The Ongoing Smartphone Battles

Welcome to the heavyweight smartphone company championships!  In this corner we have Apple, a multi-billion dollar company which is rated the number one for customer satisfaction for its sixth year in a row!  Aaaand in the other corner, we have Samsung Galaxy using the relatively new yet increasingly popular Android software! Who will win this battle?!  Let the battle begin! *Ding Ding Ding*

© HTC Wallpaper HTC Backgrounds

Who indeed will ultimately win this ongoing war?  With the decline of Blackberry, it seems that Apple has become more powerful and maybe, just maybe, the idea of them monopolizing the smartphone and tablet industry is becoming an all too real possibility.  So, what is in the way of Apple monopolizing this industry?  The cheaper option of cellphone companies running on the Android software now available for consumers, who are not too keen on the high prices associated with Apple’s products.  I have been keeping up with the lawsuits that Apple has been attacking Samsung with over patent issues and, to me, it seems that Apple is using any means necessary to squash the competition.  According to Zachary Karabell, the author of the article “The Frightening Fall of Blackberry (and Why Apple Should Care)”, states that “consumers have very little brand loyalty in a world of rapid innovation and lots of choices” which has inevitably lead to Blackberry’s downfall.  As ludicrous as this sounds seeing that Apple is at the top of their game right now, they need to be careful to not follow in Blackberry’s footsteps. In my opinion, this could be a factor driving the actions that Apple is taking.  If they become a monopoly, they would not have to worry about a potential downfall in the future.  As Ricky pointed out in his article “Eric Schmidt: Apple’s Lawsuits Against Android are because of Jealousy and a Lacy of Innovation”, the outcomes of these lawsuits are putting a dampener on the future of Android in the States.  Here is a direct quote from Eric Schmidt himself:

“The big news in the past year has been the explosion of Google Android handsets and this means our competitors are responding.  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. ” (Ricky: © 2011)

Apple’s recent win over banning Samsung Galaxy tablets in Germany is just fuelling Apple’s rapidly growing ego as they are now moving towards banning Galaxy’s tablets in Australia and Japan.  Ed Sutherland, the author of the article “Apple Wins Permanent German Ban on Samsung Tablet”, does state that Samsung is going to appeal the ruling as it “severely limits consumer choice” and “restricts design innovation and and progress in the industry”.

© Apple

So who seems to be winning?  It looks like Apple is going for the final takedown, but at what cost to the public?  Apple is banning cheaper alternatives that could be available to the less fortunate, thus impeding on their chances to grab at opportunities that will be available to them if they are also connected to the increasing connectivity that smartphones and tablets currently provide.  Bill Thompson, the author of the article “Why the Poor Need Technology”, states that the “digital divide” is an all too real reality.  So if Apple is indeed vying for a monopoly, prices of their products will increase as they will not have a competitor to keep prices at a reasonable amount, thus excluding the poorer population.  This is worrisome!

It may seem like I am shining a negative spotlight on Apple, but I assure you that I am part of the Apple cult myself.  I own the second last generation of the white macbook and I love everything about it.  I am even contemplating getting an iPhone when I eventually get on the smartphone bandwagon that I seemed to have missed.  However, I’m starting to second guess whether choosing Apple products is the best course of action.  It seems that Apple is bullying their way to the top and I do not like bullies.  What do you think?  What would you do?

Sources:
Karabell, Z. The Time Moneyland Website. “The Frightening Fall of Blackberry (and Why Apple Should Care)”. © 2011.
Kunzler, G. MacTrast website. “Apple Topes US Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Sixth Straight Year”© 2011
Ricky.  Digitizor Website. “Eric Schmidt: Apple’s Lawsuits Against Android are because of Jealousy and a Lacy of Innovation”. © 2011.
Sutherland, E.  Cult of Mac Website.  “Apple Wins Permanent German Ban on Samsung Tablet”© 2011.   
Thompson, B.  BBC.com website. “Why the Poor Need Technology”. © 2002  

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