Apple’s decisive victory in a landmark US patent case against Samsung could reshape the hot sector for mobile devices and slow the momentum of Google and its Android system, analysts say. Apple won more than $1 billion in the case Friday, after a California jury found the South Korean electronics giant infringed on dozens of patents held by the iPhone and iPad maker. Although Google was not a party in the case, it makes the Android operating system which was central to the case—a system which Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs called a “stolen” product. Apple has been battling as Samsung and other manufacturers of the free Android system eat away at its market share in the sizzling market for smartphones and tablet computers.
“I think this will force a reset on Android products as they are reengineered to get around Apple’s patents,” said Rob Enderle, a technology analyst and consultant with the Enderle Group.
But Enderle said other companies may benefit from the decision, including Microsoft, which has been lagging in the mobile sector, and Blackberry maker Research in Motion, which has been hit hardest by the rise of Android devices. The court ruling, said Enderle, “should provide a stronger opportunity for both of Microsoft’s new platforms—Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8—because they come with indemnification against Apple, suddenly making them far safer and possibly a faster way to get product to market.”
The decision also “will make RIM far more attractive as an acquisition because RIM’s patents are thought to be strong enough to hold off Apple,” Enderle said. ”Both Samsung and Google may make a play for the company, and both Microsoft and Apple may move to block them.” Via Apple patent win may reshape sector, slow Google.