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Customer Review

on 27 December 2013
A decent but not a great book with a flawed conclusion

As someone who has followed the subject matter of this book closely for as many years as the author, if not more, I found this to be a decent book, but far from a great one. It tells the story from both sides, and that was pretty well done as far as it went, but nothing new or extraordinary emerged. One of the central themes in the book is that the winner of any patent wars nearly always becomes the dominant player, and numerous historic examples were cited.

In the patent wars between iOS and Android, Apple is comprehensively trouncing Google and its Android Licensees yet the author comes to the puzzling conclusion, contrary to his own theory, that Google now has the upper hand. In the short time since this book was published I would suggest that things have moved even more decisively in Apple's favour. Apple have won again at the patent retrial in Northern California. They've also had an incredibly successful global launch of iPhone 5s/5c, iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini, whereas Samsung's Galaxy S4 seems to be performing well below expectations, Samsung themselves appear to have peaked and in the US Apple now commands a greater share of the US Smartphone market than all of the hundreds of Android handsets and their makers combined. In addition Google and its licensees seem to be very scared indeed of the lawsuits that have recently been issued by the Rockstar consortium, and I quote:

'Google's complaint contains a lot of rhetoric, accusing Rockstar of having "placed a cloud on Google's Android platform" and threatening "Google's business and relationships with its customers and partners, as well as its sales of Nexus-branded Android devices".'

As I understand it Apple have many, many more patents to wield, and I believe those ones are even stronger than the ones they have used so far against Android. When you also consider that the only way that Android has gained market share is essentially by giving away phones for free, it is a non-contest. If they had to sell them them for anything close to what Apple can and does command they'd get nowhere ... As Microsoft has found out the hard way. Anyone can APPEAR to win in the short term by giving product away. But it hardly ensures the survival of the companies concerned. Apple still maintains a price premium because they deliver cutting edge products that people can always depend on. I therefore disagree with the author's conclusion (not particularly clearly stated) which fails to take these facts into account.
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