It may take months for the shock waves from the Samsung legal loss in a patent suit with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to change the smartphone industry’s landscape. Samsung has to immediately decide whether it should redesign some of its handsets while its awaits the possibility of an appeal. Some of Samsung’s phones may be blocked from import into the United States.
The arguments about other winners and losers have started. Most experts think that the troubled partnership between Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) may be helped. No patent claims have been filed against the Windows mobile OS. Nokia sales have dropped sharply in the past two years. It lost the position as the number one market of handsets worldwide to Samsung late in 2011. The decision could make the Nokia/Microsoft products more popular with carriers.
Fallout from the legal decision also could hurt Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), if Apple brings a case against the intellectual property of its extremely successful Android mobile OS. Samsung runs Android on a number of its smartphones, but the operating system was not part of the Apple vs. Samsung battle. Apple is more vexed by Android than any other product in the smartphone universe.
Douglas A. McIntyre