The Battle Of Supremacy Continues – Apple, Google

Just like the story of the then Econet wireless and subsequent owners of the current Airtel Nigeria, the “battle” between the top two smartphone manufacturers namely Apple and Android continues on issues of patency.

The Inital issue which is dated back as 2011 was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was a long battle between both rival in the European market. Now its the Galaxy Nexus smartphone manufactured by Samsung and Google.

In what is shaping as a full-frontal confrontation between Apple and Google, Apple is claiming the Nexus infringes four Apple patents, including a patent that allows a user to search for multiple sources of information at once – the methodology used by its personal assistant Siri. The software that performs the searches on the new Android operating system version is called Ice Cream Sandwich and is produced by Google.

The step also marks another escalation of the sprawling legal battle between the world’s top two sellers of smartphone with Apple re-drawing its arguments to account for Samsung’s rising position in the business.

In another indicator of the growing patent hostility between Apple and Google, Apple also is suing Motorola Mobility, a company recently acquired by Google. It is understood the suite against Motorola seeks to prevent it making patent claims against Apple in Germany.

In its suite against the Korean phone maker, Apple argues the new Samsung phone — which uses a new version of Google’s Android operating software dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich — is the most credible competitor yet to its iPhone and poses a potent threat to Apple’s market share.

Apple’s suit, filed last Wednesday in US District Court in California, accuses Samsung of violating patents that are distinguishing features of the iPhone.

The suit contrasts with Apple’s original case against Samsung, filed in the same court last April and expected to go to trial this summer, by concentrating on technical patents rather than design-oriented ones.

One patent, for example, covers a function known as slide-to-unlock, in which customers gain access to their phones by sliding an image of a button across the screen.Another patent covers technology for searching multiple sources of information at once, an element of Siri introduced last year.

Siri uses the function when customers speak into their phones, and are given responses that gather information from the phone and several different websites. Apple argued the Galaxy Nexus acts in the same way when customers type in their requests into the device’s search function.

Apple also said Samsung violated a patent for detecting bits of information, such as a phone number in an email, that customers can tap on to quickly make a phone call.

In December, the International Trade Commission banned Android phones made by Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC that the agency said violated that patent.

The fourth Apple patent cited in the suit covers technology for suggesting words if a customer misspells them while typing on a smartphone.

Samsung said in a statement it was aware of the new filings by Apple and it would continue to “defend against Apple’s claims to ensure our continued innovation and growth.”

An Apple spokeswoman reiterated the company’s earlier statements that Samsung copied its products.

Apple’s latest efforts highlight the big stakes and tightening competition in smartphones.

During the fourth quarter, Apple inched out Samsung, with 23.5 per cent of global smartphone shipments compared to Samsung’s 22.8 per cent, according to market research firm IDC.

In the third quarter, Apple’s share had dropped to just 14 per cent, compared to Samsung’s 23 per cent, as consumers held off to buy a rumoured new iPhone.

Let the battle Continue !