Sabtu, 06 Agustus 2011

As Android Surges Microsoft and Google Trade Punches in Patent Spat

San Francisco. Google Inc's Android operating system has deepened its dominance of US smartphone sales and now enjoys a 40 percent share of the market, according to figures released Thursday by research firm ComScore.

Apple Inc's iPhone ousted RIM's Blackerry for second place with 26.6 percent market share in the second quarter, the report said.

Also Thursday, research firm IDC named the iPhone as the world's top selling smartphone with 19.1 percent of shipments, almost three percent above second-placed Samsung's 16 percent share.

The new sales figures came amid an escalating spat between Google and a group of tech giants headed by Microsoft and Apple which Google has accused of collaborating to strangle Android smartphones.

Google's chief legal officer David Drummond on Wednesday accused the two tech giants of plotting a "hostile, organized campaign" against Android using a portfolio of patents that they recently bought from bankrupt telecom equipment maker Nortel for 4.5 billion dollars.

Their plan, according to Drummond, was to "strangle Android" by using "bogus patents" to force makers of Android smartphones to pay them licensing fees.

But Microsoft head of communications Frank Shaw responded via Twitter Thursday that Microsoft had in fact reached out to Google to join the purchasing group but was summarily rebuffed.

Shaw even quoted from the email sent by Google to Microsoft in which it declined the invitation. "After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn't be advisable for us on this one," Google's general counsel Kent Walker wrote in the e-mail. "But I appreciate your flagging it, and we're open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future." "Free advice for David Drummond," quipped Shaw. "Next time check with Kent Walker before you blog." Drummond responded later Thursday saying that Google declined to partner with Microsoft on the patents because such a move would have cost billions of dollars without allowing Google to use the patents to defend itself against claims by Microsoft and its bidding partners.

"Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android - and having us pay for the privilege - must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them," Drummond said. "We didn't fall for it."


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