Crisis Management for Android in OS Wars

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    Google squashes rumors of coming Apple clash

    Apple’s $1 billion legal victory over Samsung didn’t just raise Apple stock, but also questions about the future of the operating system that poses a direct threat to Apple’s (thus-far) dominant iOS, Google’s Android.

    After all, the Samsung devices Judge Lucy Koh determined to be intentional copies of Apple products were powered by Android, as are the vast majority of popular non-Apple phones. With industry speculators, well…speculating about the potential negative impact on the future of Android, now was no time to let the rumor and innuendo fly. So, did Google step up to the crisis management plate? Check out this quote, from a Motley Fool blog post by Rita Chattaraj:

    Google has been very clear about the entire incident and said the features in dispute are not a part of the core Android operating system, thus making Android complication free. Samsung, Motorola, Sony, HTC – all players add new distinct features, widgets, apps to the Android platform and thus Samsung being accused of patent infringement does not necessarily mean trouble for others since each player offers different add-on features. Still, just the way Samsung’s product offerings were scrutinized by the jury; Google’s Android offering will be further analyzed. This, however, isn’t a matter of concern as the offering is likely to come out free from disputes. Unlike Samsung, Google has made sure that it keeps its offerings distinguishable from that of its peers. May be the reason is Google never wanted consumers to confuse its products with that from the others.

    In just one paragraph, you can see both Google’s solid reputation management strategy and the fact that it has had the desired effect of convincing stakeholders that there is no cause for concern. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that if Apple does decide to go after Android in a court of law, the court of public opinion will already be tilted to Google’s side. By biting swirling rumors in the bud before they have a chance to create a crisis of reputation, Google has helped ensure the continued success of its platform as well as preventing possible financial losses.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training, and co-host of The Crisis Show. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]