Nervous Samsung seeks Android Plan F. Or G, H ....
Korean govt nudges chaebols
Samsung has changed its mind and may join an Korean consortium producing an open alternative to Android. The strategy shift has been prompted by Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility – and reflects the vertical integration structure whereby Google both licenses Android and competes with its licensees in handsets. This is according to Korea's Deputy Minister of the Knowledge Economy, Kim Jae-hong, cited here.
Of course, we only have the deputy minister's word for it. And the deputy minister may be talking through his gat.
Two of Korea's largest chaebols, Samsung and LG, are Android licensees. Kim said that Samsung had been sceptical about joining an open consortium but that Google's Motorola bid had changed the picture. He also said he expects co-operative relationships between Google and the chaebols to continue for short to medium term.
Historically Samsung has become a licensee of every open initiative going: Symbian, Windows, Java ME, SavaJe and LiMO. More recently Bloomberg reported it was leading the (presumably short) queue of potential licensees of HP's WebOS, too.
But it also has its own platform, Bada, which is mostly (but not exclusively) pitched at cheaper touchscreen devices. Samsung itself describes Bada as a platform that is OS-agnostic.
Remembering what happened the last time government played pick-a-winner in operating systems, we wouldn't normally put too much credence on the announcement. But Samsung's reported change of heart is noteworthy. It illustrates how hard Google will find it to keep Android "independent" while it owns one of the biggest Android customers.
Samsung has already felt the sharp end of the mobile industry's patent wars. Apple won an injunction preventing it from selling its Android Tablet in most of Europe. ®
Is that so?
> Apple won an injunction preventing it from selling its Android Tablet in most of Europe.
Did it now?
According to the Computerworld article, "The patent issue can be fixed by updating the Android software on the phones to Android 3.x, Samsung said in court earlier this month and that point was also noted by the judge in the ruling." So the ban - which has no effect until the 15th of October - is easily avoided.
But there's more.
"The judge denied all the other grounds on which Apple tried to ban the import of Samsung products into Europe. Samsung does not infringe on two other patent claims about intellectual copyright and design, the judge ruled. Further, according to the court, Samsung does not "slavishly copy" Apple's iPad and iPhone."
So Apple lost everything except one point, which is easily worked around. This is no victory for the polo neck..
My source says that the judge told Samsung what they needed to do. The headline is somewhat surprising, then - unless you're citing Florian as a primary source...
 I've yet to see the actual transcript, so I'm relying on someone who has.
Apple injunction - Germany only, surely?
"Apple won an injunction preventing it from selling its Android Tablet in most of Europe."
It was a *temporary* injunction, and applied to Germany only.
0 - Apple lost (and so did we)
At the very best possible interpretation Apple managed a pyrrhic victory. Only one claim was upheld, all the rest were thrown out. If Samsung does nothing at all the ban would come in around the middle of October, but Samsung have already said that will replace the only application that infringes, so therefore the ban won't come into effect.
Where we all lose is that it seems a pure software patent has crept into Europe via the back door.