Is Apple Going to War? (And Can They Ever Win?)

Is Apple maneuvering itself into a horrible position, and may the iPhone become in the end an unplanned threat to this company?

I am not a fan and an early adapter in the cell-phone market. I am the type of person who is happy with a phone that does well what is should do, and that is making a call. My favorite cell phone of all time is still the Siemens S35. It was small, lightweight, and hardly could do anything, but it was a wonderful calling experience. It worked, and it did everything well while having a good design too.

This opinion is in absolute contrast of me being a gadget nut. I love to have new stuff, but cell phones really never got to me. They are too small for me to be a full-scale computer or media device, and too big nowadays to be a phone. What it is good for, in my opinion, is a handy portable tool to have everything with you when you do not have access to your computer or 52″ television. But that is my opinion, and this is probably also why I don’t care of not having an iPhone. I simply do not care.

Now, it might now be clear I am not a particular Apple fan. But in this cell-phone Branch it is clear that they are a force to be reckoned with. The iPhone is an incredible phone. Of course with limitations. I have a Samsung Omnia. It does not have a lot of those limitations, but that phone, and maybe because of WIndows Mobile, just isn’t fun. It has touch screen, almost as large as the iPhone. But, as a Windows fan as I am, Windows Mobile just isn’t fun. It does what is should do, with full web browsing possibilities, Outlook Exchange connections, and mine has 32Gb of changeable memory. But it simply is no fun to use.

And since I am Dutch, so on the money, I will have to wait another year before Verizon let’s me chose a different one before I will dunk this one.

Nobody needs my approval to call the iPhone a cool phone. But Apple is on a war path here, dragging HTC into court for their Google Android phones and how it infringes on patents of the Apple iPhone. And, true, I don’t even doubt that this is correct. But, HTC only builds the hardware and the interface, and Google’s Android is handling the OS. And if this will go bad for HTC, it means for other manufacturers of Google Android phones that they should think of something else, and head for the hills. Google will not let that happen. And, as Larry Dignan from ZD-net laid out perfectly in his article about this (;wrapper ), that could start to include Microsoft in the battle agains Apple too. And as he points out, there is no winning for Apple if they have to go up against Microsoft and Google at the same time.

Apple had the patents, and to be honest, why not just ask for licensing costs? There is no way to avoid other manufacturers building a copy of a technology that is popular. Apple just does not want companies to use the technology at all. Are they in their right? If they own the patent, yes they probably are. But why make these enemies. Apple cannot think that they are lord and ruler wherever they are playing a game. They need Microsoft, they need Google. What if Google will start blocking their site and services for everyone who ons a mac? And that Microsoft will not allow the installation of iTunes anymore or also will block Apple users on their sites? Will that inconvenience have Apple users really just shrug their shoulders and give those companies the finger? Is that what they want to deal with? Even if that should be an illegal action, even the temporarily inconvenience could kill a company like Apple. Google and Microsoft would share the hundreds of millions on fines.

But no matter what happens, Apple cannot become the winner in this fight about these patents. Then why again make these enemies. First with Adobe, now with Google, HTC, Microsoft. Who is next? Somehow it starts to sound like the SCO battle about owning the source code of Unix. And we all know how that is ending…


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