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Android IOS Microsoft Patents The Courts Apple

The Real Reason Apple Is Suing Samsung 514

Posted by Soulskill
from the same-thing-we-do-every-night-pinky dept.
doperative writes with this quote from a speculative piece at Business Insider about Apple's real motive behind its recent lawsuit against Samsung's Galaxy devices: "Android is free. In some cases, it's even cheaper than free, with Google sharing some revenue from Google searches on Android phones with partners. This is hugely disruptive to both Microsoft and Apple's business models; Microsoft because they make money on software licenses, and Apple on hardware. And this disruptive approach is winning: Android is surging past iOS in marketshare. A lawsuit from a big company, even if doomed, still takes a lot of time, energy and money to fight off. So Samsung or someone else might settle, accepting to pay some form of license. If that happens, Apple can go around to the other manufacturers asking for the same license and have a much stronger claim. And now OEMs have to factor that cost into the decision to choose Android. And all of a sudden, Android has a price." Samsung has fired back with a lawsuit of its own.
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The Real Reason Apple Is Suing Samsung

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  • Yes, and? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:08AM (#35915202)

    It's the same reason Microsoft got "licensing agreements" with all the other handset vendors and is suing Motorola right now. They put a gun to their head and said "release WP7 handsets or we'll sue you for patent infringement." All the others complied, and Motorola is being sued for patent infringement. This is why Microsoft loves software patents and doesn't oppose them outright.

    Yes, both Apple and Microsoft are anti-choice and act in anti-competitive manners. This is nothing new, nor will anyone step in to stop it.

    • Re:Yes, and? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:20AM (#35915288)
      These days litigation & licensing are priced into the final cost to produce any pice of technology (especially consumer electronics like cellphones, computers & tablets). It's just a cost of doing business and is passed on to the customer like everything else.

      Does the Samsung UI look like the Apple UI? Yes it does, but not enough that a user is going to mistakenly buy a Samsung instead of an Apple product. Is the Apple claim the the Samsung tablet looks too much like the iPad valid? Well, both are flat, rectangular, have rounded corners and have edges around the screen. Isn't that basically a description of the tablet form factor?
    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:25AM (#35915316) Journal

      Wonderful to see the patent system doing its job to promote innovation, isn't it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Karlt1 (231423)

        Wonderful to see the patent system doing its job to promote innovation, isn't it?

        What's "innovative" about copying someone else's UI? Whatever you may think of HTC Sense, MotoBlur, WinMo 7's "Metro UI", Palm's WebOS, etc. at least they tried to do something different than just copy the iPhone UI.

        • Re:Yes, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by postbigbang (761081) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:51PM (#35916230)

          The subtle distinctions in UI are another red herring. It's like Apple's claim of the iPad form factor. Because it has round edges, it must be patentable, right?

          Apple is desperate to keep their stock price high, and that means entrenching themselves in their beachheaded markets. Fight fight fight. Use the fanboi pawns to astroturf. Litigate every meaningless shred of newness as IP. They learned this from a long line of computer companies going back nearly 50yrs now.

          These 'crises', too, will pass.

          MeeGo is inventive as is WebOS. But I'm guessing that HP has non-aggression pacts with several of the other companies dating back from the old days, and their acquisition of Palm. Intel desperately wants to play, too.

          The problem is: you can build your own proprietary OS from BSD roots and invest a lot of money, or you can get a GPL license derivative (Android) and go with that at a much cheaper cost. Apple's now paying the price for making their deriviations of the Darwin tree more proprietary.

          • Re:Yes, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:59PM (#35916292)

            The problem is: you can build your own proprietary OS from BSD roots and invest a lot of money, or you can get a GPL license derivative (Android) and go with that at a much cheaper cost. Apple's now paying the price for making their deriviations of the Darwin tree more proprietary.

            If by "paying the price", you mean being the worlds largest mobile manufacturer by both revenue:

            http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20056289-248.html [cnet.com]

            And having 50% of the total worldwide profit of cell phones.

            http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/31/apple-is-still-sucking-most-of-the-profit-out-of-the-mobile-phone-business/ [cnn.com]

          • by Microlith (54737)

            you can build your own proprietary OS from BSD roots and invest a lot of money, or you can get a GPL license derivative (Android) and go with that at a much cheaper cost. Apple's now paying the price for making their deriviations of the Darwin tree more proprietary.

            - Android is not a GPL derivative. Aside from the kernel it is Apache licensed. Incidentally, that there is no GPL upstream nor an effort to remain in sync with upstream for those that exist (the kernel, namely) is part of why "fragmentation" exi

          • by Jeremi (14640)

            Use the fanboi pawns to astroturf.

            Point of order: if they are real fanbois, it's not astroturfing.

      • Yes, these courtroom proceedings have some awfully innovative arguments in them.

        What's that? It was supposed to be market innovation? Ooooops....

    • by kervin (64171) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:48AM (#35915472) Homepage

      You have any evidence of this at all? I mean the slightest?

      Very few of Microsoft's former mobile partners have agreed to work with WP7. Even Sony, which was exclusively WM6 is now a fierce exclusively Android competitor. Microsoft hasn't sued any of them.

      Motorola was on a patent war path. The timing of the Motorola suite suggests that Microsoft sued Motorola on behalf of some of its other hardware partners, which unlike Apple, it desperately needs.

    • Re:Yes, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:24PM (#35915684) Homepage

      Yes, both Apple and Microsoft are anti-choice and act in anti-competitive manners.

      Profit-maximizing companies are against choice and competition, it is nothing unique to those two corporations. Competition is great for customers and innovation, but it's never good for profits. The only reason companies don't completely snuff out their competition is antitrust laws, which makes it better to have a weak competitor with 5-10% of the market and breathing problems. If they ever say they want to increase competition it's to weaken or usurp another competitor. Like for example Google wants to weaken Microsoft's hold on the browser market through Firefox and Chrome. They certainly don't want Bing or Yahoo to succeed even if that meant increased competition in the search market. This should be business 101, you know what they call "perfect competition"? The profit there is zero. Is it any wonder they want imperfect competition? Preferably as flawed as possible.

      • Re:Yes, and? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:41PM (#35915768)

        No the profit in perfect competition is not zero. The profit in perfect competition is what is called normal, the rate that rewards capital cost and opportunity cost, besides other variables. What is called zero profit in microeconomics is abnormal profits. A perfect competition market is said to have no such abnormal profits because competitors will enter and end with those surpluses.

        It's all beautiful theory since there is no such thing as perfect competition. It's a microeconomic model based on quite a few assumptions that aren't that much reality-driven. It's useful to analyse markets but there will never be such thing as perfect competition.

        Now get back to talk about you understand and leave economics for those who understand it.

    • Re:Yes, and? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:02PM (#35915900)
    • Re:Yes, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:22PM (#35916764)

      Apple is doing so much better than its competition, this article is delusional. Apple has always maintained the look and feel of their products as something unique to them. They created it, why should other companies be allowed to copy them? They can come up with their own unique designs. This lawsuit fits perfectly with this idea. No need to project some sort of desperation scenario.

      Also, the article is factually incorrect when it states Android is surging past iOS in market share (iOS maintains a significant lead over Android, and always has, although on Slashdot ignorance is bliss, so I fully expect some replies from people ignorantly claiming this isn't true), and Apple's market share is increasing, and their revenues are increasing, and their profits are increasing. They are the most financially successful cell phone maker on the planet. They do not fear Google's business model. Why would they when their own is working so well? Not just working well, but working significantly better than that of anyone else?

      This article is just the same old uninformed nonsense you expect from people who don't understand that the reason people make money is to buy things. Just because something is free (or "less than free") does not mean people will want it, nor does it mean that people won't pay more for something else. Store shelves wouldn't contain name brands if people always chose the cheapest option.

      iOS far outsells Android, yet clearly Apple's business model is doomed? Brilliant!

  • it is why (Score:4, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:08AM (#35915204)

    I seldom worry about apple's lock strategies. Once you start down the road of tight lockin you either have to sue your way out of it, or you are forced to let go.

    In the case of music apple basically scared the music studios into stripping off DRM. Now apple is being aggressively stupid themselves. It will bite them on the arse. It will be interesting to watch. but apple can't affect android the way oracle can with java and davik.

    • by garcia (6573)

      1. They have to be aggressive because if they don't, someone else will be aggressive to them. It's how it works now.

      2. Apple can't "affect" Android because there's nothing to affect. It's an OS and it does its thing. However, when another company makes a reasonable facsimile of their device, on purpose due to popularity and design preference, they have every right to go after them. Right or wrong it's what they have to do in this market.

      I hate the lawsuits simply because it ends up in the news and I have to

      • Re:it is why (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:37AM (#35915410)

        1. They have to be aggressive because if they don't, someone else will be aggressive to them. It's how it works now.

        Is it? You can accumulate a patent arsenal without being the first one to sue. It seems to me that all filing the lawsuit does is serve as an admission to your prospective customers that you can't win on the merits. Winners win, losers litigate.

        • by Trillan (597339)

          I'm not saying it's right to deal with this in the courts, but it's clearly not right for Google and Samsung to just rip off designs like this. It takes years of research and development to do a design right (over five in this case), and only months to do a shallow copy.

          The ethical flaw here is in the copying. I'm not blaming the companies; there's no law against copying. The closest we have is what Apple's currently suing for.

          There ought to be standards. There ought to be ethics. There ought to be principl

      • by hedwards (940851)

        2. Apple can't "affect" Android because there's nothing to affect. It's an OS and it does its thing. However, when another company makes a reasonable facsimile of their device, on purpose due to popularity and design preference, they have every right to go after them. Right or wrong it's what they have to do in this market.

        No, they don't. That was settled a long time ago when Apple was ruled against in their suit against MS over look and feel. If you look at the previous summary it's very clear that Apple is trying to do an end run around the normal prohibition on suits over look and feel. ZOMG Samsung is using a rectangle with rounded corners, it's not like everybody else does that, hell, my Nook is a rectangular shape with rounded corners. As is my Asus Eee PC when closed.

        They get no respect from me for using their patents

        • Re:it is why (Score:5, Insightful)

          by scotts13 (1371443) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:00PM (#35915552)

          No, they don't. That was settled a long time ago when Apple was ruled against in their suit against MS over look and feel. If you look at the previous summary it's very clear that Apple is trying to do an end run around the normal prohibition on suits over look and feel.

          Actually, that wasn't why they lost the case. You can certainly protect your look and feel, companies do it every day. Apple lost that particular case, against that particular company, because Microsoft had a license allowing them to use some elements of the GUI. Granted, Apple had foolishly given away much more in that contract than they intended to; if they hadn't, computing would be very different today. And BTW, don't bring up Xerox - they were paid handsomely for their contribution, all nice and legal.

          • Re:it is why (Score:5, Informative)

            by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:40PM (#35916820)

            Actually, that wasn't why they lost the case. You can certainly protect your look and feel, companies do it every day. Apple lost that particular case, against that particular company, because Microsoft had a license allowing them to use some elements of the GUI. Granted, Apple had foolishly given away much more in that contract than they intended to; if they hadn't, computing would be very different today. And BTW, don't bring up Xerox - they were paid handsomely for their contribution, all nice and legal.

            Correct. Microsoft basically outmaneuvered Apple. They requested a license, based on the pretext that they could potentially be sued for using Apple's user interface elements in their own Mac software (Excel and Word). Apple did not see them as a user-interface competitor, because Microsoft's version of a windowed interface was quite different, using "tiled" rather than overlapping windows. But the elements that Microsoft requested a license for were precisely those that were most unique to Apple. As soon as Microsoft had the license, they released a version of Windows that copied the overall style of the Mac OS, as well as Apple's special flourishes. Apple did not have a legal leg to stand on. But Apple's loss was not based upon a court rejection of "look and feel" lawsuits. In fact, many such lawsuits over the years have been successful.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by walterbyrd (182728)

        1. They have to be aggressive because if they don't, someone else will be aggressive to them. It's how it works now.

        Could Tanya Harding use this excuse? How about Microsoft? Does being "aggressive" mean it's okay to be unethical? If Apple fans accept this so-called "aggressive" behaviour from Apple, then why do the same fans boo and hiss when Microsoft does this sort of thing?

        2. Apple can't "affect" Android because there's nothing to affect. It's an OS and it does its thing. However, when another company makes a reasonable facsimile of their device, on purpose due to popularity and design preference, they have every right to go after them. Right or wrong it's what they have to do in this market.

        "Their" design? Who's design? A device that is rectangular with rounded edges is certainly not Apple's design.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_PRADA

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by toriver (11308)

          Strawman. That is NOT what Apple are suing over. I mean have you seen the images showing the Apple icons and Samsung's copycat ones side by side? Plus the box design. They want to mimic the Apple designs so much that it is moving into trade dress infringement territory. (You know, where cheap knockoffs of LV handbags are peddled from street stalls and the like.)

          Maybe you dislike that Apple are using the law against blatant copy-cats, but perhaps it is the law you really want to change?

    • Re:it is why (Score:5, Interesting)

      by icebike (68054) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:44AM (#35915446)

      I seldom worry about apple's lock strategies. Once you start down the road of tight lockin you either have to sue your way out of it, or you are forced to let go.

      They are hoping to make the other party let go.

      But instead of doing that, Samsung is counter-suing Apple all over the world. This is a good strategy, forcing Apple to fight off of their own turf. Dragging Apple executives half way around the world where they don't have the advantage of pre-filled pockets and rabid fanbois in the jury pool.

      In fact Apple could lose big time to this technique. Sure Samsung makes parts for iPhones, but they make pennies on this compared to what they make on a Galaxy handset. Samsung can send Apple packing, and quietly "suggest" a reduction in supply of key components to any other companies that favor Apple too strongly. Apple can not win a land war in Asia.

      But more to the point, Apples current round of suits are predominantly alleging that the Galaxy phones look too much like iPhones. This is a really hard claim to win. Nikon and Canon and Minolta as well as Ford and Chevy would get nowhere with that claim. This screams desperation. Especially when Galaxy phones don't look at all like iPhones.

         

      • Re:it is why (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Macman408 (1308925) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @01:47AM (#35919400)

        Pennies? Apple is Samsung's second largest customer (Sony is #1), with Apple amounting to something in the neighborhood of 4-5% of their revenue, IIRC. You don't generally give the finger to a customer that big, even if they gave you the finger first.

        I've been quietly wondering if this is just the public side to a private disagreement in the boardroom - perhaps Samsung is trying to raise flash or other component prices for Apple, or Apple wants to negotiate for lower prices than they already have. And, of course, if they get what they want, maybe this whole lawsuit nonsense will disappear too. And if their lower component price is disguised as a patent license from Apple, all the better to use as ammo against other companies who use Android.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:09AM (#35915216)

    > A lawsuit from a big company, even if doomed, still takes a lot of time, energy and money to fight off.

    This should be no surprise; it's exactly what the RIAA does to individuals. You don't have to be RIGHT, you only have to tie up enough time, money, energy, and effort that it isn't worth the cost to the recipient.

    So if you sue anyone making rectangular tablet computers with ions, you might get a revenue stream, but if not, you have still cost them a lot of trouble to round up related document, emails, put a case together, and so on. And you have cast FUD on anyone else who dares to not use your closed ecosystem - smaller players may not be able to defend themselves adequately.

    A smart tactic, since the system allows it, but a highly sleazy one nonetheless.

    • by Moryath (553296) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:19AM (#35915280)

      Welcome to how the legal system works - justice is not a part of it any more.

      The sad part is that this kind of shit pervades even the "criminal justice" side.

      Traffic tickets? Compare the cost of "just paying" (or in many states, "taking defensive driving") with the cost of defending yourself - lost hours of work on the days you have to go to court, lost time on paperwork or else lawyer fees to subpoena all the records you'll need, and oh yeah, the possibility that the case judge will be one of those corrupt motherfuckers who insist "the police are always right" because guess what, the judge's salary is paid out of ticket fines too.

      I had one once where the police officer was obviously just using "pull someone over" as an excuse to hit on the new female recruit. Sat there and watched as he got everything about my car's info wrong on the ticket except for license plate - make, model, even the number of fucking DOORS - because he was too busy trying to "explain how we do this" while sneaking his hand onto her ass.

      Didn't matter, of course. The Prosecutors are corrupt, the Judges are corrupt, the whole system is fucking corrupt and the fines and fees are set "just low enough" that most people will "just pay it" because it works out cheaper to do so.

      Oh, and no, it's not just on the low side [slate.com] either. The American "justice" system has gotten the "plea bargain" down to a science - you can "plead guilty" to something you know you didn't do, get "lenience" from the court, OR they can tack on dozens of fucking extraneous charges and run you into the ground so that even if you do manage to convince the jury you're innocent on most of it, chances are they'll get one of the charges through, and you'll be fucking bankrupted by the cost of defending yourself anyways.

  • by slapout (93640)

    1. Create Product
    2. ?
    3. Profit!

    I guess step 2 is "sue competitors"

    • by Tsiangkun (746511)
      Step 2) Sell products

      Apple is moving HUGE amounts of iPhones and iPads.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054)

        Step 2) Sell products

        Apple is moving HUGE amounts of iPhones and iPads.

        If they were, they wouldn't be getting this desperate.

        Apple IOS devices are being outsold better than two to one by android. They see the market they created slipping from their grasp.
        http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20051610-17.html [cnet.com]

        • by tepples (727027)

          Apple IOS devices are being outsold better than two to one by android.

          Even if this is true of iOS as a whole, what do makers of Android-powered devices have that most directly compares to Apple TV 2 or iPod touch? Most OHA Android-powered devices I've heard about are either tablets or contract phones. Archos 43 is kinda-sorta close to iPod touch, but it runs AOSP Android instead of OHA Android, and one has to use ArcTools to "pirate" the Android Market application to find any decent selection of applications because application developers tend to treat AppsLib users as second

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I don't think that's the case. http://www.knowyourcell.com/news/858093/ios_reach_is_59_percent_greater_than_android_in_the_us.html [knowyourcell.com] when you compare one phone manufacturer's phone, and not the other devices on the platform, yet you count tablets for androids, yes the picture is certainly painted that way. However, on an even playing field, it's not so. your article posts smartphone data, yet you call it iOS devices, this, imo is intentionally misleading. not to mention this is one manufacturer against qu
        • Re:Step 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by binary paladin (684759) <binarypaladin.gmail@com> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:01PM (#35915886)

          Desperate?

          Am I the only one that caught the fact that Apple is just had YET ANOTHER record quarter?

          The fact that Android—which is available on more networks and being built in more price ranges by more manufacturers—is outpacing iOS isn't some kind of surprise. You don't need to own a majority of the market to do well. They were doing well before the iPhone came out without owning a majority of any market they were in.

          Are they playing rough, yes. Desperate? http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/21/nokia-apple-idUSLDE73K12P20110421 [reuters.com]

          No, not really. The "real" reason Apple is suing is because they are HISTORICALLY litigious. There's no sales conspiracy needed. It's not some final desperate act. It's standard operating procedure for Apple and has been for years.

        • by jamrock (863246) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @02:05PM (#35916328)

          Apple IOS devices are being outsold better than two to one by android.

          Umm...no. [wsj.com] The reality is almost the exact opposite of your claim. Devices powered by iOS --iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad-- are in fact outselling Android devices by 59% (37.9 million to 23.8 million). The summary also makes the same claim, that "Android is surging past iOS in marketshare", but it's as wrong as you are. Android-powered smartphones are outselling iOS-powered smartphones, but that's collectively; no single manufacturer even comes close to Apple. The iPhone is far and away the best-selling smartphone on the market.

          Android proponents (I won't be disrespectful and call them "fanboys") and lazy journalists love to point out the fact that Android is outselling iPhone, but that's disingenuous; they're comparing a platform to a single device. In both platform-to-platform and device-to-device comparisons, Apple is still wa-aay ahead of the competition. At the end of 2010, Android had the largest smartphone market share at 33.3%, Nokia was second with 31%, and Apple third with 16.2% of the global market. Apple's smartphone market share translates to 4.2% of the total market for all mobile phones, and yet Apple is reaping 51% of the total profits of the entire mobile industry [asymco.com]. And they're doing it with variations of a single device. That fact certainly gives the lie to the claims that the iPhone is "dead in the water" [businessinsider.com]. If these jaw-dropping numbers demonstrate that Apple is "getting desperate", as you claim, then I'm sure their competitors would love a big helping of the desperation they're imbibing.

          Apple haters may have their reasons for disliking Apple, but they need to make a reasoned case if they hope to be taken seriously. Blithe disregard for the facts, and trumpeting bizarre assertions as fact, despite all evidence to the contrary, certainly doesn't help their cause. It only lumps them into the same category of fruit loop as the "birthers".

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by icebike (68054)

            Apple IOS devices are being outsold better than two to one by android.

            Umm...no. [wsj.com] The reality is almost the exact opposite of your claim.

            This has been answered above. The study you quote (same study the other guy mentioned) is very deceptive, because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH SALES.

            The research found that Apple’s iOS platform — on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches – reached 37.9 million people, while Android reached 23.8 million, on phones and tablets.

            "Reached"? What the heck does that mean?

            Well when you follow the story to its source it is measuring all the iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads ever sold against the number of android devices ever sold. With a four or five year running start its no wonder there are more IOS devices floating around out there (used or no longer being used).

            My statement had to do wi

          • by makomk (752139)

            Devices powered by iOS --iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad-- are in fact outselling Android devices by 59% (37.9 million to 23.8 million).

            I'm guessing a lot of those are iPod touch sales - especially given that a lot of people I meet seem to have them - which isn't suprising since neither Google nor any of the major Android handset makers seems to be interested in even trying to compete with it and it's quite reasonably priced compared to the various iPhones. The real question is why not? (Interestingly, the cheapest pay-as-you-go Android smartphones here in the UK are now actually well into MP3 player pricing and are well into featurephone-p

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:12AM (#35915232) Journal

    ...bit of a problem or four in it, though:

    * Apple is selling pretty much every iPhone they can make.
    * the iPhone (in various versions) is the single top-selling phone model, bar none. While overall, yes Android *phones* are selling equal-to-better, no single Android model is anywhere close to matching the iPhone. Therefore, why would Apple bother to chase just Samsung, and not LG, HTC, or a larger phone maker?
    * Suing over design won't achieve the premise in TFA... phone makers will just make it look/feel different to work around the stated patent(s). If Apple was truly chasing the goal of crippling Android as a whole, they'd be better off going after the *core* of Android (like, well, Oracle is doing. Speaking of which...)
    * Oracle is already working towards something that would achieve the same thing, but to provide Oracle an income stream - so why would Apple feel it had to do something similar, when Oracle is already doing it for them, and has been running that lawsuit long before Apple fired a shot across Samsung's bow?

    • by Corbets (169101)

      ...bit of a problem or four in it, though:

      * Apple is selling pretty much every iPhone they can make.
      * the iPhone (in various versions) is the single top-selling phone model, bar none. While overall, yes Android *phones* are selling equal-to-better, no single Android model is anywhere close to matching the iPhone. Therefore, why would Apple bother to chase just Samsung, and not LG, HTC, or a larger phone maker?
      * Suing over design won't achieve the premise in TFA... phone makers will just make it look/feel different to work around the stated patent(s). If Apple was truly chasing the goal of crippling Android as a whole, they'd be better off going after the *core* of Android (like, well, Oracle is doing. Speaking of which...)
      * Oracle is already working towards something that would achieve the same thing, but to provide Oracle an income stream - so why would Apple feel it had to do something similar, when Oracle is already doing it for them, and has been running that lawsuit long before Apple fired a shot across Samsung's bow?

      Thank you. Further, Apple and Google are in different markets here; Apple is, as TFS even mentions, selling hardware (or more realistically, a hardware / software / "lifestyle" package). Google is (mostly) pushing an operating system. The fact that Android is getting a large(r) market share is not indicative of any kind of unpleasant outcome for Apple; they're exactly where they want to be, doing exactly what they want to do, and making money hand over fist.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:30AM (#35915364)

      That's like saying the MAC is the top selling model of Personal Computers... Just because there are so many other models in the PC camp. It comes down to trying to slice the numbers to benefit what point you are trying to make.

      No matter how try to phrase it won't change the fact that there are more phones with Android being sold with them than iOS, and that is likely to not change in the future. Sorry if that hurts your Apple Fanboism.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by phantomfive (622387)
        If you are a fanboy, YOU will be hurt to know that there are more devices [comscore.com] being sold with iOS than with Android. Not that it matters. Both platforms are doing quite well.
      • That's like saying the MAC is the top selling model of Personal Computers...

        NO, NO, NO, NO. "MAC" is a brand of makeup. [maccosmetics.com] A "Mac" is short for Macintosh and a personal computer.

    • ...bit of a problem or four in it, though:

      * Apple is selling pretty much every iPhone they can make.

      You seriously believe a company like Apple cannot ramp up production if there is demand?

      * the iPhone (in various versions) is the single top-selling phone model, bar none. While overall, yes Android *phones* are selling equal-to-better, no single Android model is anywhere close to matching the iPhone. Therefore, why would Apple bother to chase just Samsung, and not LG, HTC, or a larger phone maker?

      Yeah, it is, but other phones are catching up, how much more can apple keep innovating. This is more like a plan for 5 years down the lane. And smaller players are easier to sue, than larger ones, RTFA

      * Suing over design won't achieve the premise in TFA... phone makers will just make it look/feel different to work around the stated patent(s). If Apple was truly chasing the goal of crippling Android as a whole, they'd be better off going after the *core* of Android (like, well, Oracle is doing. Speaking of which...)

      There some patents that cannot be worked around, like having rounded edges

      * Oracle is already working towards something that would achieve the same thing, but to provide Oracle an income stream - so why would Apple feel it had to do something similar, when Oracle is already doing it for them, and has been running that lawsuit long before Apple fired a shot across Samsung's bow?

      Oracle is mainly targeting Androids Dev Env, and mainly Google, it hardly cares about what happens to the cell phone manufactures. Besides, it look

    • by mjwx (966435)

      ...bit of a problem or four in it, though:

      * Apple is selling pretty much every iPhone they can make.

      Then why sue the company on whom, your technology is dependent.

      If this is true (which it isn't, the shortage of Iphones is a delusion of Fanboys, I can go out and buy one myself in six hours if I hated my wallet (12:56 +8 GMT, no 24 Hour phone shops here))

      * the iPhone (in various versions) is the single top-selling phone model, bar none. While overall, yes Android *phones* are selling equal-to-better, no single Android model is anywhere close to matching the iPhone. Therefore, why would Apple bother to chase just Samsung, and not LG, HTC, or a larger phone maker?

      A sign of things to come. [wired.com] It's the same as Windows vs Mac, Windows ran on anyones hardware, providing a standardised environment which could be used to run any application. Android is the same. A single application can be made to run across multiple v

    • by fermion (181285)
      Actually it is all a load of bupkis. MS has always been, to some degree, a disruptive busines model. How disruptive it depends on the time and the market. It provides often cheap alternative to necessary technology. In the phone market this has not worked so well because there are already cheap alternatives, often provided by premier brands. In this way, Google and Android is about as disruptive as Openoffice.org and Sun. It is simply expanding and existing market, not really taking sales from anyone.
  • Doesn't make sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:14AM (#35915244)

    This doesn't make sense. Why? Because the Apple v. Samsung suit is supposedly about trademark/design infringement. Because the Galaxy looks way too much like Apple's products. Not about anything technical about it.

    Or am I missing something here? And is there something fundamental to Android that this suit is about?

    And if it is fundamental to Android, logically the suit should be targeting Google - the author of the Android system. But it seems Google is not involved in this one (yet).

    Oh and Android surging over iOS is no surprise but just natural... iOS is limited to one current and a few old models phone, and one current and one old model tablet. Android is not limited and currently available on dozens of current, and possibly hundreds of old models of phones and tablets. Not exactly an even fight.

    Sorry it's bedtime (midnight here) so not going to read TFA. Apple shouldn't have much to fear from Android - about as much as it has to fear from Windows in the personal computing world. It competes just fine there.

    Microsoft that's the potential big loser here, as they have to sell their OS and are really competing head-to-head with Android. In a market where pennies count, they want to add dollars to the cost. Apple has no such issues, there is no price on an iOS license, afaik it's not even for sale other than in combination with a piece of hardware.

    • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:00PM (#35915880)

      Well, they're arguing that
      a) samsung galaxy hardware look too much like the iphone/ipad. Cos, it's rectangular with rounded corners. And black, both high original apple features that only they did first.
      b) samsung's 'touchwiz' user interface (as opposed to the standard android one) looks too much like iOS. Cos the 'app drawer' shows all installed apps in a rectangular grid. Which no-one would ever have thought of until apple did it.

      Given samsung supplies apple with their screens and cpu's, it seems they want to stop their supplier well, using their own stuff and stay just as a parts supplier, not a competitor. That they have to use laughably generic look-n-feel patents to do it shows how baseless the accusation is.

      This is the default galaxy S i9000 homescreen [blogspot.com] vs the apple home screen [google.co.uk]. Absolutely identical, aren't they. If you picked one up, you'd never be able to tell them apart, they're *that* similar.

      I hear they're going to sue nokia next because they sell 'phones', which is a trademark infringement of apple's unique name, iPhone.

      • by garote (682822) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @02:40PM (#35916518) Homepage

        It's not a question of whether anyone "would have" thought of it. It's a question of timing. The courts have been asked to judge whether Samsung has deliberately released a product that strongly reminds people of an iPhone, in order to encourage confusion between the two, and ride on the coattails of the enthusiasm the iPhone has garnered in the marketplace. Thank goodness the courts will be deciding this, and not J Random Slashdotter who didn't even care to read TFA before spouting off about "generic look-n-feel patents".

        You see this sort of behavior with cheap knock-off manufacturers all the time, and the behavior is damaging to consumers, disruptive to the target company, and not innovative in any way. The only reason it happens as often as it does is because of the legal costs involved with fighting these parasites. It is beneath Samsung, or should be at least, and perhaps this lawsuit will slap some sense into them.

        • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:44PM (#35916834)

          Did you even look at the photos? The galaxy S is only superficially similar to the iphone. The icons are very different (square rather than rounded, totally different symbols). The 'bar' at the bottom has different icons, different functions, different positions and looks different. The bar at the top with the 3G symbol etc is different, in a different place. The galaxy S has a 4" screen, at 480 x 800 pixels; it's direct competitor when it came out was the iphone 3gs, with a 3.5" 320 x 480 pixel display.
          The samsung galaxy S has a great big 'samsung' on the front, and three buttons, not one. It's a direct follow-on in look and feel from the galaxy i900 two years earlier.

          A grid layout for touchscreen icons on phones predates the iphone 1 by a looong way (see, for example, the palm devices). It's a direct follow-on from the desktop metaphor of icons for apps in a grid layout, so it's hardly innovative to do the same on a phone.

          If you're arguing the case design (black with silver trim) is similar, well, there's the LG prada [youtube.com] which was announced a full year before the iphone 1, or samsung's own f700 which was announced virtually at the same time. Black with silver-trim in a candy bar phone with a touch screen was nothing new.

          It is beneath Samsung, or should be at least, and perhaps this lawsuit will slap some sense into them.

          Well, that assumes that the galaxy line of phones and tablets are a rip-off of apple's designs, as opposed to the natural evolution of many, many phones, including samsung's own, that were available in european and asian markets with similar look-n-feel long before the iphone. The iphone was a huge success in the US when it came out because at the time you weren't getting the great phones released elsewhere in the world, where it took a lot longer to get traction against similarly (or better) spec'd competition.

          Seriously, pick up a galaxy S and an iphone 3GS or even iphone 4 (I own the former, I help many users of the latter). They look, feel and operate quite differently.

  • They are suing the primary supplier of their LCDs. Sure there are others out there, but few that make panels as nice as Samsung, and Apple is known for having some of the best OEM displays on the market. If the lawsuit looks like it is swinging in Apple's favor, Samsung can exert pressure on Apple by either jacking up the LCD prices or threatening to no longer supply them at all. They certainly have plenty of other customers (and their own product lines) such that they could carry on without Apple.

    But if next month Apple MacBooks all had crappy LCDs in them, that would hurt Apple significantly (even more so if their big external $3000 - $4000 displays went that way).
    • by halivar (535827)

      If Samsung punitively alters their deal with Apple, they will be injuring themselves also. No, this will not happen. Corporation continue to do business with each other despite litigation all the time. If the deal is good, it continues despite litigation.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:22AM (#35915298)

    Not only is the article random speculation, but the summary title seems to suggest it is something definitive.

    News just in, the real reason Apple is suing Samsung is because they both had lawyers with free time on their hands. It's true because someone on the internet said so!

    The article makes some hilariously silly assumptions, borne out by the fact that Apple is selling iPhones (and other iOS devices) as fast as it can make them - so there's really no "threat" to their profits from Android. If anything, a healthy smartphone/tablet market is a positive thing for everyone involved.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:28AM (#35915332)
    Apple is suing one manufacturer of Android phones who happens to make phones that look pretty much exactly the same as iPhones. It should be pretty obvious to anyone that Apple doesn't like competitors making phones that look like iPhones. If we were to believe the conspiracy theories of "Business Insider", then we would have to believe that Apple doesn't mind their designs being copied. And that I find quite unbelievable. The simplest and therefore most likely explanation for this lawsuit is that Apple doesn't like their designs being copied.
    • It should be pretty obvious to anyone that Apple doesn't like competitors making phones that look like iPhones.

      So, why are they suing them on utility patents instead of design patents or trade-dress? Or do you mean Apple is just bitter so they're abusing the patent system?

  • by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:34AM (#35915390) Homepage Journal

    Saying that Apple makes its money of hardware is disingenuous. Nobody (you 3 don't count) buys macs to run linux or windows - though both run fine. And there are plenty of folks who will tell you that apple phones and tablets are nothing special, hardware-wise.

    Apple sells systems. Well integrated, easy to use systems.

    I happen to like 'em because they also run *nix. (I don't care that you 3 don't like the flavor)

  • ...Pfft, nah, I have no issue with Linux, but I couldn't help adding that in there..

    The free / disruptive logic is critically flawed, because a huge majority of people don't even know what an OS is, let alone whether it's free or not. The only way you could spin this is if you said it's free for phone manufacturers - which is a fair point - if they don't have to pay for it, it's more likely they'll put it on their phone. That's an argument against MS - but not Apple. Apple is defined by their software/hardw

  • Seriously? I think it has more to do with a company trying to make a product that looks like Apple's. It leads to customer confusion and enough people have commented how when they walk into a store the sales person normally quips that the Samsung "Look's just like the iPhone, but... ". So it's pretty obvious to everyone, except for the FUD patrol, that there's enough similarities that it might be true.

  • factual errors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:41AM (#35915430) Journal
    First, there are so many [googleusercontent.com] lawsuits [nytimes.com] among mobile companies that a single extra one isn't going to have a chilling effect. All of these companies have enough cash that the cost of fighting a lawsuit alone will not hurt them (a big judgement might be a different story).

    Secondly, MIcrosoft licensing costs aren't very much for Windows Phone 7. Estimates of licensing costs are between $5 and $15 on a phone that, with a data plan, ultimately costs thousands of dollars. Or, in the case of Nokia, Microsoft is paying Nokia to use it. $5 is still a cost, but it's not the reason people don't like WP7.

    Then the article gets plain idiotic. It says Apple makes money on hardware, not on their OS. But this is true of every single Android phone as well.

    The next factual error is a surprising one, but still serious. Look at the numbers of iOS vs Android devices [comscore.com]. There are a lot more people using iOS than Android (note the figures include tablets). Surprising, but if you're going to write a tech journal you should be on top of this kind of thing.

    Finally there is no reason to question why Apple is suing. It's about money. Just like every single other lawsuit in the mobile space. They all think they can get some extra money by suing, so they do.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @11:56AM (#35915514)

    Here's the problem: it's not clear that anyone has ever won a "look and feel" lawsuit. (The legal term is "trade dress.")

    Did the author did any research into this statement because Apple has won a "trade dress" lawsuit against eMachines [wikipedia.org] back in 1999.

    Nor should they. Fast-following and imitating is a big part of what makes free markets work. It helps competition and helps bring innovations to consumers faster.

    There is a difference in copying functionality and copying design. I think if Honda or Toyota were to make bubbly sedans that look very much like the old VW Beetle, VW would have a problem with it even though their current Beetle is no longer as bubbly.

    It's the same reason why Microsoft is suing makers of Android phones: to give Android a price.

    If that were the case, MS would have sued all Android makers but they didn't. They only went after former customers who abandoned them for Android. If I were to guess the purpose of MS, it would be to keep a place in the market. MS competes directly with Android as makers can pick Android over WP7 when making a phone. MS doesn't want to be left out of any maker's lineups. Apple does not compete directly with Android because Apple sells hardware and the software.

    Additionally, Android phones often compete with each other and WP7 on pricing. Most likely, Apple doesn't really care about what Android costs as they are making tons of money anyways. What is the term around here: Android phones are a race to the bottom?

    Also if that was the reasoning behind the lawsuit, Apple would have sued more than Samsung for this reason. Why didn't Apple sue other makers over their Android phones for trade dress? Also Apple would have sued Samsung for more than the Galaxy line of products as Samsung sells other Android products. The question then is why Galaxy.

    If you look at the Galaxy line, it is the line that looks most like Apple products. Whereas other makers and other Samsung models have different bevels, tapers, corners, etc, the Samsung i9000 specifically looks a lot like the iPhone when both are powered off. Take a look the comparison between a Samsung Galaxy and a Samsung Wave and a HTC D2 [specphones.com]. Now compare a Galaxy vs iPhone [redmondpie.com]. When powered on, the UI is very similar. Again other makers and models used different UI themes, icons, layouts, etc [smarttouchphones.com]. The Galaxy is very similar [socialblogr.com] to the iPhone.

    Will Apple win and how long will this lawsuit go on? I don't know if Apple will win, but at the very least, Samsung's next Android phone will likely not look anything like the iPhone 4 which is probably what Apple wants.

  • This cuts both ways; true, apple has a huge pile of cash, but they have limited time for senior management.
    And if Samsung starts lawsuits in Korea, apple gonna be at a disadvantage.
    In any event, does anyone in this thread have any idea how much a lawsuit costs, compared to say, S Jobs compensation, or the amount that Apple spends on marketing or some other number that puts cost into perspective ?
    As anon once said, a hundred million here, a hundred million there, pretty soon it adds up to real money
    • As anon once said, a hundred million here, a hundred million there, pretty soon it adds up to real money

      Senator Dirksen.

  • by cthellis (733202) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:01PM (#35915558)
    ...but the biggest part of the lawsuit against Samsung specifically has been over TouchWiz, which isn't associated with adding an "Android cost" at all, since it's only Samsung's UI deal. Apple has also gone after HTC, and one wonders if they just expected an easier resolution in the wake of the Microsoft/HTC licensing agreement. Nokia sues Apple and gets counter-sued right back. Mainly, it's THE sector of computing showing exponential growth, so alla them big companies gonna be leveraging for position. And that means lawsuits be flyin', yo.
  • by mr_lizard13 (882373) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:45PM (#35915794)
    ...but there's no denying the Samsung devices mentioned in the lawsuit borrow heavily from the iPhone's design. Right down to the icons- the stock Android icons were replaced with icons that look exactly like the iPhone ones.

    Whether or not that's illegal though, I'm not sure. Apple reckons it is, and I guess the courts will decide.
    • ...but there's no denying the Samsung devices mentioned in the lawsuit borrow heavily from the iPhone's design.

      There is also no denying that a rectangle with rounded corners is not Apple's design.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_PRADA

  • Is Apple Evil? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:58PM (#35915872)

    In just over one year:

    Apple iPhone illegally tracks users - April 2011
    Apple suee Samsung over "rectangle with rounded corners" - April 2011
    Apple sues Amazon over the phrase "App Store" - March 2011
    Apple hides and denies iPhone-4 defects - June 2010
    Apple sues HTC over Android - March 2010

    Not that any of this is new for Apple. Remember Apple's "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft, about 20 years ago?

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:00PM (#35915882)

    Tag Team effort against Android?

    April 2011: Apple sues Samsung over Android
    March 2011: Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, and Foxconn over Android *
    December 2010: Sony sues LG over Android
    October 2010: Microsoft sues Motorola over Android
    August 2010: Oracle sues Google over Android and Java
    March 2010: Apple sues HTC over Android

    * just when B&N announce the Color Nook as an Android Tablet

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