Over the past few months it has been interesting to see how the likes of Apple, Samsung and Nokia have been tactically trying to gain advantages over one another in order to gain mobile device market share.
Apple vs. Samsung / Samsung vs. Apple
On the 25th August 2012 Samsung were ordered by a US court to pay Apple $1bn in damages. The award was to cover the cost of damages for infringing intellectual property. Effectively Apple argued that Samsung had copied some of their patented designs and the US court agreed. Many Samsung devices were looked at as part of the trial with several deemed to infringe on Apple's patents. However the trial didn't include some of Samsung's latest phones, specifically Samsung's latest flagship model, the Samsung Galaxy S3.
On the 3rd of September, with the arrival of the new iPhone 5 (or the new iPhone) imminent Apple have now added the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the list of handsets that it says has infringed its patents. If found to be true this could result in the ban of the Samsung Galaxy S3 in the US. Whether this was cleaver timing or just Apple protecting their patents, should the ban go-ahead this will almost certainly not hurt the sales of the new iPhone in the US. Samsung have already stated that they will appeal against the initial ruling, however until this happens uncertainty amongst consumers will also contribute to them plumbing for the new Apple device over the Samsung. Apple 1 Samsung 0.
On the 31st August Apple lost it's case in a Tokyo court against Samsung again for infringing intellectual property albeit for a different patent to the ones fought over in the US court.
It will be interesting to see how the people of Asia respond to Apple's claims. South Korea's Samsung brand is already very popular in Asia and this could spark a bit of resistance the US's Apple brand. Not only have Apple lost a patent war but they could also lose market share in an area of the world they are very keen to gain a hold on. Apple 1 Samsung 1.
Today, in a bid to claw back mobile market share Nokia and Microsoft are rumoured to be releasing two new devices running the Windows Phone 8 operating system. The rumoured Lumia 820 and 920 will supposedly come with wireless charging and at least one of the new devices will sport a Nokia PureView camera.
What better way to upstage someone else's event be inviting them to your own. The day before the joint press event to held in New York a simply styled invite landed in many journalist's inbox. The event in question looks set to be the launch of the new iPhone 5. The invitation looks set to have confirmed the launch of the iPhone 5 on the 12th September 2012. The timing will undoubtedly leave many consumers 'waiting to see what Apple has to offer' rather than rushing out and pre-ordering the latest Nokia device. Apple 1 Nokia/Microsoft 0.
Overall it is difficult to see who comes out on top and really only time will tell. Apple and Samsung are currently delivering the most popular devices so it would take something pretty incredible from the Nokia/Microsoft partnership to break into the top two. However it's also possible that with Apple and Samsung at war over patents they could lose some of the market. The final quarter of 2012 will be key in terms of who comes out on top, at least for the time being. We will see the launch of new Nokia handsets as well as a new Apple device. We will also see if Samsung wins it's appeal against Apple and if Apple succeeds in getting the Samsung Galaxy S3 banned.