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"Combine the advertising budget of Google, HTC, Samsung, etc with the I'm getting one of these because everyone else has one of those mentality of young people"
But don't discount the fact that apple advertises very heavily also.
"I hate Apple's walled garden so I'm getting one of these group, and you have a pretty clear answer to the rise of Android. It's got absolutely zero to do with quality, price (except at the junky low end) or innovation."
Well, you could include quality problems like the iphone grip of death...but I'm just pulling your leg.
The apple walled garden is a legitimate reason for customers to avoid apple. If this is causing apple to loose market share, then maybe they should change their offering to align with what more people want.
Apple as a single company is growing the fastest of the lot. But they can't compete against a whole industry for market share.
That said, patents exist exactly to protect invention IP. The real question is whether they should apply to software - and the real answer to that is easy. Software is written, often iteratively, not invented. It already gets copyright protection (and a kind of defacto trade secret protection too), which is more than adequate. It doesn't also need patent protection.