Simon's post earlier today mentioned the Apple vs Samsung patent lawsuits over tablets and smartphones. The reference to 2001 as prior art is amusing – let's not forget the Star Trek PADD as well. There is actually a Star Trek PADD app for the iPad.
Simon linked to a list of the various lawsuits between Apple and Samsung in various countries. Here is a graphic produced by Reuters that shows patent related suits between mobile manufacturers.
There is market share and a lot of money at stake here. A big reason behind the Google aquisition of Motorola was for its patents. The recent purchase of Nortel patents by a consortium including Apple, Microsoft and RIM for billions of dollars also attests to that.
Many (myself included) believe that smartphones and tablets are causing and will continue to cause revolutionary change in the way we work and go about our lives. Consider the following examples:
- United Airlines and Apple announced that the airline will deploy 11,000 iPads for its pilots to replace paper flight manuals with electronic flight bags, or EFBs. This is expected to save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year.
- This CNET video lists the top 5 things that the smartphone replaces. MP3 player, personal planner, digital point and shoot camera, portable GPS, alarm clocks. Also video cameras, newspapers, landlines, books.
- This All Things D article talks about how iPads are replacing cash registers.