Google’s Eric Schmidt decided to chime in on the Apple lawsuits brought against its hardware partners. The former Google CEO says that Apple is feeling threatened by its competitors, and instead of firing back with new innovations, the iPhone maker is just hitting everyone else with lawsuits. To be fair, Schmidt ought to look at Android’s own history and what the platform looked like before and after the iPhone was announced.
A judge recently sided with Apple, stating that HTC, a major Android handset manufacturer, infringes on the iPhone maker’s patents. HTC, in turn, says that it will aggressively defend its technologies against Apple, and ultimately find workarounds to the patent issues if it is unsuccessful in court.
If these lawsuits end up in Apple’s favor, it could mean that the company’s competitors will be barred from bringing certain products into the U.S., or that they will have to pay royalties to Apple. PerthNow reports:
“The big news in the past year has been the explosion of Google Android handsets and this means our competitors are responding,” he said.
“Because they are not responding with innovation, they’re responding with lawsuits.
“We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success.”
It’s true that there has been an explosion of Android handsets, from your most basic, $50 handsets to powerful high-end smartphones reaching into the $250 range. The reason for this is because Google has made its mobile platform free for manufacturers to use – for better or worse – and so the manufacturers can focus on just that–manufacturing tons of phones without having to worry about building software.
The upside to this is the variety and selection of handsets, but the downside is that so many new smartphones are being released each week that it becomes dizzying. And when you really take a closer look, they’re almost all the same: 1GHz processors, 5-8MP cameras, similar screen sizes and resolutions and very similar battery life across all Android devices.
However, Apple does have to consider the rate at which its competitors devices is moving. Google recently announced that it was seeing 550,000 Android activations per day, and if that rate steadily increases, it might really eat into iOS’s share of the market.