple, but it remains to be seen exactly what type of innovations will come about. This verdict may mean stiffer competition for Apple, as my co-blogger Charlie Smith has highlighted, due to the wider range of products, features and functionalities that will be created based on this decision.
It is still too early to speculate what the future holds for products of the mobile and tablet persuasion, but it is clear that there will be a pronounced change in the software and hardware offerings of the major tech companies.
In the short term, it is indeed up in the air what Apple’s patent victory means for users who already own and operate the devices in question. If this mandatory software update is upheld, what will it mean for the functionality of the devices users already own and operate?
Worth noting is the fact that this decision by no means marks the end of this legal battle, as Samsung plans to appeal the ruling (possibly taking it to the highest echelons of the legal system and the Supreme Court). The verdict could be overturned and we could be looking at a less drastic future for mobile and tablet devices.
But if it isn’t, we (being the general public) are most likely in for a technology treat, as the innovations and subsequent products of these innovations are guaranteed to be revolutionary and exciting!