In terms of the legal battles, the news have been full of courtroom wars between Apple and the other 800 pound gorillas, in particular Nokia and Samsung. But Google cannot be far behind of the others, or of the Microsoft, so on and so forth. However, so far, that has only focused on the patent battle, although patent battle is very interesting and really questionable because you know, how can you patent a rectangle with round corners? It’s kind of ridiculous. But on the back of that I think it’s not gonna be long before these legal battles escalate to anti-trust law.
As Apple is proudly boasting, it has 700000 apps in its apps store, way more that competitors. It’s a monopolistic position. All of these 700000 apps, Apple acts as the sole gatekeeper for; Apple decides any app that Apple feels compete with its own future market, it rejects. Even if it allows a competing app into its store, because it would look publicly bad if it didn’t, most users cannot be bothered to install it. Remember, Microsoft never stops you from installing a different browser that IE into windows. It’s just that users cannot be bothered to install it. That’s still abusing the monopoly position. In any how, apple is the one who controls how easy it is for you to see on the apps store some competing apps. So right now there’s no oversight of this process that Apple dominates in terms of distributing software on the IOS platform. So how long do you think Apple’s competitors are likely to let that situation go legally unchallenged? That is one point for the Nokia, Samsung and the other competitors.
So far these competitors have been trying to compete in the narrow, old fashioned mindset of better hardware aspects. They have not been really focused enough, in my opinion, on the overall user experience. They have tried, but they still failed. They talked about the processor speed, they talked about D cards, they talked about the camera, pixels, Samsung has the gigantic phones, Ipads that you need two hands to hold. Frankly they haven’t really demonstrated much understanding of the software experience, and that has to be changed if they want to compete successfully. These competitors really really need to get out of the catch up position. They need to get ahead of Apple in terms of the quality of the software applications.
I think there are lots of variables in the picture to be honest, and a lot of the outcomes will depend on the most random roll of the dice, which historical accident happens first. Which judge gives a sign to a legal case often determines the outcome of the case which has enormous ramification in the market. If I try to predict that, that’s a little bit futile. What you can do is you can predict what would be the optimum action for each player in the market, and what would the way for them to maximize the chance that would win the legal battles, what would be the maximize chances for them to actually win the heart of the consumers.