Greed is a disease that has no cure. It manifests itself in the form of an insatiable appetite incapable of satisfaction. It expands, never contracts. It infects the mind, decays the soul and distorts reality. In the case of the mobile device/smartphone debacle, its ultimate victim will be the integrity of the one daily thing we love and the consumers who built its marketshare.
There was a time when legends were made and dynasties were built via the new ‘it’ smartphone. But that all changed. As much as I still love the industry itself, the smartphone/mobile device is a shadow of its once mighty self.
We speak of our long-standing debates of Apple vs Google (i.e. #teamiphone vs #teamandroid) as if it were some phenomenon, but it’s not. The transformation came as a cause and effect, not an evolutionary shift in consumers fascination. Overall, the fights from one patent to the other was driven by greed, not innovation. The collective hierarchy of device makers unwilling to compromise spelled its fall from grace in new innovation. Is there any chance at all for any fledgling operating system maker to even remotely push any form of project through the systems knowing it’s essentially a 3 team race?
Those who defend the patent wars enthusiastically point out the handful of small emerging markets in other countries who manage to compete despite the obvious and ridiculous disadvantages that face them. These arguments fall on deaf ears. Instead, direct your energy to the debate of which emerging market you can pillage of unaware foreigners before the buyouts begin. There is no hypocrisy in numbers and even the higher calling you believe in will tell you, anything else has a second rate date, as most ‘social’ consumers are blatantly uninterested.
The smartphone/mobile device system as it has operated for the past five years — even with its patent catfights — works. More people bought the iPhone than the amount of people who bought organic foods over the past 3 years. Without a major renovation in cosmetics, the iPhone and Android devices are able to captivate its audience and keep them interested in buying more (and more importantly, new). The system works, and has for some time. It keeps fans interested across the country and has delivered bragging rights (even despite the height of the struggling economy) year after year. Unfortunately it is this revenue that drives the monster of greed and it’s the operating systems who wrongly feel their name alone is responsible for it’s success. Apparently they forgot that producing a damn good phone is ultimately what drives casual consumers to spend their bucks too. As it stands today, both handset makers and operating system developers have heavy fingers which appear stuck on course for a self-destruct button that can only be pressed through blind greed.
When it comes to the bantering, I choose no side. I chose the future. I chose the consumer.
The patent owners won’t back down. And the courts can also agree.