Friday, 28 September 2012

Patent Wars: Guess Who’s joining the Party

Make room Samsung and Apple, HTC and Nokia have decided to join the patent war bandwagon. This time around it’s Nokia that’s trying to hold HTC by its ears for creating a phone that looks like a close relative of their Lumia 920. This is problematic since the phone hasn’t even hit the market yet, it can’t have other phones that look exactly the same walking around the market. HTC’s new phone wouldn’t have been such a problem, except that it runs on the Windows 8 platform, as does the Lumia 920 – what consumers see basically is a yellow phone on the outside, and the same interface on the inside.

That’s not to say that both the phones are the same, obviously the HTC phone can’t match the supposed prowess of the camera that’s the Lumia 920 comes embellished with – the trouble is that some consumers follow the “if it walks like a duck and talk like a duck…” philosophy while shopping for phones, which was the main reason that patent wards sprung up to begin. The sad part is that this would be the first Windows 8 Phone from the HTC franchise, leaving some wondering why they couldn’t come up with something a little more innovative in terms of its design. Not only that, the phone has nothing of the HTC taste that users are used to. HTC, like any other manufacturer, has its own design philosophy and the new Windows 8 Phone is nothing but the oddball out in the crowd.

The current situation is made worse by the fact that Nokia is actually supporting certain apps on the Windows 8 platform i.e. maps and the Nokia Drive – making the identity crisis between the two phones all the more messed up. Could consumers actually get confused between two phones? Do people really buy a phone without doing proper research? I mean I personally go through painstaking details of the phone that I’m putting my money into so the idea that I’ll buy an HTC instead of Lumia 920 by mistake seems ludicrous… but evidently both Apple and now Nokia think it’s a big enough deal.

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