This headline is being written two ways:
Does Apple’s win mean consumers lose?
Will the Apple/Samsung ruling force companies to innovate?
There’s a case for both. Apple won BIG against Samsung last week. Jurors awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. That’s less than half of the $2.5 billion Apple asked for but because jurors found that Samsung had willfully infringed on Apple the judge in the case could triple damages. Judge Koh has yet to decide whether Samsung must stop selling the infringing products. Obviously, this is a huge blow to Samsung but what about consumers?
Samsung is saying the verdict “should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer.” It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices.” There seems to be little doubt that, at least in the short term, Samsung may be right. Analysts are predicting consumers are likely to face more expensive smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. Is the glass half empty here?
A second theme seems to be emerging over the last few hours. Bloomberg says this is a win for consumers because manufacturers will be forced to create remarkably different devices resulting in more options. Some media outlets are claiming this ruling is “good” news for the tech world. Essentially, the ruling marks the look and feel of Apple iPhone designs as distinct. Could this distinction lead to the next great evolutionary step in phone design?
Is this a loss for consumers or a win for innovation? Can it be both?