Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 26th Aug 2012 10:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless In light of the jury verdict in Apple vs. Samsung, the one-liners and jokes flew back and forth. One in particular, by Dan Frakes, has been copied and pasted all over the web, and it goes like this: "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious'." This is a very common trend in this entire debate that saddens me to no end: the iPhone is being compared to simple feature phones, while in fact, it should be compared to its true predecessor: the PDA. PDAs have always done with few buttons.
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RE[3]: Reaching
by TM99 on Mon 27th Aug 2012 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reaching"
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Although I do think it was revolutionary and innovative, just not as far as the underlying technology goes. It was revolutionary and innovative in its design tradeoffs:

1. Users will accept 5-15 hours of battery life on a phone, even though many devices of the day easily doubled that.

2. Users will accept a non-replaceable battery if it can survive long enough.

3. Focus on consumers, not business. Get to the business market through the bottom, not the top.

etc. etc. Most geeks don't think this stuff matters much. I do. I think that is actually what makes Apple special - they don't make design tradeoffs lightly. They think about them very hard and when they decide to make them, they commit to them. Hard.

But none of this changes your overall point. I think you are right on with that.

Thank you.

And I will agree with what you are saying. Jobs fancied himself more an artist and a designer than a technologist, programmer, or engineer. He was also brilliant at marketing and understood the psychology of persuasion & how to exploit it. Most 'consumers' will accept all of the trade-off's you have mentioned because they are easily manipulated into believing it is in their best self-interest to do so.

Given Jobs love of art & design, I always laugh thinking about how all artists & designer copy all the time. (He knew this hence the often sourced quote!) That is ultimately how 'movements' start. Imagine if Monet had 'patented' small dots on canvas in various colors to represent water? Imagine if Picasso had 'patented' cube like shapes on canvas replacing real rounded body parts? Would Cubism or Impressionism ever occurred? No.

I have no problem giving Apple and Jobs credit for some inspired creative designs though personally they are not my taste. However, to have them use the legal system to to control competition really means a stifling of that creativity they hold and held so dear.

Let's turn it around for minute. What if Nokia, HP, Motorola & Samsung had barred entry into the mobile market by controlling trade dress so vehemently, charging excessive licensing fees, and using 'obvious' patents to stop the potential future Apple from becoming competitive? How could Jobs & Apple have done anything creatively which, while based on prior art, was still exciting enough to move the industry forward with the release of the iPhone? They would not have been able to do so, and if Apple wins at this 'game' it is my informed assessment that neither will others.

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