Apple Can’t Break Up Its Cat Fights
Chris is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Silicon Valley is turning into a boxing ring. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), who used to act more like cautious business partners, are making things ugly between each other, and the struggling Yahoo! is desperately trying to fight its way past security to even get into the arena.
This is fun to watch!
Apple has laced the press lately with its skirmishes with Korean phone company Samsung as well as from its feuds with Google. Here are the key fights worth watching.
Down and Dirty with Samsung
Apple took it to Samsung. Hard. In August, Apple “lawyers grilled a Samsung Electronics strategy head (Justin Denison) for roughly an hour…as Apple continued its efforts to convince a jury that the Korean tech giant copied its designs.”
Apple and Samsung are duking it out over numerous suits in many countries as Apple seeks more than $2.5 billion in damages. Apple’s “take no prisoners” strategy worked, and it was rewarded a positive verdict on August 24. According to MarketWatch:
A federal court jury on Friday found that Samsung Electronics Co. infringed six Apple patents and awarded $1.05 billion in damages, according to the Wall Street Journal. The jury also found that Samsung willfully infringed five of the seven Apple patents at issue in the trial, upholding the validity of all seven Apple patents. The jury also found that Apple did not infringe any of Samsung's patents and awarded Samsung no damages.
Moreover, this ruling is a major win for Apple, who has proven to attack anyone and anything it thinks has taken any of its ideas. Look for companies with similar products to Apple – like Google, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to be more cautious in their product creation.
Apple and Google have been throwing dirt at each other over their offerings for their smart phones. Apple is nixing Google maps and is making its own mapping software for its next iOS operating system. Think of this as Apple’s first foray into Google’s search space. Hey Google: Slap.
And Google is fighting back. Since Apple’s YouTube license has expired, Apple developers can no longer build a YouTube app for iPhones. Of course Apple’s Safari browser can still go to YouTube.com, but Google is building the next YouTube app for iOS 6, which will be released this fall. So iPhone users – no more preinstalled YouTube app. Thanks, Apple: Slap.
“We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users,” said a Google spokesperson. Good to know that the two companies are at least keeping their comments to themselves.
So what comes next for these companies? Look for more firms to enter the competitive arena.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft releases the much-anticipated Windows 8 this fall (I recommend checking out its preview on Microsoft’s website if you haven’t done so), which is expected to create hype and to produce strong sales. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s shot at a trendy new operating system.
And Nokia will be using that operating system on all of its phones, which will further divide mobile market share. Nokia used to be the world’s largest mobile phone seller, but the company’s Symbian operating system was no good – and customers shirked the company for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.
With more, stronger competitors, I expect the competitive environment to grow even more fierce this quarter. But then again, why wouldn’t it – what company wants to watch a good fight from the sidelines?
ChrisMarasco has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Google, and Nokia. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.