Well, in the war for mobile phone dominance, the one being waged on the streets of the marketplace, the winner is clear-Google, through its hardware proxy Samsung. However, that isn’t the picture in court. As you probably already know Samsung had its backside handed to it when it was found liable of patent infringement. The South Korean hardware maker was originally smacked with a $1 billion judgment. Ouch. A smaller company would have gone straight to bankruptcy proceedings. Thankfully for the millions of Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note owners the world over, this is Samsung we’re talking about. The company can afford to pay the infringement damages thanks to the massive bite it has taken out of Apple’s once powerful smartphone market dominance.
While the liability of Samsung has been established, the damages finding of the original ruling was tried out. At issue is whether Apple is entitled to $400 million of the original $1B judgment. What does this mean? It means Samsung can try and whittle the $450 million into the $52 million it says it should be docked. It also means that Samsung is still liable for the $600 million portion of the original judgment-the part not under damages litigation. Both sides has rested their case and are headed to final arguments. There’s been a lot of digital dust thrown up about this monster legal fight between mobile hardware giants but the big takeaway is that the real battle isn’t in the courts-it is in the marketplace. Considering present trends, we’re not convinced either Samsung and Apple can withstand the major changes around the pike. Samsung might make great shiny Android products but, at the end of the day, it is just a hardware market. What happens when the market starts turning on apps instead of OS or hardware? Also, considering how cheap manufacturing is now in China, even the best hardware features might not forestall the move to a de facto ‘open’ hardware architecture for smartphones and mobile devices. Interesting times indeed!