In the original Star Trek series episode called ”Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” two nearly identical aliens, inflamed by mutual hatred, beam down to their decimated planet to continue their fight, seemingly for eternity. That might also be a way to describe the Apple-Android global litigation: it goes on and on, seemingly forever.
A frustrated federal judge in Florida has publicly attacked both Apple and, in this case, Motorola (Google) for being unwilling to voluntarily streamline and simplify their case or engage in sincere settlement talks. According to Bloomberg, exasperated US District Judge Robert Scola declared, “The parties have no interest in efficiently and expeditiously resolving this dispute; they instead are using this and similar litigation worldwide as a business strategy that appears to have no end.”
The judge is now threatening to delay the litigation unless or until the parties can reduce the complexity and number of claims in the case, which is Motorola Mobility LLC v. Apple Inc, US District Court for the District of Florida (Miami).
It’s not entirely clear how the FTC settlement with Google over Motorola’s patents impacts the several cases between Apple and Motorola. In some instances, Motorola had sought injunctions against the iPhone and other Apple products. However, under the reported settlement terms, Google agreed to license Motorola’s standard-essential patents to other companies. The company also agreed not to try and block shipments of devices that use technology implicated by those patents.
The most recent comScore mobile market data show Motorola with a declining slice of the smartphone market.
A recent survey by financial firm MKM Partners (n=1,500 US adults) also had negative news for Motorola. In terms of the hierarchy of current handset ownership it showed Motorola at number five:
- 33% Apple
- 28.3% Samsung
- 9.9% LG
- 9.3% HTC
- 9.3% Motorola
- 4.4% other
- 3.4% BlackBerry
- 1.6% Nokia
That was also the case for those asked about future smartphone purchase intentions:
- 44.5% “not sure” of next phone
- 19.6% Samsung (Android)
- 17.7% iPhone
- 5.9% BlackBerry
- 4.4% Motorola
- 3.7% HTC
- 3.1% LG
- 0.7% Nokia
Motorola is reportedly developing a sophisticated new handset dubbed the “X-phone” to offer greater competition for the iPhone, but especially Samsung Galaxy devices.