Patents Ruling Mobile War

Apple got a victory today in a patent court over HTC. Its about tapping a phone number in an email or any content (e.g. web page may have a contact number of a vendor) to call or add in contact number. From HTC it is a small UI fix. However, removing such feature would pose an usability issue to HTC and indirectly to Android. 

Here is the ruling: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/337/337_710_Notice12192011sgl.pdf

It seems that Apple has many such patents which when pressed against Android can create a competitive barrier. 

This year has been interesting from patents point of view. Apple and Microsoft ganged up to by Nortells patent portfolio at billions. Then, the corneded Google bought Motorolla mobility especially for the patents. On other wise, there is a patent war going between Samsung and Apple of Samsung Galaxy.

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Future of iPhone Apps against its competition

There was a question raised on this. Here was my answer:

iPhone has an early start in Mobile Apps. Till few months back it had more than 50,000 now the recent number is being floated is 100,000 apps. This is a huge market. The iPhone also enabled individual softwre developers to participate in this money making process. Considering Apple’s strategy of innovation (even at the risk of making previous technology absolute,) I would expect the iPhone would also be addressing usages like Game Console, Home Automation Controller, iReader (books) etc. Google Android would continue to do some catch up game and may have some cool edge. For example, Google recently announced turn-by-turn voice assisted GPS. But iPhone has an advantage, that it is not only a platform, it has hardware from Apple which would keep on adding new technologies to add more fancy software’s. having said that many of the iPhone apps developers may also port their softwares on Android if it takes a momentum. I am more interested in watching google strategist position their mobile OS with Chrome and whether Apple matures iPhone OS into a platform for iTablet like devices or comes up with something else. It would also be interesting to see WebOS from Palm, and a direction from Microsoft CE. You can notice that as long as the opposition it fragmented, iPhone has an edge.

iPhone Appstore concept needs to be changed for Enterprises

iPhone Apps needs to be pass through Apple‘s gate to be approved and made available to iPhone users via App Store. Of course, this way Apple can filter-out bad application, and possibly avoid competing Apps (e.g. Skype for making phone calls from iPhone or Google applications). For consumer, it gives a single window access and most importantly “theoratically” some assurance that their iPhones are not going to be invaded by some virus infected applications. However, this model have some issue in the enterprise domains.

For example, FedEx‘s IT department would like to develop an iPhone application for their delivery people. This FedEx app would enable them to navigate to the location and get signature as a proof of delivery.

In this case, why should FedEx’s get its own application be certified from Apple? Why should this application, which is restricted to its employees, be made available through AppStore?

Shouldn’t enterprises be able to roll-out their own applications to themselves or their customers without getting Apple in between?