In 2012, Samsung and Apple battled in the courts over alleged patent infringements by Samsung.  Samsung, Apple contested, had stolen technology and utilized it in their devices.  The landmark ruling found that Samsung were guilty and awarded damages of a billion dollars to Apple.  Samsung are fighting the ruling in the appeal court.

Apple tried to build on the impact of the decision by requesting that Samsung handsets were removed from the market.  The courts failed to uphold this request stating that the technology used by Samsung was not integral to the operation of the devices.

With all these legal battles, the tension between the two manufacturers has intensified.  Samsung Display, a division of the Samsung Group, used to provide screens for the Apple iPhone series.  This relationship has been severed and Apple are increasing their utilization of other manufacturers.  All this paints a picture of a growing rivalry.

Critics of Apple

Apple critics have stated that the company has failed to innovate to the extent that was expected.  Perhaps this is why they are trying to battle the other players in the industry over patents that they do hold.

The iPhone 5 screamed on to the market with record sales of 5 million handsets in 3 days.  This failed to cover up for many the fact that the phone lacked progress over the previous device in the series.

Critics have contested that the iPhone 5 is a mid-tier phone at a top-tier price. Its specifications do not match the likes of the Google Nexus 4 and the Nokia Lumia 920; but with a price that fits it right at the top.  Only time will tell whether Apple have the heart and head for the battle that is sure to ensue in 2013.

With so much innovation coming out of Samsung, HTC, Sony, Nokia, and Google, the iPhone 6 will have to impress.  If Apple has innovative features and technologies stored up in their tech labs, it is time to bring them to the market; otherwise, say experts, the iPhone series may be doomed to failure.

Entry into the Midrange Market

iPhone looks set to be launching a cheaper iPhone; a phone that will tackle mid-range phones and deliver the iconic Apple brand to a wider portion of the market.  Whether this is a good move remains to be seen but certainly Apple is over reliant on the top tier iPhone for its dominance in the market.

The diversification into a new market segment may well make the company into a true phone manufacturer.  After all, Samsung is way ahead of Apple in overall mobile phone sales, as even is Nokia.

2013 is going to be an interesting year.  Let’s wait and see what happens to Apple.  A company, remember, that has lost 55% of its share value in a relatively short period of time. Shareholders are obviously not optimistic.

Phil Turner has been looking at O2 and Vodafone offers on a contract iPhone recently because he needs a new phone and the iPhone looks the business, even if its performance is suspect.