Tangent — Apple’s Win is Not a Win

Certainly the decision in the Apple vs. Samsung suit is a win for Apple and its shareholders. But the sort of strong arming Apple has been doing with patents could inhibit innovation and may make the market ripe for Apple almost completely controlling smartphone sales for several years. Last time I checked, when a company is the only game in town or darn near, it’s not good for the consumer’s pocketbook. Sadly, Apple is doing what others, namely IBM and Microsoft, have done. And if you don’t know, those two companies got some all encompassing anti-trust actions slapped on them. Factor in Apple’s anti-trust situation with the ebook market, and they are begging for more of the same. Unfortunately, anti-trust actions can drag on for years and years. IBM’s lasted for 14 years, Microsoft’s lasted for 16 years.

But something happened in the Apple vs. Samsung verdict that may have made all of that irrelevant. The jury handed the Samsung counsel a great appeal. Oh sure, Samsung and Apple were both prepared for appeal before this thing really got rolling, yet I doubt either was expecting something like the jury provided. This screams for appeal. If you don’t want to read the link, just know that the jury reached their verdict too quickly and bungled some things in the process. You can also Google it since this morning there are plenty of articles. Of course no one really knows the outcome of court cases, appeals included, as this case makes so abundantly clear.

Whatever happens, Apple has already lost, and in a way that no court case can win back for them. They have now screwed themselves with a significant portion of the programming community, and the programming community has been a key to their success. Have you ever wondered why Macs seemed impervious to viruses? Have you ever wondered why Apple products just haven’t seemed beleaguered with the software issues that PC based products experienced for years? Very simple answer, and it’s not that Apple has made such a superior product impregnable by hackers. The hacker part of the programming community has more or less left them alone. And why? Because the majority of the programming community didn’t see Apple as a bully and were busy taking down other bullies such as IBM and Microsoft. Guess who’s the bully now?

Have you noticed how viruses have started creeping into Apple products? Well expect more of that. A large number in the programming community are seething at how Apple is flexing their proprietary muscle to crush the little guy, and programmers love the little guy because they still think of themselves as a collection of the little guys. Apple went so far as to claim it was patent infringement for other companies to make a rectangular phone with rounded edges and they won. Not a little guy anymore. And now they will have to keep one step ahead of the little guys who will make it a goal to bring them down.

Of course I could be wrong about all of this. If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch.