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The Real Reason Apple Is Suing Samsung 514 514

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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  • by jo_ham (604554) <> on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:22PM (#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.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:38PM (#35915414)

    Rubbish. []

    This isn't the first time apple has tried to sue over vague look and feel like assholes. Last time, in a saner era (well, apart from the thousands of nukes just waiting to rain down on USA and Russia and anyone in-between), they got their ass handed to them on a plate, and today we can use computers not made by apple that have windows, icons, mouse and pointer etc. (remember apple didn't actually come up with any of those things, they're just a litigation and marketing engine since Woz left in disgust). Unfortunately with the US legal system as corrupted as it is today, they might win this time.

  • by kervin (64171) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:48PM (#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.

  • by similar_name (1164087) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @12:58PM (#35915532)

    Frankly, the idea of companies being "friends" is a bit weird

    It's [] very [] weird [] indeed []

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:33PM (#35915736) Journal
    I don't know where you are getting your numbers for 'every other market,' but in Europe at least, iOS is beating Android as far as I can tell [].

    Mods, if you want to mod me down, do it because you have data that shows I am wrong, not because your inner fanboy is coming out. And for the record, I prefer Android because it is open. But I care about data more.
  • Re:Yes, and? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @01:41PM (#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 @02:02PM (#35915900)
  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @02:11PM (#35915972)

    I believe those comScore numbers are installed base, not current sales.

    You believe wrong. Every quarter that Google announces the squishy "Android Activations per day". Apple announces the number of iPhones and iPads sold. For the last two quarters, while they haven't given out exact iPod Touch numbers, they have given out iPod numbers and said "more than half" are Touches. Simple math shows that Apple is still selling more iOS devices than Android.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @02:15PM (#35915988)

    This isn't the first time apple has tried to sue over vague look and feel like assholes. Last time, in a saner era (well, apart from the thousands of nukes just waiting to rain down on USA and Russia and anyone in-between), they got their ass handed to them on a plate,

    The last time Apple won the case, and eMachines and Future Computers (or something similar) had to stop selling computers that looked like iMacs. Apple had design patents that protected the design of the iMac. They have design patents that protect the design of the iPhone. So I expect the same outcome. Interestingly, eMachines also had a design patent for an all-in-one computer that reminded me strongly of an alien with ears so they must have been aware of the protection that design patents give you; they probably just liked Apple's design of the iMac better than their own.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @02:26PM (#35916062)

    I'm glad you made those points regarding trade dress suits. I'm reminded of an excellent writeup [] I saw a few days ago which went into detail about the lawsuit and its merits. They really tried to put the importance of the different points in laymen's terms so that anyone could understand whether or not a particular part of the lawsuit was fluff or substance.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:00PM (#35916296)

    Certainly the ideas of rectangular device with rounded corners came out before the iPhone.

    Apple does an amazing job of taking ideas from others, and improving those ideas, and doing a great marketing job. But practically ever big idea from Apple, did not originate from Apple.

    Apple did not invent:
    - the PC
    - the GUI
    - the mp3 player
    - the online music store
    - the smart phone
    - the tablet computer
    - or much of anything else.

    So isn't Apple just as much of a "copycat" as anybody?

  • Re:it is why (Score:3, Informative)

    by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @03:06PM (#35916348)

    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.

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

    by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @04:40PM (#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.

  • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @04:44PM (#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 [] 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.

  • Re:it is why (Score:3, Informative)

    by toriver (11308) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:13PM (#35917002)

    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?

"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington." -- Admiral Grace Hopper