Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 16:36 UTC
Legal Today's "the day after". The day after Apple started a patent war with HTC and Google. Today, we have statements from both HTC and Google, and a number of other people have weighed in as well as to the possible ramifications of Apple's lawsuit.
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Which simply begs...
by SuperDaveOsbourne on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:09 UTC
SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

the aged old question about patent reform at the USPTO and also exercising your rights to not buy patented technology. Simply say no to the system and buy what is open, and fair. Don't be a lemming?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Which simply begs...
by dcloues on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "Which simply begs..."
dcloues Member since:
2009-10-26

the aged old question about patent reform at the USPTO and also exercising your rights to not buy patented technology. Simply say no to the system and buy what is open, and fair. Don't be a lemming?


Can you identify a phone that isn't covered by at least one patent?

If anything, that's yet another argument in favor of patent reform. But unless you're really advocating that people stop using phones entirely until the US patent system is reformed, you might want to reconsider your argument.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Which simply begs...
by slhawkins on Thu 4th Mar 2010 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Which simply begs..."
slhawkins Member since:
2009-12-26
RE[3]: Which simply begs...
by rhavyn on Fri 5th Mar 2010 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which simply begs..."
rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06



Since openmoko devices presumably connect to cellular networks then they most definitely are covered by patents since both GSM and CDMA are heavily patented. Try again?

Reply Score: 2

Good!
by corbintechboy on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:10 UTC
corbintechboy
Member since:
2006-05-02

Glad Google is onboard! This will be money vs. money now and may the best pocketbook win!

Really, the justice system is screwed up and we should let the money winner prevail!

Goooooooooogle has this beat I believe!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good!
by vivainio on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 18:38 UTC in reply to "Good!"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Glad Google is onboard! This will be money vs. money now and may the best pocketbook win!


Apple is suing Nokia with the same patents as well.

There is lots of money involved in shoving these patents where they belong. I'm a bit surprised about these moves by apple. Perhaps they are not as convinced about their "leadership" as they have lead us to believe?

Here today, gone tomorrow?

(disclaimer: I'm biased)

Edited 2010-03-03 18:39 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Good!
by Soulbender on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Good!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

What leadership?

Reply Score: 2

Apple is Being Ridiculous
by organgtool on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:10 UTC
organgtool
Member since:
2010-02-25

I can't see how this will end well for Apple. Many of their patents seem like they should be thrown away for being obvious and the rest seem like there is plenty of prior art. I'm sure Google and HTC will wave their patents in the air as well and this mess will be settled out of court, leaving the lawyers as the only winners.

In addition to that, this case is leaving a bad taste in many mouths. I have been starting to move away from Apple products and this recent move of theirs just guaranteed that I will never buy any of their products again. Apple, you've just joined Sony and Microsoft (at least MS software) on my boycott list.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Apple is Being Ridiculous
by cycoj on Thu 4th Mar 2010 07:21 UTC in reply to "Apple is Being Ridiculous"
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

I can't see how this will end well for Apple. Many of their patents seem like they should be thrown away for being obvious and the rest seem like there is plenty of prior art. I'm sure Google and HTC will wave their patents in the air as well and this mess will be settled out of court, leaving the lawyers as the only winners.


The problem is, if you look at any old patent cases a lot of times you'd find tons of prior art. But the defendants almost never use that, because it's actually very difficult to get the patents invalidated, but also because they also have lots of patents that have prior art. They just don't want to draw attention to the fact that a lot of their patents are bulls**t. The more patents you have the higher your stock price, if people suddenly found out most of these patents are nil, your stock price drops.

In addition to that, this case is leaving a bad taste in many mouths. I have been starting to move away from Apple products and this recent move of theirs just guaranteed that I will never buy any of their products again. Apple, you've just joined Sony and Microsoft (at least MS software) on my boycott list.

Reply Score: 1

This is silling.
by Flecko on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:27 UTC
Flecko
Member since:
2009-06-30

I almost want to thank Apple for this. Maybe in a few years after this war dies down, people will realize how silly software patents are.

I mean come on. They're so broad scoping, and so general, that they've become unenforceable. Its just ridiculous. It becomes a battle of whichever company can afford to fight for longer. Thats it.

Edited 2010-03-03 17:30 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Like a bug
by Gone fishing on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 17:47 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

Apple is afraid that history will repeat itself: 30 years ago and onwards, consumers in the personal computing market made a very, very clear choice. People wanted choice, and people wanted cheap. People didn't want a system that lived on an island, a system developed and supplied by a single entity. The vast majority of personal computers sold today - over 95% - fall into this cheap & choice category.


Agreed and I want choice and I want cheap - I know some of you think of Google as the new MS but I'd rather have MS than Apple.

I hope Google crushes Apple like a bug.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Like a bug
by r_a_trip on Thu 4th Mar 2010 12:10 UTC in reply to "Like a bug"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmmm, tasty! Cider!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Like a bug
by twitterfire on Fri 5th Mar 2010 13:13 UTC in reply to "Like a bug"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Apple is going to be hurt badly. They wanted it and now they are going to get it. They have sued countless small companies who hadn't the money to stand a chance in the court and now Google (and maybe others will join) will squash the Apple bug. It's nice seeing Apple down the hill after they pushed others the same way.

Reply Score: 2

Bilski...
by TemporalBeing on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 18:08 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

What will make this all very interesting is when SCOTUS delivers its ruling on Bilski (expected June 2010); also expected in that ruling is whether or not software patents are allowed in the USA - with many expecting software patents will be dissolved. This would directly affect cases like this one - leaving Apple to fend itself over hardware related patents only.

Oddly though - comparing the top-of-the-line iPhone to the Nexus One, the Nexus One has better hardware in almost all ways - including a 5-6 Megapixel camera compared to the iPhone's 2-3 megapixel camera.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bilski...
by Kroc on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 19:04 UTC in reply to "Bilski..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And the BBC Micro was twice the speed of the Commodore 64. It’s software that sells hardware. The sooner manufacturers get this and stop trying to sell handsets based on meaningless numbers to consumers (Megapixel this, gigabyte that) and start _showing_ what the handset can _do_ then the quicker they will beat Apple.

I find it amazing that only Apple advertise what the device can actually do, with zero technical specs involved.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Bilski...
by Soulbender on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Bilski..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Apparently they are already starting to beat Apple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bilski...
by TemporalBeing on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Bilski..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

The sooner manufacturers get this and stop trying to sell handsets based on meaningless numbers to consumers (Megapixel this, gigabyte that) and start _showing_ what the handset can _do_ then the quicker they will beat Apple.


Google doesn't seem to be selling it based on technical specs. But as with anything, the specs are available - I was just noticing an interesting aspect; I expected the iPhone would have had a lot closer spec on the camera than that, especially as it was their new 3GS phone that I was comparing against (the iPhone 3GS+32GB @ $799 vs. the Nexus One $530).

I find it amazing that only Apple advertise what the device can actually do, with zero technical specs involved.


Apple is not the only one; but they sell more on the hype, fashion-ability, and elitism of having an Apple product. They sell on coolness factor alone.

Google is not far behind in playing the same game; though not quite as elitist, and using more common software/hardware than Apple.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Bilski...
by erak on Thu 4th Mar 2010 03:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bilski..."
erak Member since:
2006-09-24


They sell on coolness factor alone.

If you mean that I don't believe you have ever tried an iPhone.

I really like android though, but I can't say that nexus one is a good looking phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Bilski...
by r_a_trip on Thu 4th Mar 2010 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Bilski..."
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I really like android though, but I can't say that nexus one is a good looking phone.

Hmm, form over function. Doesn't this just confirm what TemporalBeing said? If you want to call it style, fashion, coolness, whatever, it is the subjective liking of the exterior. It doesn't say anything about the capabilities.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Bilski...
by erak on Thu 4th Mar 2010 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bilski..."
erak Member since:
2006-09-24

Hmm, form over function. Doesn't this just confirm what TemporalBeing said? If you want to call it style, fashion, coolness, whatever, it is the subjective liking of the exterior. It doesn't say anything about the capabilities.


It does not confirm what he said. The nexus one could have looked a whole lot better without loosing any function.

I am an engineer myself but dislike the fact that a whole lot of people in my category like to choose things that often are worse in function just because they don't want anything that is considered cool or have a good design. Sometimes it's actually possible to have both form and function, believe me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bilski...
by robojerk on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Bilski..."
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

If I remember the Droid Does commercials showed off what the Droid was able to do.

Turn by Turn navigation
Multitasking
video

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bilski...
by izomiac on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Bilski..."
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

With open hardware you can do anything that your hardware is capable of, and thus it makes more sense to advertise specifications. Otherwise all advertisements would be saying the same thing (e.g. a PC for browsing the internet, checking e-mail, etc. VS XX processor, YY MB RAM, and ZZ video card).

With closed hardware you can only do what the manufacturer allows you to, so it makes more sense to focus on those few things. OTOH, I'd imagine that advertising features is more effective overall since they're easier to relate to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bilski...
by cycoj on Thu 4th Mar 2010 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Bilski..."
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

And the BBC Micro was twice the speed of the Commodore 64. It’s software that sells hardware. The sooner manufacturers get this and stop trying to sell handsets based on meaningless numbers to consumers (Megapixel this, gigabyte that) and start _showing_ what the handset can _do_ then the quicker they will beat Apple.

I find it amazing that only Apple advertise what the device can actually do, with zero technical specs involved.


Come'on Kroc, get off the KoolAid. Apple is not advertising on what their devices can do, they are advertising on lifestyle and they are f**king good at it! Just compare the MS against Apple ads, that was MS showing what the device can do and boy were those ads bad.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Bilski...
by madmoose on Thu 4th Mar 2010 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bilski..."
madmoose Member since:
2010-03-04

Did you totally miss the "There's an app for that" campaign that's been Apple's primary iPhone ad compaign since the iPhone came out?

How is that not advertising on what their device can do?

Reply Score: 1

Funny
by TechGeek on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 19:24 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Funny, one of the first things that Steve advertised when showing the iPAd was the hardware specs. He didn't really advertise that you STILL couldn't play flash.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Funny
by Piranha on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 20:56 UTC in reply to "Funny"
Piranha Member since:
2008-06-24

Companies don't focus on their weaknesses.. Just like Tiger sucks at sandtraps, he owns at drives and focuses on them. They [Apple] brainwash(?) their followers by pretty colours and looks.

I still hate nu-Apple. I got rid of my Macbook Pro recently, I refuse to buy an iphone/ipod touch, and use my refurbished Nano from 2 years ago - which I'll use until it dies.

Edited 2010-03-03 20:57 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Microsoft has a dog in this fight too
by HunterA3 on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 20:38 UTC
HunterA3
Member since:
2005-10-19

Another website has an article up indicating the list of phones Apple identified in the suit against HTC. Interestingly enough some are Windows Mobile based phones, so this may drag Microsoft into the mix as well.

Reply Score: 1

MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

oh wow that would be a MAD type situation. been waiting for one of those

Reply Score: 3

adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

From what I read they are suing the Android phones for violating software and hardware patents. But suing the WinMo phones for violating hardware patents only. IE, they don't want to mess with MS

Reply Score: 2

HunterA3 Member since:
2005-10-19

Does anyone know what the hardware patents are? I was under the impression that iPhone uses industry standard hardware components. Curious as to what the violations could be.

On a side note, another website postulated that Microsoft may have been omitted from direct mention because of an apparent cross-licensing agreement between Microsoft and Apple made prior to this suit against HTC.

Reply Score: 1

hmmm
by poundsmack on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 21:25 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

"In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised to see Google actually suing Apple as well, alongside HTC."

They wouldn't. Google knows how it will end because they have thought about it before. It will end with either a very lengthy (and i mean yeeeears) court battle that will ultimately lead to a settlement with both parties cross licensing their tech with each other, or it end with both of them tossing tons of money into this case and ends in a stalemate.

The mobile phone and mobile phone OS arena (and all the patents that go into it) is the biggest patent mine field of our time. all these companies have borrowed ideas from eachother, and even companies that go through the full licensing procedure to use patented tech is still undoubtedly using something in their product that someone owns a patent to that the company is unaware of.

ultimately this is how apples fight with nokia is going to go. nokia has sooooooooooooooo many patents and apple, as stubborn as they are, know that.

its crazy, just crazy

Edited 2010-03-03 21:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: hmmm
by dindin on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:16 UTC in reply to "hmmm"
dindin Member since:
2006-03-29

Didn't Nokia sue Apple first? And then Apple counter sued. Or was it the other way around?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hmmm
by poundsmack on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmm"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

i dont know anymore, i have lost track in all of this. i could look it up real quick but, eh, i just don't care anymore. somewhere along the lines i stopped caring about all the patent infringement lawsuits due to (most) of their frivolous nature. Though if it was Nokia who sued first then it makes sense, nokia will likely win.

Reply Score: 2

Which history?
by Piot on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 22:50 UTC
Piot
Member since:
2009-09-17

@Thom "As a simple layman, I get the feeling that Apple is afraid. Apple is afraid that history will repeat itself: 30 years ago and onwards, consumers in the personal computing market made a very, very clear choice."

If only that statement was factually correct, or relevant, or even original... you might have come up with some real insight. Unfortunately it's none of those things.

30 years ago, 'consumers' were not buying computers. And for the following decade, computers were, generally bought and used, by businesses and computer enthusiasts. It was during this period that Apple 'lost' the Mac/PC battle. It had almost nothing to do with consumer choice.

Try doing a search for articles relating to "iPod, history repeating itself". There are thousands of them, proposing the same argument that you are using here. We all know how that turned out don't we?

Just like the mp3 player market, the current market for smart phones is nothing like the PC market of the late 80s / early 90s. Microsoft tried to employ it's PC business strategy for mobile. It didn't work! Not only that, Microsoft has a new competitor using the same plan... but for free. This market is now dominated ( 3 out of every 4 phones) by three separate companies. Nokia, Rim and Apple. All of their products are powered by their own operating systems. This market is further separated from your historical PC market, in that the roll of the network providers creates yet another "choice" that consumers have to make.

Thom, there really is no compelling reason why smart phones will need to standardise on one dominant OS, like Windows dominates the PC. With increasingly better mobile browsers and increasingly more sophisticated web apps the internet will provide the baseline standard. Currently "apps" are the flavour of the month, but Apple has helped pioneer cheap, useful, plentiful apps. Most users don't need to invest thousands (or even hundreds) of dollars in applications to make their phone more capable. By that I mean that the cost of switching to a new phone and/or a new OS is negligible.

I realise that this is OSNews. But you and your readers should also realise that, increasingly, most people (particularly "consumers") don't really care what software is running their new gadgets and gizmos. If Apple or Rim or whoever have built an "island"... people don't care as long as it works... and they can check into Facebook.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Which history?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 23:16 UTC in reply to "Which history?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You don't understand what I'm saying.

I'm saying that users want two things: choice and cheap. Apple did not offer either in the PC market, and consequently, is now a niche player, and has been a niche player ever since. Despite all the pretty figures, Apple's worldwide marketshare is still only around 5%.

Apple is not offering either choice or cheap in the smartphone market either - and that WILL come back to bite them in the ass. This lawsuit proves - beyond a doubt - that they know this. HTC is the very EMBODIMENT of both choice and cheap. You can pick your software, form-factor, and price.

And rightfully so, Apple is scared of that. Even someone like John Gruber acknowledges that.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Which history?
by macUser on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Which history?"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

You don't understand what I'm saying.

I'm saying that users want two things: choice and cheap. Apple did not offer either in the PC market, and consequently, is now a niche player, and has been a niche player ever since. Despite all the pretty figures, Apple's worldwide marketshare is still only around 5%.

Apple is not offering either choice or cheap in the smartphone market either - and that WILL come back to bite them in the ass. This lawsuit proves - beyond a doubt - that they know this. HTC is the very EMBODIMENT of both choice and cheap. You can pick your software, form-factor, and price.

And rightfully so, Apple is scared of that. Even someone like John Gruber acknowledges that.


Considering they're only offering one phone, then I suppose you're right about choice. In regards to "cheap" I think their offering is on par with competitors.

Saying that, I have no idea what Apple is doing. They are a cruel and calculating company and while at the surface it may appear to be a defensive move, I don't believe this strategy is out of "fear" in any way, shape, or form.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Which history?
by fatjoe on Thu 4th Mar 2010 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

Considering they're only offering one phone, then I suppose you're right about choice. In regards to "cheap" I think their offering is on par with competitors.


I think you chose to misunderstand this. This is not about the number of devices to choose from but in fact what to do after you buy a device. This is about not being allowed to run certain software on the device you have fully paid for...

Regarding cheap, I think you will find very very few (probably none) other offerings that are as expensive as Apples, once you include the monthly fees and such.

Edited 2010-03-04 09:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Which history?
by jackeebleu on Thu 4th Mar 2010 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Which history?"
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

I think you, especially, are missing the point. The issue here isn't fear, its innovation. Years ago, you navigated "smart phones" with jog wheels, plastic sticks, up down buttons. Apple comes along and spends millions in R&D and releases a product that says, look you guys missed this all along, look how simple you could have made it. And they were rewarded for it via sales. So "competition" comes now and everyone, all of a sudden are debuting touch screen gesture based phones. Don't try to pop the obvious argument here, cuz if it was so obvious, why didn't RIM, Palm, MS do it before Apple? What you are saying is, you want tech on your terms and you could give a damn about anything else. Apple spends millions in shareholder money building this thing and should let competitors use their invention against them? If it were you and Eugenia working for and with you decided, I'm gonna start a news aggregate site called OSNoteworthy Information and a layout similar, damn near identical to yours, reached out to your partners and undersold your ad rates, by charging them nothing for the same ad space, you'd be cool with that right? I mean its just competition right? And most importantly, your advertisers are getting what you want, cheap technology. Right?

The other issue is Google. Google sat on Apple's board and innovated from the board room. What Schmidt did is tantamount to corporate espionage. You dont sit on a companies board, setup sharing agreements to suit yourself and then take what you have learned and compete against the company you were responsible for helping guide. From encouraging Webkit to be open sourced and then using it for the basis of Chrome and saying look how much faster we are than them, when you are on the board of "them"? WTF? Google, do no evil? Really?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Which history?
by eulogy on Thu 4th Mar 2010 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
eulogy Member since:
2009-02-15

From encouraging Webkit to be open sourced and then using it for the basis of Chrome and saying look how much faster we are than them, when you are on the board of "them"?


Apple had no choice in making Webkit open source. Webkit is based on LGPL licensed KHTML.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Which history?
by elsewhere on Thu 4th Mar 2010 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I think you, especially, are missing the point. The issue here isn't fear, its innovation. Years ago, you navigated "smart phones" with jog wheels, plastic sticks, up down buttons. Apple comes along and spends millions in R&D and releases a product that says, look you guys missed this all along, look how simple you could have made it. And they were rewarded for it via sales.


This is called first-to-market. Apple implemented touch in a way none of their competitors had thought of, they were rewarded for that with stratospheric sales, at the expense of their competitors. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's the way the market is supposed to work.

For Apple to say, hey, we thought of this first (which they didn't, since multi-touch interfaces have existed for decades, and pinch-to-zoom was demonstrated by a non-Apple researcher back when Macs were still cute little beige boxes with a monochrome screen), and then call out the lawyers to prevent anyone else from implementing and improving upon it, is not the way the market is supposed to work.

When companies introduce something something new and innovative, they earn the ability to profit from it. The product life-cycle model will reward them for being an early innovator, but success will eventually lead to commoditization, where other competitors can produce something similar without having invested the R&D to develop it, leading to diminishing returns for the original company. To compensate, the original company should be re-investing their initial windfall of profit into developing the next shiny new thing, so they can maintain their momentum and start the cycle over again with the next best new thing. That's the way the market is supposed to work. Companies innovate, others compete, companies are forced to invest in continual innovation to remain ahead, and consumers ultimately prosper.

When companies try to subvert this model by calling in the lawyers to try and block competitors from competing, it's a tacit admission that they are either not convinced they can maintain their lead with further development, or they simply want to block the commoditization model and protect their profits. Either way, innovation and the market suffer.

Patents exist for the sole reason of encouraging the sharing of new inventions. Patent rights were intended to encourage the creation of inventions, safe in the knowledge the inventor could negotiate terms for "rights" to their invention. The intent was for inventors to publish their creations so that others could benefit, while protecting the rights of the original inventor. They were intended to spur innovation, not block it, despite the abuse they frequently suffer.

So "competition" comes now and everyone, all of a sudden are debuting touch screen gesture based phones. Don't try to pop the obvious argument here, cuz if it was so obvious, why didn't RIM, Palm, MS do it before Apple? What you are saying is, you want tech on your terms and you could give a damn about anything else. Apple spends millions in shareholder money building this thing and should let competitors use their invention against them?


Technology doesn't exist in a bubble. Every advancement is built upon the work of others. That's the way it is supposed to work.

You ridicule the market that existed before Apple entered the fray, while ignoring the fact that Apple built their product on the years of investment and expertise that other companies have contributed. Apple created a clever user interface, but their platform is still driven by the work of other companies. Companies like Nokia, Qualcomm, Motorola, Erickson et al. invested billions in developing GSM tech. They, along with other groups like ARM, pioneered power/performance ratio technology. Bluetooth was created. Nokia drove camera tech to handsets and created the concept of a multimedia phone. RIM created the concept of a handset as being an extension of the desktop in terms of messaging and management. The list goes on.

Apple comes along, uses all of that collective foundation to build a handset, and you claim that they are somehow elevated to a higher level by virtue of an evolutionary improvement in interface? The iPhone wouldn't exist today without the billions of dollars and years of effort from Apple's competitors. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's the way the market is supposed to work. Apple saw an opportunity and seized it, as they are often effectively able to do.

Apple is entirely dependent upon the work of others. Their entire business is built around polishing and implementing existing concepts better than anyone else.
And again, there is nothing wrong with that.

However, their dependency on the work of others could very well come back to bite them in the iAss now, because they are sending a message to the other established players in the industry that they are drawing a line in the sand with regards to their software patents. There's two big problems with that; first, software patents in general are shady with no certainty that they will be upheld, and second, they are useless outside of the US, as opposed to many of the patents Apple's competitors hold.

Apple excels in user experience design, and as such should expect to be emulated. There is absolutely nothing in the iPhone that isn't built on previous ideas and work, it's just put together better than most have been able to accomplish. That warrants a market advantage, but not a legally enforceable one.

The other issue is Google. Google sat on Apple's board and innovated from the board room. What Schmidt did is tantamount to corporate espionage. You dont sit on a companies board, setup sharing agreements to suit yourself and then take what you have learned and compete against the company you were responsible for helping guide. From encouraging Webkit to be open sourced and then using it for the basis of Chrome and saying look how much faster we are than them, when you are on the board of "them"? WTF? Google, do no evil? Really?


First of all, Webkit was open source to begin with, Apple had no choice due to the licensing of the KHTML base they utilized.

As for corporate espionage, that's a far bit of a stretch. Schmidt didn't sit there rubbing his hands, twidling his non-existant moustach, and plot Apple's destruction. Many companies have directors that are from other organizations within the same industry.

Schmidt didn't undermine Apple, and he stepped down when he realized that Apple was moving in a direction that was no longer complementary to Google. Android and Chrome don't exist to compete monetarily with Apple, they exist to try and block Apple's strategy to absolutely control user experience with the internet. He probably stayed on the board longer than he should have, but he was there because of his previous relationship through Sun, and because the shareholders were happy enough to keep him there.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Which history?
by dragos.pop on Thu 4th Mar 2010 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

The other issue is Google. Google sat on Apple's board and innovated from the board room. What Schmidt did is tantamount to corporate espionage. You dont sit on a companies board, setup sharing agreements to suit yourself and then take what you have learned and compete against the company you were responsible for helping guide. From encouraging Webkit to be open sourced and then using it for the basis of Chrome and saying look how much faster we are than them, when you are on the board of "them"? WTF? Google, do no evil? Really?


Very bad example.
1) Webkit is a fork of khtml. This means that KDE people developed it AS OPENSOURCE, apple just forked it. So Apple just took it for granted.
2) Nokia and Google also contribute to it. Nokia was the first to port it to smartphones.

A lot of OS X (and IPhone OS) code is based on opensource code. Most of it BSD, so apple didn't even contribute back. So a lot of development money and time not spent.

About inovations: those are not so new and original, MS invested money in multitouch (remember Surface), while apple bought those software inovations.
Also WM was the first OS on touchphones.

Hardware wise, hardware manufactures invented the capacitive screen, that allowd apple to create the software. That was the revolution.

Plus, apple also took nokia's patents for granted and didn't want a patent agreement.

And finaly, it is not about multitouch, it is about other "special effects" (ex: minimize animation) or about comunication with hardware (ex: to stop the screen when the phone is on the ear). Most of this should not be accepted as patents by a sane patent process, they are to obvious.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Which history?
by Piot on Thu 4th Mar 2010 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Which history?"
Piot Member since:
2009-09-17

@Thom
I understand perfectly what you are saying, I just disagree with you. There is a marked difference.

Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to today's smart phone market. (See Rim)
Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to the portable MP3 player market. (See 250 M iPods sold)

Apple is not suing HTC because their phones are cheap. Apple believes that HTC is using their patented technologies. Whatever you think about the US patent system, all the tech companies own numerous patents. Apple or Nokia or... anyone is within their rights to actively try and defend their patents.

"Apple is not offering either choice or cheap in the smartphone market" I agree. And in just over two years iPhone has gone from 0% to 17% of that market. Despite all the choice and cheap on offer. None of Apple's product lines could be labelled as providing much choice... or cheap.... and yet Mac sales growth has been higher than PC growth for a number of years and the iPod blew away most of the competition. Perhaps your understanding of the "consumer" is not quite as thorough as you think it is?

If Apple wanted to design and build as many smart phones as Rim (and offer more choice), then they could. If Apple wanted to sell cheaper phones (like HTC?), then there is nothing stopping them.

This latest case against HTC proves that Apple is willing to play a little hardball. It proves that Apple, either wants to stop HTC using Apple's tech (HTC simply has to prove it's not!) or it's a bargaining chip for some of HTC's (or perhaps Google's) tech. This case also proves that tech pundits and bloggers love injecting a little "fear" into their headlines. (I assume you have read Frommer's article via Gruber)

What this case does not prove is that Apple is scared of anyone that offers more choice or a cheaper choice. Hell everybody is cheaper than Apple.

PS. Don't put words into John Gruber's mouth. He doesn't agree with what Apple has done but I can see no indication that he agrees with you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Which history?
by dougmms on Thu 4th Mar 2010 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
dougmms Member since:
2010-03-04

Why can't it be both? I agree, Apple clearly wants to protect their IP. But surely they must be a bit scared: as smart phone growth continues to ramp up, clearly manufacturers big and small are going to produce Android phones in larger and larger numbers since Google is giving it away. Can Apple match the growth of HTC + Motorola + etc. etc.? What's more, is Apple going to catch on in China and India? It's clear that they're not going to dominate the smart phone market like they did the mp3 player (or media player) market with the iPod. I'm pretty sure the iPod's sales have already peaked (and may have gone down last year iirc). Gotta find new revenue...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Which history?
by cycoj on Thu 4th Mar 2010 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Which history?"
cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

@Thom
I understand perfectly what you are saying, I just disagree with you. There is a marked difference.

Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to today's smart phone market. (See Rim)
Apple's history in the PC market, with the Mac, bears no relation to the portable MP3 player market. (See 250 M iPods sold)

Apple is not suing HTC because their phones are cheap. Apple believes that HTC is using their patented technologies. Whatever you think about the US patent system, all the tech companies own numerous patents. Apple or Nokia or... anyone is within their rights to actively try and defend their patents.


Well the point is that almost all the big players so far have refrained from suing each other over software patents, because they know that they are infringing on each other. Hell looking at how broad almost all software patents are it is difficult not to infringe. Previously the only people suing have been patent trolls who had nothing to loose. The other things the big guys used software patents for (and it's actually very similar with hardware patents) is to prevent small newcomers from entering the market. There they usually don't sue but just knock on the door and wave the patents so the newcomer has to pay or goes broke, because they can't afford the battle.


"Apple is not offering either choice or cheap in the smartphone market" I agree. And in just over two years iPhone has gone from 0% to 17% of that market. Despite all the choice and cheap on offer. None of Apple's product lines could be labelled as providing much choice... or cheap.... and yet Mac sales growth has been higher than PC growth for a number of years and the iPod blew away most of the competition. Perhaps your understanding of the "consumer" is not quite as thorough as you think it is?

If Apple wanted to design and build as many smart phones as Rim (and offer more choice), then they could. If Apple wanted to sell cheaper phones (like HTC?), then there is nothing stopping them.

This latest case against HTC proves that Apple is willing to play a little hardball. It proves that Apple, either wants to stop HTC using Apple's tech (HTC simply has to prove it's not!) or it's a bargaining chip for some of HTC's (or perhaps Google's) tech. This case also proves that tech pundits and bloggers love injecting a little "fear" into their headlines. (I assume you have read Frommer's article via Gruber)


I don't know if fear is the correct word but Apple at least takes Android (this really is not about HTC) seriously, otherwise they would not be starting this "war".

It's also interesting to note that Apple is suing HTC and not Motorola or Google themselves. I think that this has two reasons
1. Motorola has probably a lot stronger Patent portfolio.
2. And I believe more importantly HTC is an Asian company. I think this case is also a lot about perceptions. Apple wants to be perceived as this terribly innovative company (and they have succeeded a lot of people associate Apple with innovation despite their relatively small R&D budget compared to a lot of the other players). Now suing an Asian company will be a lot easier to spin than an American company. I think we'll see the stereotype of the Asians who copy American innovation start popping up on sites soon, not officially from Apple but independent bloggers.

I think Apples PR is one of the best around, just look at the hype before the Ipad. Or when Nokia sued Apple, a lot of people got up and accused Nokia of being a patent troll because they could compete against the "innovative" Apple. Interestingly enough the same people deny that Apple is doing the same thing against HTC now.


What this case does not prove is that Apple is scared of anyone that offers more choice or a cheaper choice. Hell everybody is cheaper than Apple.

PS. Don't put words into John Gruber's mouth. He doesn't agree with what Apple has done but I can see no indication that he agrees with you.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Which history?
by fatjoe on Thu 4th Mar 2010 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Which history?"
fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

Thank you cycoj, best comment so far.

This is why OSnews is so great. People here can think on their own instead of drinking the kool aid with no questions asked ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Which history?
by Piot on Thu 4th Mar 2010 13:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Which history?"
Piot Member since:
2009-09-17

@cycoj
"I don't know if fear is the correct word but Apple at least takes Android (this really is not about HTC) seriously, otherwise they would not be starting this "war".

Absolutely! This is about serious competitors. Not competitors who might be offering cheaper alternatives.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kvarbanov
by kvarbanov on Thu 4th Mar 2010 09:39 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

Nokia N900 would be my choice if I was to dive into smartphone-tablet-all-in-one market. And this is a personal choice of an excavator type of person - I want to see the source code, I want full access, I want freedom of choice and not restrictions. This is something that Apple simply can't provide for me. For the same reason, I use Linux 90% of my time, both at work and home. I wouldn't really care about the price, as I will pay it only once and use the device for a long time (presumably it's what I need), but if I have to purchase gadgets every time, that would be too much.
But back on the topic, Apple should be more afraid of Nokia's recent "cheap-smartphones-wave", executed by the C series (C5 gets a lot of paper appreciation these days), of Samsung's growing market (S5800 Wave) share and their Bada, by the newly spawned MeeGo OS by Intel and Nokia, by Android which seems to perform quite amazing on Motorola Driod, of LG's forthcoming 4 and some inch display, and the Sony Ericsson's addiction to HD videos recoding. I hear that RIM is also doing well, but I don't have observations over their devices and software.

Reply Score: 1

ctglahn
Member since:
2006-07-19

HTC could simply be a hardware provider, and allow customers (if they individually choose to) install the Android OS.

I picture in this worst-case-scenario that HTC would release scaled down, not so flashy, Linux OS device, but one with the ability to easily have a more full featured Android installed.

Since I believe the corts have already decided that a company can't be liable for copyright/trademark violations from an individual. (i.e. Music companies can't sue Apple because someone used a Mac to download music that wasn't paid for.)

Following this thought HTC would continue to make hardware free of legal threats.

To stop Andriod, Apple would have to chase rainbows because Open Source is a moving target, developer today and gone tomorrow.

Apple should spend money looking into WHY Android is gaining ground and fewer dollars filing lawsuits against the wrong target.

I do belive in patents - though I think the PTO needs clearer rules and wording that requires patents to be very specific while allowing evolutionary changes, and also rules which require quicker response from the patent holder when claiming infringement.

In the big picture does stopping Android serve man?
Smart phones (and not just phones) are becoming a neccessity - if you only had one choice of OS while perfect for Apple, doesn't make a better world.

Reply Score: 1

Bah
by twitterfire on Sat 6th Mar 2010 12:58 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

If they sued others for having the nerve to compete against them in the smartphone market, why not sue Microsoft and all PC hardware manufacturers, who stand between them and PC market domination?

Reply Score: 1

Indeed...
by Neolander on Mon 8th Mar 2010 07:27 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

This remembers me of the shuffle.
A battery, some flash memory, 3$ worth of amplifiers and audio material, some buttons, a dirty old processor that is probably almost given for free now, a pretty box, and how many does that cost ? Oh, well... It does not matter if it's so much overpriced that it makes me cry, it's just cheap enough and people will buy it.

Sometimes, Apple manage to sell extremely limited things at an insane price. If they fail to do that with iPhoneOS, I'll certainly be more than happy. I'm extremely disappointed with iPhone OS, and I expected Apple to do better than porting this... thing... on a larger computer, in an attempt to introduce cloud-powered dictatorship in the world of real computers.

Let's explain why I feel that iPhoneOS is a bad road to take for handheld computing in five points.

iTunes - Okay, so now I need a bloated media player in order to use my phone. Just explain me how I backup all my data on my computer and easily transfer anything other than multimedia content on my tool.

App Store - Okay, I see the picture better : you own my apps, you decide what may be installed, and it doesn't even cost you a single thing because external devs make apps for you without asking for a single counterpart when you make ads based on them...

Single task - In case I forgot that you want me to use your silly iTunes store, you now forbid me to listen to a web radio when writing a long mail.

No physical keyboard - Aaaah, that's it, you don't even want me to write a long mail... This explains why I can't copy and paste data from the web browser to the mail reader, too...

No bundled PDF reader, no way to store and manage pdf files on the device easily - And with that you're sure that I'll use your iBook things, forgetting that the very reason why people use PDFs is that a lot of documents can't be found on bookshelves !

Edited 2010-03-08 07:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1