Apple wins in the courts...
Last night the jury delivered a crushing victory to Apple, awarding a cool $1,049m of damages against Samsung for violating Apple's patents and trade dress with its Android handsets.
In reality of course Samsung is just a proxy for the bigger war between Google's Android eco-system and Apple.
... But is losing in the field
But this is why the verdict doesn't matter:
The chart above show's the installed base for the Apple and Android eco-systems. Note I include both iPad and iPod Touch (the trial threw up some very interesting internal data on iPod Touch sales which allows us to quantify this part of the ecosystem for the first time). And I don't bother to include Android tablet sales. I assume a two year replacement cycle for older devices.
Even on that basis Android is spanking iOS hands down in terms of growth and installed base. And remember in any clash of Empires, it is the size of installed base which determines who comes out as the eventual victor. The chart below, showing quarterly new smartphone sales by OS, makes the trend very clear:
Apple's patent victories may be too little too late. A likely injunction against sales of last year's Android handsets is hardly going to stop the onward charge of the might Galaxy S III et al. In the meantime Samsung and its Android cohorts have managed to steal a lead against Apple in the smartphone race. In that context an extra $1,049m really isn't that much to pay...