Are device makers like Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Acer involved with an arms race? If you don’t know what an arms race is, then shame on you!
It’s easy to swallow when you examine all the releases of new phones and tablets. I believe life has parallels and the current state of the mobile device market is a lot like the Cold War. Now I’m not going to throw dates at you, just “events” that have shaped our lives today.
Examples of the cold war (not in chronological order):
U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik – USA responds with NASA Space program
The race to put a man in space is won by the Soviets (Yuri Gagarin)
The USA then puts a man on the moon (Apollo 11 – Neal Armstrong)
The U.S.S.R launches the first ICBM (R-7)
The USA launches their first ICBM (Atlas)
Submarines gain the ability to launch ICBMs, the USA and the U.S.S.R. are locked in a constant battle to one-up each other with more advanced designs
Examples of the mobile device cold war:
Apple releases the iPod
A multitude of companies release MP3 players looking to grab market share
Apple releases the iPhone with AT&T
A multitude of companies release their take on the iPhone, struggling to stay relative
Apple (again) releases the iPad
A multitude of companies (again) release their own tablet
Litigation – All the above mentioned companies are suing each other for patent infringment, dropping “the big one” in order to gain the upper hand in the mobile device market.
Litigation = Nuclear Option
So what does this mean for the citizenry? At first this was a good thing as the urge of innovation caused devices to leap or even claw their way into the future. Now, with litigation, the innovative path has been cut short because companies are now spending their capital on lawyers and purchasing “Patent Portfolios” which in-turn raises the prices of the products we use.
Phone carriers, in my opinion, are a lot like puppet countries. Super powers use these puppets against each other to avoid a direct confrontation. However this no longer seems like the case because of all the litigation going on in the background. Have these companies considered MAD?