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September 01, 2012

Apple attempting to ban newer Samsung phones and tablets in futile attempt to fight the future

Ars Technica - Apple is trying to ban and expanded list of Samsung phones and tablets.

The products as listed Apple's new complaint are: the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III–Verizon, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II-T-Mobile, Galaxy S II-AT&T, Galaxy Nexus, Illusion, Captivate Glide, Exhibit II 4G, Stratosphere, Transform Ultra, Admire, Conquer 4G, and Dart smartphones, the Galaxy Player 4.0 and Galaxy Player 5.0 media players, and the Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and Galaxy Tab 8.9.

John Dvorak at PC Mag makes the point that Apple actually lost the lawsuit.

Several times throughout the case, the same point was driven home: the Android phone is identical to, and perhaps better than, the iPhone. This "revelation," which Android users have always known, will easily cost Apple more than a billion dollars in sales.

I consider this situation to be dire for Apple. When the iPhone 5 arrives shortly, it will be crunch time for the company. If this is the end of the line for the iPhone, you can point to this lawsuit as the tipping point. It may be the last important iPhone.

I'm reminded of how the little-known MP3 gained popularity when the RIAA filed various lawsuits. Apple may have pulled a similar stunt by alerting the public that the Samsung phone is the exact same thing as an iPhone, or better.

A billion dollars well spent.



Gartner - Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached 419 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.3 percent decline from the second quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales accounted for 36.7 percent of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

In a few years the world will just be being what we currently call smartphones. It will just be highend or lowend smartphones.

High-profile smartphone launches from key manufacturers such as the anticipated Apple iPhone 5, along with Chinese manufacturers pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches in the second half of 2012, will drive the smartphone market upward.

In 3 years there will be over 1 billion smartphones sold in a year and in six years about 2 billion.

Apple has 18.8% of the 154 million smartphone market now and 6.9% of overall mobile phones. I think Apple will end up with about 10% of the smartphone market in 3 years and will head towards 5% as overall sales head to 2 billion. Apple does not seem to have a high volume strategy for the lowend smartphones. Apple will still make plenty of money with its highend smartphones and tablets. However, in spite of the lawsuit the competition will get stronger and stronger from Samsung and the major chinese makers.

WSJ described smartphone marketshare in China.

Apple is facing intensified competition from high-end smartphone vendors like Samsung Electronics Co., which took the No. 1 position with a 19% share, Mr. Wong added. A lot of this drop was because people were waiting for the iphone 5.

For the first time, three Chinese smartphone vendors were among the top five sellers, with Lenovo leaping from outside this group into second as it grew market share to 11% from between 5% and 8% in the previous quarter. ZTE was third with 10% and Huawei Technologies was fifth with 9%.

The marketshare in smartphones and tablets will look like a repeat of the personal computer market share battles.

It will also be similar to what happened with American Express battles against Visa and Mastercard in credit cards.

Visa and Mastercard partnered with banks and other financial institutions to issue credit cards. Google is partnering with hardware makers to make smartphones and tablets. American Express tried to go it alone for a long time and was a first moving leader with credit cards.

Apple has already lost market share leads. Android has 3 times Apples market share in smartphone unit sales. The trend as the smartphone market expands to more of the developing world will be an expansion of lowend smartphones.

There is also the new technological shift that is coming to gesture control and motion detection with the Leap Motion device. The next version of the Leap Motion device (after the 2013 launch) will get reduced in size to get built into smartphones and tablets. Apple will have not have a lead in developing and adapting to this technology shift. Other makers with higher volumes in smartphones will take away the supply chain negotiation advantages that Apple had to get better prices for components.

I also think Hon Hai / Foxconn the maker of Apples products might eventually launch its own smartphone and tablet devices.

Apple will make a lot of money through 2020 but after 2020 Apple will have to been laying the ground with new business strategies or found a way to develop a sustainable lead in innovation in spite of far stronger competition.

IBM will likely license new versions of Watson to any mobile device maker or just offer it as a service that works on any device. Google and other companies have voice recognition and understanding systems that will keep pace with Apple SIRI.

There will also be the shift to entirely new form factors like Google Glasses combined with the Leap Motion system.

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