The Apple vs. Samsung battle has been in the spotlight for the past few days after Apple won a decisive victory on its home court. There are going to be appeals and the issues are far from clarified or over.
Still, people are wondering, what's next? Are other manufacturers in danger, are Google & co. going to mount a counterattack, or is Apple going after Google next?
The answer to the first is "yes, in the short term," to the second is "maybe" and to the third is "unlikely." As much as Apple can boast about how its victory is about the "values," it's really about competition. Samsung is Apple's biggest competitor at this point and anything Apple can do to hinder it is worth it.
What's more, Apple's "decisive" victory hasn't got as much to do with the solidity of its case than it has with the fact that Apple is Apple. It won because it was a jury trial. A jury trial in a court a few miles away from Apple's Cupertino headquarters.
The jury, like some jurors said after the fact, had made up their mind before the trial even began, Samsung was guilty
. What's more, it needed to be taught a lesson and it needed to be held as an example to others. Hence the $1 billion damages.
That's why it only took a couple of days for the jury to decide on the 700 questions they were supposed to. And it's easy to understand why Apple won.
For one, all of the members of the jury are going to care more about Apple, an American company, than a South Korean one. They may even know people who work at Apple. Apple, in the eyes of the public, can do the wrong and is the underdog, despite being the single biggest corporation on the planet.
And Samsung quite clearly copied some elements from Apple, perhaps egregiously so. The jury's job wasn't only to determine whether Samsung copied some design elements, that was easy, but whether said copying was illegal. This is where things get tricky.
All the reasons why Apple won, for now, against Samsung are the exact same reasons why it can't win against Google. Google too is an American company. Despite some growing displeasure about its privacy practices, Google is loved by the public, though probably not as much as Apple.
What's more, it's going to be much harder to show that Google copied Apple. Google doesn't make any phones and Android is clearly different from iOS, or rather, it's different enough in the eyes of the regular people. A jury in a hypothetical Google vs. Apple lawsuit would not go in thinking that Google is guilty from the get go.
That said, the battle between Motorola, owned by Google, and Apple is going to be the interesting one. Motorola too is a US company, granted not as loved as Google or Apple. And its phones don't look anything like an iPhone, which is probably why they're not selling all that well, but that's another matter.