I was reading this article over a cup of java (rim shot)….
Since Hello Vino recently released its free Android App, we were curious if developers need to worry about the battle between the big guys.
Oracle vs. Google (Source: Rodney H. Brown for masshightech.com)
Whatever outcome happens as a result of the Oracle Corp. suit against Google Inc. over the core code of the Android mobile operating system, local experts are not worried, and some actually see the uncertainty over Android’s future as a good thing.
The background in a nutshell:
Oracle in August filed a patent suit against Google saying that Android and the apps that run on it were essentially based on Java, which Oracle owned following its acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc.
While there are all sorts of niceties and details about the alleged patent infringement that are better addressed elsewhere, the question facing mobile application developers is this: What will happen to the operating system that in August overtook Apple Inc.’s iOS as the OS on the greatest number of smartphones around the world?
The majority of the responses to that question amount to ‘Not much.’ Or at least, not much to be worried about, said Todd Christy, CTO and president of Pyxis Mobile Inc., who is keeping tabs on the suit nonetheless.
Christy noted that this isn’t the first time the mobile space has seen such potentially far-reaching suits. Back in 2005, a patent holding firm called NTP Inc. sued Research in Motion Ltd., over the very core function of the Blackberry and possibly the main reason for the growth of the smartphone market — wirelessly receiving e-mail. RIM ultimately settled in 2006 for $612.5 million. Christy pointed out that such a settlement didn’t kill RIM or slow down the growth of the Blackberry.
In fact, it is in Oracle’s interest to not have any chilling effect on the growth of Android, said Andy Updegrove, partner at Gesmer Updegrove LLP.
“Is there any reason for Oracle to want to do Android ill?” Updegrove asked. “If the answer is no, the last thing they want to do is chill Android’s success. They want it to grow because the settlement could be bigger. The more application developers like Pyxis Mobile, which makes apps and a mobile enterprise app platform, that are making apps for Android, the bigger the overall market is that is being affected by the patents in question, Oracle would argue. But the app makers themselves will be pretty insulated from the fight, mainly because they are “too small to worry,” Updegrove said.
The heavyweight battle between Oracle and Google should not slow the growth of Android at all. In fact, many industry sources feel the suit will be dealt with at a high level and stay there.
Android apps are considered to be easier to work with compared to native iPhone apps and the guarded quality process they require. In addition, Android has had staggering growth, and many agencies have shifted their mobile development efforts accordingly to attack the market intelligently (iPhone, Android as a very close second, and Blackberry slipping to third).
As corporations make decisions around a mobile strategy, they want to insulate themselves from these kind of issues,” Christy said. “To us, a certain amount of chaos in the mobile marketplace is a very healthy thing for our business.”
The Hello Vino Team