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 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 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 Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Which history?
by macUser on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 23:46 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Which history?
by jackeebleu on Thu 4th Mar 2010 01:19 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Which history?
by Piot on Thu 4th Mar 2010 01:32 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 Parent Score: 2