Apple vs. Samsung: Could Ruling Widen Digital Divide?

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The legal battle comes at an important time in the evolution of the mobile device industry in the United States and abroad. With the creation of the iPhone, Apple is an undisputed pioneer in the industry. But Samsung’s share of the market has grown rapidly in recent years, surpassing the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant and securing its status as chief rival in the industry.

Samsung’s Android operating system now makes up about 70 percent of the global market, the Associated Press reports. In his opening salvo, Samsung’s attorney, John Quinn, told jurors last week that Google wrote the Android software for its smartphones and tablets, He said that the smartphone operating system now makes up about 70 percent of the global market.

But Apple’s lawyer Harold McElhinny fired back in his opening statement, the AP says, urging jurors not to be misled.

“This case is not about Google,” he said. “It is Samsung that has made the decision to copy these features, it is Samsung, not Google, that chooses to put these features into their phones, and it is Samsung that has made the decision to keep on infringing on Apple’s patents.”

Google declined to comment to the AP about the controversy.

Still, some experts and business leaders argue that Apple and Samsung would have been better served consumers had they been able to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom so they could return to the business at which they excel: developing innovative products.

For his part, Harry Alford, president and chief executive officer of the National Chamber of Commerce, is one of them.

“The Chamber has been a long advocate of tort reform, or nuisance litigation,” he told NewsOne. “This suit is trying to keep the consumer from having the best technology at an affordable price. And the technology opens doors for the underserved in the Black and Hispanic communities. That’s really what they should be focused on.”

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