Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reveling in the fallout of its major patent-infringement win over Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Friday, and investors are giddy with delight to see Apple stock jump 2.5 percent in Monday pre-market trading as a victory lap for the company that (unless an appeal is upheld) has crippled its No. 1 competitor in the smartphone market and the No.l 1 partner for the Android operating system by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Thanks so Samsung’s devices, Android owned nearly 70 percent of the smartphone marketplace – but now, Google may be scrambling to keep its marketshare with Apple due to launch new devices this fall.
It’s very little secret that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) are waging a serious war … though it hasn’t been directly at eachother. Will that time come soon? Google is doing everything it can to avoid a direct confrontation – it did work behind the sceneson behalf of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., in a losing effort, in the most recent patent case. And just last week, Google used its newly acquired Motorola Mobility division to file a lawsuit with the Internal Trade Commission seeking to ban the import of several Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices because they violate several Motorola patents.
Though it’s not directly involved in this case either, can Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Android operating system suffer another defeat and still remain a viable competitor to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Is Google willing to take Apple on directly? Throwing Samsung to the Apple wolves was a dangerous play, but will the two have to face off in the courtroom as well as in the marketplace to decide tech supremacy? Would such a confrontation benefit the marketplace, and consumers?
Well, even indirect battles have affected Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) partners and others. Not only has Samsung lost steam in the Asian markets (stock down nearly 8 percent Monday), but other Asian handset makers – some of which also use the Android operating system – also took some hits to their stock prices if for no other reason but association with Samsung.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), without a fairly decisive win against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the courtroom through a surrogate, may either have to take it on directly in front of a judge – or directly in the marketplace and create its own Android smartphone. Because too many more losses and Google won’t have the partners to develop competitive devices to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). And where would that leave the marketplace? Apple vs. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), just like the old days? Does the marketplace want that?