Device Patent Wars

Came across this graphic in the NY Times showing the recent device patent wars:

Device Patent Wars

Note, I modified the image and added that Android logo next to HTC 🙂 Also note, that this image doesn’t show all the lawsuits that have been settled (eg Kodak has settled with Motorola). This image also doesn’t show the platform guys, specifically Microsoft and Google.

In any case, looking forward to seeing how this will play out. You have to assume that Google had indemnified HTC for any Android related claim – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here. I haven’t looked at any of the patents in question but I imagine a number of them are tied to the Android UX (and maybe the WinMo UX as well). Will Google retaliate by slowing the upgrade cycle of some of their critical apps on iPhone. It’s happening already with Google Maps on Android feeling a generation ahead than the version on iPhone. Obviously, big dollars are at play with rumors of Apple making $100M a year from Google search.

Thoughts?

What Platforms Should I Build For?

FYI – Re-posting this since my server had crashed and this was between a backup.
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At a recent dinner with a number of friends from the mobile gaming industry, I validated that iPhone was the #1 platform in terms of revenue but what’s interesting is what the rest of the platform stack looks like in the US – in order of revenue rank:

1. iPhone
2. Blackberry
3. BREW
4. J2ME
5. Android

One of the game publishers said iPhone was doing 7X Blackberry which was their #2. Note, in the BB App World, apps are often listed upwards of $20. Also interesting to see Android at the bottom of the list but I fully expect that to climb especially as more Android based devices are launched later this year assuming we don’t have massive app store fragmentation on the platform. That being said, I also hear Android has the highest return rate, near 75% for some developers given how seamless the process is to return an application (clicking a button rather than having to make a phone call).

BREW is still a big money-maker and several X more than J2ME even though it’s basically a Verizon-only proposition – this story hasn’t changed from 01. The contrarian move would be to double-down on BREW given that so many developers are focused on the high-end. Also interesting is that S60 and Windows Mobile are not on the map but again, I fully expect that to change once the Ovi store is in full-force and the Windows Marketplace is up and running.