|Photo © by Harold Edgerton|
We know from the recent past, Apple is not very friendly, when it thinks something is violating their patents. Patent-trolling seems normal. But the patent lawsuit against HTC is clearly aimed to destroy the Android OS, like Engadet said.
This shows one thing clearly, Apple has recognized Android and it just scared Apple to the bones. With about 100 Android phones around by end of 2010, there will be big losses in sale for iPhone, that's for sure. And now Apple just woke up out of it's world leader dream. More than that it shoots out like a wounded animal on the competitors, not by being innovative and superior, but by trying to push others out of business. That's the only choice the have left, because they now that Android is the superior mobile OS now. So they called for war. Let's see who is involed.
HTC - They produced most of the different Android mobiles up until now. Now HTC will not surrender by paying ransom. They showed this before, and they will possibly sue Apple for patent-infringement, too. They also have some patents and it might be interesting to see if Apple infringes their patents somehow.
Google - Not equal Android, but they are the driving force behind it, so war against Android is war against Google. Let's put it this way: If Google decides to strikes back on Apple, this might be a huge hit for Cupertino. They could pull services from the iPhone, like maps from this day to another, leaving basic functions of the iPhone unusable. They could stop using H.264 for YouTube and switching to Ogg Theora or, more likely, to their own new video codec VP8. They bought On2 for this codec already. It's only a matter of how hard Google will punish Apple for this desperate action. It would only be self-defense. And Google already reacts to this: "We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it."
Userbase - Just like iPhone-users have a strong binding to their product, so does Android-users. Thinking to leave those watching the best mobile platform system attacked by Apple is ridiculous and will lead to boycotts of all Apple products, which I practice for some time, because of the stance on other patent-free stuff like Ogg codecs, which is another frontline of the war.
Reputation - The biggest downturn. How to dismantle a good PR completely by using such methods. Forums and comments are already full of hate and anger against Apple for this, even from Apple fans. You can read how people already switching to Android now quite a few times. It destroys the picture of a friendly company.
So the war is already lost for Apple with the beginning of it. It doesn't even matter if they win the patent-lawsuit or not. They already lost reputation, and the shine of an almighty iPhone. And Android will keep on rising. They may stop HTC (after many years), but they can't stop Google, the Android-fans and they certainly can't save their reputation.
And now all together: "Who is afraid of Android?" - "Apple!"