Jacqui Cheng for Ars Technica:
The company filed a lawsuit against Samsung on Monday, alleging that the electronics giant violated Apple’s intellectual property in its Android-powered devices like the Galaxy Tab, Nexus S, and Epic 4G.
John Gruber adds:
That their products are shameless copies is hard to deny. But has anyone ever won a lawsuit based on copying stuff like this?
I don’t think the point is to win, officially. The point might be to make selling Android devices more expensive, and therefore, to discourage the major hardware manufacturers from making them.
Ultimately, though, Google and the Android device manufacturers (and RIM, and especially HP) are doing themselves a disservice by copying Apple’s products so closely.
It’s hard for most non-geek consumers to look at most Android phones today, and all of the non-Apple tablets, and think of them as anything but iPhone- or iPad-knockoffs.
My theory on Android’s U.S. marketshare is that much of it was driven by Verizon customers who picked the most iPhone-like option available on Verizon when it was time to renew their contracts. If that theory is correct, now that the iPhone and iPad are both available for Verizon, what are they likely to choose next time?
For Android and the other alternatives to succeed, they need to move beyond the Apple-knockoff market and become desirable to consumers on their own merits. They can’t just be the most iPhone- or iPad-like alternatives for people who dislike Apple’s products — that’s not a large enough market.
Any platform that copies Apple too closely will never move beyond that limited position.