Hugh Pickens writes writes "James Kendrick writes that after Apple introduced the iPad, companies shifted gears to go after this undiscovered new tablet market but in spite of the number of players in tablets, no company has discovered the magic bullet to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet heap. 'What's happening to the 7-inch tablet market is what happened to the PC market several times. Big name desktop PC OEMs, realizing that consumers didn't care about megahertz and megabytes — yes, that long ago — turned to a price war in order to keep sales buoyant,' writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. 'Price becomes the differentiating factor, and this in turns competition into a race to the bottom.' Historically, when a race to the bottom is dictated by the market, it's more a sign of a lack of a market in general. If enough buyers aren't willing to pay enough for a product to make producers a profit, the market is just not sufficient. Price is a metric that most people know and understand because it's nowhere as ethereal or complicated as CPU power or screen resolution. Given a $199 tablet next to another for $299, the $100 difference in the price tag will catch the eye before anything else. But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers. 'So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that's plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate,' writes Kingsley-Hughes. 'By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.'"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
djl4570 writes "Samsung released to the press documents that had been excluded by Judge Lucy Koh. According to Samsung 'The judge's exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the full story...The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design,' An article at another site described judge Lucy Koh as 'Livid.' The defendant released exculpatory evidence that had been suppressed by the judge. This after many stories in the tech press portray the case as Samsung versus Lucy Koh instead of Samsung versus Apple." An anonymous reader sent in Groklaw's detailed take on the spat. Related to the trial, colinneagle sent in more info revealed about iPhone prototypes. One early design would have featured shaped glass, but materials weren't up to spec at the time.
theodp writes "BetaBeat reports that people are pretty much falling over themselves to mock Apple's cheesy new Genius ad campaign, using zingers like 'intellectually cheap,' 'cringe-inducing,' 'borderline smarmy,' and — perhaps the unkindest cut of all — Microsoft-worthy — to describe them. Apple's trilogy-of-terror ad lineup includes Mayday ('An Apple Genius shows a fellow passenger how easy it is to make great home movies with iMovie. All before the tray tables are returned to their upright position.'), Labor Day ('An Apple Genius shows a soon-to-be father all the amazing things he can make with iPhoto.'), and Basically ('An Apple Genius points out there are a lot of things that separate a Mac from an ordinary computer, like great apps that come built in.'). The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann says Steve Jobs would be appalled by the new ads, which certainly don't fare well in a head-to-head comparison with Think Different."
New submitter zaphod777 writes with an update on Samsung's release of info on pre-iPhone designs. It seems the additional information released relating to the F700 was actually rejected from the trial, and the judge isn't too happy: "Samsung has already appealed the rulings denying the evidence, but that didn't stop the company's lawyers from trying again today after Apple briefly showed the F700 on a slide during its opening statements. Claiming that Apple had 'opened the door' to discussion of the F700, Samsung asked the court to reconsider. That didn't go so well with Judge Koh, who noted that 'Samsung has filed like 10 motions for reconsideration,' and asked Samsung lead attorney John Quinn to sit back down. At one point in the exchange Quinn told Koh that he was 'begging the court,' and desperately asked 'what's the point in having a trial?' — but Koh simply wasn't buying it. 'Don't make me sanction you,' she said. 'Please.'"
jfruh writes "10 jurors have been sworn in for the Apple v. Samsung case, which is at the heart of the ongoing patent disputes over the companies' smartphones. While most Slashdot readers are familiar with many of the facts of the case and the law, the jury is at least in theory supposed to be something of a blank slate. Thus, it's interesting to see the detailed instructions Judge Lucy Koh gave to the jury, covering everything from the differences between utility and design patents to how to measure the credibility of witnesses."
sfcrazy writes "The court battle between Apple and Samsung has created the possibility of disclosing the cross patent agreement between Microsoft and Samsung. Microsoft is suddenly scared and has filed a motion asking the court to seal the cross license agreement. I would like to remind that the Judge has asked both parties to make all the filings in this dispute available to the public for free." And on Monday, IBM filed for a restraining order to prevent Reuters from publishing their agreement with Samsung as well.
hypnosec writes "Apple has announced that its latest Mac OS X version, Mountain Lion, has had three million downloads in just four days thereby making it the most successful OS in Cupertino's history. Philip Schiller, iPhone maker's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said, 'Just a year after the incredibly successful introduction of Lion, customers have downloaded Mountain Lion over three million times in just four days, making it our most successful release ever.'"
Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters is reporting that Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University has filed a suit against Apple claiming patent infringement by the Siri voice-recognition software. At issue are two patents dating to 2007 and 2010. From the article: 'The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Friday, it said. "We filed that lawsuit in the Texas court because it processes faster and its rulings are usually in favor of patent owners and the compensations are usually higher," said Yama Chen, legal manager of National Cheng Kung, in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan.'"
twoheadedboy writes "Microsoft is going to release its Surface tablet on the same day Windows 8 goes on general availability, Oct. 26. The news was disclosed in a filing made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also revealed that the company expects launch and the accompanying marketing to harm its profits. We'll soon find out whether Microsoft has what it takes to take on the seemingly indomitable iPad."
martiniturbide writes "Author Holly Lisle tried to publish her guide How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story's Market at Apple's iBooks store. She says it was rejected first by Apple because it had 'live links' to Amazon. After she removed the links, it was rejected again because according to her: 'The problem is the CONTENT. You can't mention Amazon in your lesson.'"
Nerdfest writes "The lawyers behind the upcoming Apple v. Samsung trial have been hard at work filing docket after docket as their court battle looms closer, and many of those dockets have just been released to the public. We're now seeing a lot of previously secret information about the early days of iPhone and iPad R&D, and what's happened behind closed doors at both Apple and Samsung. Surprises include the iPhone design being 'inspired' by Sony product ideas, and that Samsung was warned that it was copying Apple."
theodp writes "'What's the point of a mobile device,' asks WSJ reporter and iPad-beatdown-victim Rolfe Winkler, 'if people don't feel safe using it while they're mobile?' A lucrative secondhand market for today's electronics devices — a used iPad or iPhone can fetch $400+ — has produced an explosion in 'Apple picking' by thieves. So, how big is the iCrime wave? In New York City alone, there were more than 26,000 incidents of electronics theft in the first 10 months of 2011 — 81% involving mobile phones — according to an internal NYPD document. And plenty of the crimes are violent. The best way to deter theft is to reduce the value of stolen device — the wireless industry is moving to adopt a national registry that would deny service to such devices. A remote kill switch has been discussed as another approach. For its part, Apple says the company 'has led the industry in helping customers protect their lost or stolen devices,' although some are unimpressed."
Hugh Pickens writes "Reuters reports that Apple will buy fingerprint sensor technology developer AuthenTec for about $356 million, striking a deal that could help Apple bring fingerprint technology, already used in mobile phones in Japan for authentication of mobile payments, to markets such as the United States, where mobile-wallet services have been slow to catch on. Some analysts expect the iPhone 5 to include some form of mobile payments technology. 'In the past 5 years, the growth of iPhone and Android smartphones has made mobile data security essential, not just a "nice-to-have" feature,' says Ben Yu, Managing Director of Sierra Ventures, one of the early investors in AuthenTec. 'People have their whole lives on the phones.' AuthenTec's embedded fingerprint scanners and other identity-related software is particularly useful now that Near Field Communications, or NFC-enabled, phones have begun to appear in the market. Analyst Colin Gillis says AuthenTec technology could potentially also help Apple combat problems such as theft of its more portable products such as iPhones. 'If they could have a way where they could tie the phone to a user more tightly, that would make sense for them,' says Gillis. The price tag for AuthenTec is a drop in the bucket of Apple's cash pile of $117.2 billion. 'We'll see if it's a one-off or if Tim Cook will start to level his cash balance and acquire talent,' adds Gillis."
The NY Times reports that Apple has internally discussed an investment into Twitter to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. From the article: "There is no guarantee that the two companies, which are not in negotiations at the moment, will come to an agreement. But the earlier talks are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook. Apple has not made many friends in social media. Its relationship with Facebook, for example, has been strained since a deal to build Facebook features into Ping, Apple's music-centric social network, fell apart. Facebook is also aligned with Microsoft, which owns a small stake in it. And Google, an Apple rival in the phone market, has been pushing its own social network, Google Plus. 'Apple doesn't have to own a social network,' Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at a recent technology conference. 'But does Apple need to be social? Yes.'"
geek writes "According to Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, Apple may be in trouble with developers. According to Arment, the new sandboxing guidelines from Apple are pushing developers away in droves. 'I've lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year. The advantages of buying from the App Store are mostly gone now. My confidence in the App Store, as a customer, has evaporated. Next time I buy an app that’s available both in and out of the Store, I’ll probably choose to buy it directly from the vendor. And nearly everyone who’s been burned by sandboxing exclusions — not just the affected apps’ developers, but all of their customers — will make the same choice with their future purchases. To most of these customers, the App Store is no longer a reliable place to buy software.' Arment also comments on the 'our way or the highway' attitude Apple often takes in these situations and how it may be backfiring this time around."