The Uncertain Future of Google's Android


The primary concern about the future of mobile operating systems now that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has defeated Samsung in a court battle over patents is that Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) will be Apple's next target. If Apple does sue Google, and wins, the Android OS that powers most of the world's smartphones would have an uncertain future.

Must less visible is Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) successful attempts to get hardware companies to pay royalties for Android - in some cases as high as $5 per unit. The Apple suit could embolden Microsoft to take action of its own against Google - one of its major competitors. Analysis about how the Apple win may help Microsoft has centered on the fact that the world's largest software company and its smartphone hardware partner Nokia (NYSE: NOK) will have an easier time selling their products as Samsung retrenches. But Microsoft's ability to assert that its mobile patents have been violated may be an even bigger win.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Law, Wireless Tagged: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, NOK