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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight 738

Posted by timothy
from the mysterious-ways dept.
First time accepted submitter amiller2571 writes "The eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung — the latest iteration of Apple's frantic legal battle against everything Android. The iPhone maker has also brought suits against Android device manufacturers HTC and Motorola. Apple has faced criticism for its endless lawsuits designed to stunt competition from Google's Android, but a quick look at Android device shipments in the second quarter of 2012 reveals a key number that suggest Apple is right to worry." Spoiler alert: the number the article focuses on is 68 — as in, the 68 percent of the smart phone market in this year's second quarter that consisted of Android phones.
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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

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  • History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kd6ttl (1016559) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:51PM (#40966121)

    We need a repeat of SEA vs. PKZip, with Apple as SEA.

  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:52PM (#40966133)

    68% of the market is occupied by almost all the other smart phone companies put together. In other words, they're all tiny minorities. The iPhone rules.

    Remember, Windows PC makers 'dominated' the market and Apple had only a 'small' share. Except, Apple had the largest single company share and the most growth and the greatest profits by far. How many units are sold by all X makers in aggregate isn't really all that important here.

    Apple also has the iTunes store that makes money off the back end. The other makers don't have that. They're jealous but failed. Apple's making it.

    (No, I don't have an iPhone, just observing.)

  • by xs650 (741277) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:53PM (#40966143)

    I'm a user of MS, Apple and Android based products. I'm getting tired of Apple's sue happy policy and I will take that into serious consideration during any future purchases.

    Apple is making MS look less douchebaggish by comparison.

  • Wrong % (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:54PM (#40966147) Homepage Journal

    The important % is: "What % of the available profit in the smart phone ecosystem is Apple extracting?"

    I would wager that Apple's percentage there is considerably higher.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:01PM (#40966185)

    Because they're assholes. They've always been assholes since the '90s. They've just never had the financial clout to follow through until several years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:03PM (#40966203)

    That's some ridiculous spin. Yes, that's true, but if you're an Apple shareholder, that sort of mindless fanboyism isn't going to change the reality: Apple is losing out to Android. It doesn't matter how much market share Apple has individually, it only matters that Apple is losing it. You can spin it 6 ways from Sunday but that shit aint gonna fly at the shareholders meeting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:04PM (#40966207)

    I think you forget just how evil MS was for a while. Apple may be suing firms it sees as copying its designs for lost revenue, but MS once drove a small company out of business because it's fonder was married to someone who did a bit of consulting for Netscape.

  • by wild_quinine (998562) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:04PM (#40966215) Homepage

    Apple is making MS look less douchebaggish by comparison.

    Microsoft haven't looked douchebaggish for years. They've looked by turns incompetent and lost. If they had ever built up any goodwill with me, I'd feel sorry for them.

    Apple are showing the world that competent evil is truly something else.

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:19PM (#40966305)

    I'm concerned that if Apple 'wins' too many of these patent lawsuits, we will all end up with expensive phones and few (if any) even reasonably cheap phones will be available. The costs of patents is pushing up the costs to the consumer too much in this case.

    We need to make sure cell phones remain inexpensive for all consumers to afford.

    A phone is an essential communications device. Land lines have begun to fade away. You can still buy land-line phones for under $20. An average smart phone is several hundred dollars to purchase outright (or will be factored into the monthly payment on contract). When a smartphone breaks, or gets stolen, the cost of replacement is now the average person's disposable income for a month or many months!

    Cell phones aren't made to last. We need to keep the prices down or a lot of people will be left out. I'm hoping one dominant player doesn't take over the market for this very reason.

  • by Spykk (823586) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:19PM (#40966315)

    68% of the market is occupied by almost all the other smart phone companies put together. In other words, they're all tiny minorities. The iPhone rules.

    I think that you are missing the point. For many people if you say "mp3 player" they hear "iPod". The same may have been true for "smartphone" and "iPhone" at one point, but the numbers suggest that it isn't true anymore.

  • by xs650 (741277) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:26PM (#40966371)

    I'm a user of MS, Apple and Android based products. I'm getting tired of Apple's sue happy policy and I will take that into serious consideration during any future purchases.

    Apple is making MS look less douchebaggish by comparison.

    Nothing is more douchebaggish than "I won't buy XYZ any more because of blah blah emotional decision" posts on the Internet.

    Apples numerous lawsuits aren't " 'blah blah emotional decision' posts", they are real.

  • by xs650 (741277) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:28PM (#40966381)

    I think you forget just how evil MS was for a while. Apple may be suing firms it sees as copying its designs for lost revenue, but MS once drove a small company out of business because it's fonder was married to someone who did a bit of consulting for Netscape.

    If you go through life navigating by looking in your review mirror, you are going to run into a lot of things.

  • Re:Wrong % (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:29PM (#40966393)

    I always find it funny that people bring it up. It's nice if your an Apple shareholder, but not particularly meaningful as a buyer of their products. Personally, I'd feel I was being overcharged.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:31PM (#40966419) Journal

    Samsung's smartphones alone sold 2x Apples'.

    These are some impressive numbers. Over the year ago quarter Android's market share increase is more than Apple's entire market share, and the market grew 42 percent overall as well. Uptake has been astounding. 104 million phones in a quarter. A normally slack quarter. Wow.

    Apple is seeing decent growth in unit numbers also, even with a new iPhone on the way.

    Between Apple and Android they have a full 85 percent, leaving just 15 percent for everybody else. Not one other player has 5 percent. It has become a two horse race.

    I would dispute one part of the article: "Legal Challenges Are Effective". Obviously if that were true the numbers would be vastly different. Lots of lawyers are being annoying and making good money. They can get injunctions against individual versions of individual vendors' products in individual jurisdictions. What they cannot do is stop the horde of manufacturers, vendors and product versions that they haven't sued yet, or in other parts of the world. There are neither enough lawyers nor courts in the world to do that. A lawsuit is a point attack and like a sword it can be brutally effective against a point target, but against a swarm of bees it is completely useless.

  • by edremy (36408) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:32PM (#40966435) Journal

    Nothing is more douchebaggish than "I won't buy XYZ any more because of blah blah emotional decision" posts on the Internet.

    Why? Not buying from a company that engages in business practices you dislike is one of the very few powers ordinary consumers have. Don't like Apple's sue-happy policy? Don't buy, and let them know why.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:36PM (#40966455)
    wait when did the GP mention ipads?? I thought he said iphones
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:41PM (#40966477)

    Ah, the new /. Where calling a company 'assholes' goes +5 Insightful.

    Maybe they genuinely believe people shouldn't duplicate their functionality, and that they should try to innovate on their own?

    For example, I don't recall them getting in such a huff over WebOS, because that actually had a unique approach and Apple had nothing to challenge.

    Looking at the court trial notes, it's obvious that Samsung sought to duplicate the iPhone's features 1:1 as best they could. There's a difference between saying 'hey, that's not exactly fair' and 'we're doing this because we're assholes'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:41PM (#40966481)

    I'm an Apple shareholder and it doesn't matter to me at all how much market share Apple has. What matters is what is supposed to matter to any company and it's shareholders--can it make money. And Apple is doing just fine at that.

  • Re:Wrong % (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:42PM (#40966487) Homepage

    The problem is that they could have 99% of the profit in the market, it doesn't matter if they keep on losing market share. Eventually, their profits will drop.

    The fixation on market share stems from the fact that if you don't have a market share, you're dead. Profits are nice and well for the few that benefit from them, but for the users what matters is "is this company still going to be around in 5 years?" It's a question many BlackBerry or Nokia users should ask themselves, for instance.

  • by ArchieBunker (132337) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:49PM (#40966555) Homepage

    Most of this duplicate functionality you speak of are things too simple to patent, or should not be patented in the first place. Plus Apple would not have a phone today had they not licensed tons of other technology. Is duplicating functionality really illegal?

  • by sjbe (173966) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:50PM (#40966563)

    I.e. Samsung alone shipped almost twice as many smartphones as Apple.

    Apple makes over 70% [investors.com] of industry profit. And Samsung is the only other phone maker making any significant profit at all in the smartphone. (HTC apparently makes a small operating profit) Pretty much every other phone maker including Research In Motion, Nokia, Motorola and Sony all posted losses. Because Samsung ships a lot more units (feature phones + smart phones) but still only has half the profit of Apple over the same period, that means that Samsung is competing with Apple primarily on price. Yes they are selling a lot of units but people (mostly) aren't buying them for the features - they are buying Samsung because of the price. It's unclear if Samsung will be able to continue its price leadership since there isn't all that much much to differentiate Samsung's Android phone from anyone else's.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:04PM (#40966677)

    Apples numerous lawsuits aren't " 'blah blah emotional decision' posts", they are real.

    Reactions to those lawsuits ARE emotional reactions. That's a judgement, just a fact. We have every right to have an emotional reaction to things and in fact a huge portion of our purchasing decisions are driven by factors other than pure reason.

    I roll my eyes every time I see one of these posts positing that Apple is somehow more evil than the rest of them. Every one of these companies Apple is suing would do the exact same thing if they were in Apple's shoes and many of them have. There are no good guys here. Every one of them is as guilty as the next.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:12PM (#40966759) Journal
    Apple will not be able to demand these premiums much longer if their market share doesn't pick up. To now they have used the prospect of denying a carrier the iPhone to keep their subsidy up. Since the Android phones are more profitable and more plentiful to the carrier, carriers will eventually say "meh. Let the other guy take the less profitable phone."
  • Re:Wrong % (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:15PM (#40966787) Journal
    Actually it is meaningful. It tells you if a prospective product is a likely dead end. It tells you where the developers are going to go.
  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Snowman (116231) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:18PM (#40966803) Homepage

    Are you under the impression that SEA lost? They won, and forced Phil Katz to abandon PKARC. Not PKZip, which was what Katz came up with him after he was forbidden to use the SEA file format.

    SEA won the battle, but Phil Katz won the war when the ARC format fizzled and died leaving ZIP as the predominant compressed file format.

    I think the OP was saying let Apple win their lawsuits, they're still drowning in a sea of droids in terms of market share.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:28PM (#40966879)

    A software platform vendor enableing a rich ecosystem of hardware vendors eating the lunch of Apple's combined OS+Hardware approach. Apple knows how it ended last time, and any possible chance it has to delay that process, no matter how desperate seeming, is worth it.

  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:30PM (#40966899) Homepage
    Erm, don't forget the Microsoft tax MS is getting by shaking down Android device makers over their mythical "Linux patents".

    Microsoft are still plenty douchebaggy, as well as lost and incompetent.
  • by paimin (656338) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:35PM (#40966929)
    Okay, if Android is crushing Apple so badly, explain this:

    http://netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=1&qpcustomb=1

    And explain my company (video advertising) has had literally ZERO customer uptake of the app SDK we built for Android, versus many production integrations of our iOS SDK, despite feature parity between the two.

    I know you Google fans are enjoying beating your chest, but this 68% number doesn't seem to bear any resemblance to actual usage. Ride the train in any major U.S. city and look around. Apple dominates the scene.
  • Re:Wrong % (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:46PM (#40967005)

    The problem is that they could have 99% of the profit in the market, it doesn't matter if they keep on losing market share. Eventually, their profits will drop.

    You are an idiot - you know nothing about business.

    Your comment only applies if the market share is static and fixed. If the market is growing (as is the smartphone/mobile computing market) then you can continue to grow your sales numbers and profit (and % profit of the entire market) while losing market share.

    And finally, it's not market share that determines if a company will be around in 5 years but profit and cash flow. Fail to make enough profit and eventually your cash flow will not cover your short-term commitments (or even your long-term investments in new tech) and you will go bankrupt.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:49PM (#40967027)

    That said, it's getting better. I've seen a large percentage of former iPhone users with Galaxy II and II Android phones. All are amazed at how much better it is, mainly in how you can customize the interface.

    As a counter-point to your purely ancedotal evidence, count me as one of many Android users who are waiting for their carrier to natively support the iPhone on their 3G+/4G network. I'd much prefer a phone that doesn't require a reboot simply to regain signal strength (I have an HTC) over a customizable interface, which I must admit I can live without. I've been an Android phone owner since the early days of 1.4 and my phone usage has never revolved around the home screen.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:55PM (#40967067)

    Strange ... everyone I know launches almost all of their applications from there, and on Android, can check the status of multiple accounts, weather, messaging, etc, at a glance. It really does revolve around the home screen. Probably more so in iOS. Having widgets and other ways of customizing it makes it far more usable, I think.

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:21PM (#40967235) Journal

    Agreed. And as an Apple shareholder, that should be your concern.

    My concern, as someone who is not an Apple shareholder, is what is good phone for me to buy. The answer to that is one of the many varieties of Android, one of which will certainly fit my needs. Perhaps I need a phone with replaceable batteries. Perhaps I need a phone with a physical keyboard. Perhaps I need the slickest interface with quad-core oomph and money is no object. Perhaps I need something under $100 that'll run basic apps.

    I have no doubts that Apple can make money with a small percentage of the market--they've been doing it for years.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#40967355) Homepage Journal

    If that's what the OP was saying, he's wrong. When Katz lost his lawsuit, he started over with his own format and won the resulting format war. If all the companies that Apple is suing lose, they can't just start over with non-Apple tech, because Apple is claiming ownership of fundamental smartphone features. They'll have to pay Apple royalties, which will make it that much harder for non-iPhones to compete.

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:49PM (#40967417)

    There were smartphones that offered a genuine alternative to Apple's design. The Palm WebOS phones offered a distinctive user experience and debuted to strong reviews, but they were destroyed by the flood of cheap, Android based iClones. Blackberry is on the edge of the same precipice. The iClone makers can undersell Palm and Blackberry because they don't have the development costs or risk of developing their own designs--they can just crib designs already market tested by Apple. Only Microsoft has the resources to pursue an independent design in the face of competition from the iClones (but unfortunately, design has never been Microsoft's strong suit).

    Perhaps if Apple wins its lawsuit, there will once again be opportunities for creative companies to develop original designs, and there will once again be real choices available to consumers

  • by jyx (454866) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:50PM (#40967425)

    I think you forget just how evil MS was for a while. Apple may be suing firms it sees as copying its designs for lost revenue, but MS once drove a small company out of business because it's fonder was married to someone who did a bit of consulting for Netscape.

    If you go through life navigating by looking in your review mirror, you are going to run into a lot of things.

    WTF? If people/corporations are never held responsible /reminded for their past bad actions, what is the point of *not* being an evil bastard.

    Sorry, accidentally banged your wife the other day - just move on fella. Oh yeh, I did steal every electronic appliance in your house when I said I was just going to borrow some sugar - wont happen again. Sure, we may have burnt down all your churches full of puppies and children.. but, forgive and forget.

    I can see you motto being adopted by all current and future psychopaths - Consequences are sooo last century I guess.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:01PM (#40967507) Homepage

    I have no doubt Android is here to stay. Apple has clearly responded to it in a few different way (notifications being an easy example). If the iPhone wasn't available, I would happily use an Android phone. I like all the experimentation that's been going on in Android, things like the Swipe keyboard and programs that do things iOS won't let you (i.e. turning notifications on/off when you arrive/leave various locations).

    My post was to point out two things. One is that while Android is more common on phones, it's barely registers in the tablet space. The best selling Android tablets have been the Nook and the Fire, both of which hide their Android roots. The Nexus 7 is supposed to be great, but it won't fix the problem. I can go to Best Buy, Walmart, Target, or tons of other places an buy an iPad; but right now the Nexus 7 isn't available in stores so it couldn't begin to sell the same numbers. It's a great first step compared to previous Android tablets though.

    Second is that while Android sells more handsets, there is a clear profit disparity between the two. They aim at different markets to some degree, but Apple is share of profits is more than merely disproportionate. This could mean Android phones can't sell at the same prices, that there are just tons more Android phones eating what used to be the feature phone market (my guess by far), or just that handset makers are cramming as much hardware as they can afford to differentiate themselves.

    I have a hard time believing that Android will continue to be developed the way it is now if the profit share for Android phones doesn't change. Google may be getting benefits from having more smartphones out there, but at some point the smartphone market will be closer to saturation and the pace of Android development (unfunded by licenses) may start to look like a financial drag.

    I don't know what will happen (Galaxy S3 takes off like a rocket in sales, Windows Phone 8 disrupts, Apple is forced to lower margins), but I don't think the market will stay the way it is too long.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:37PM (#40967801)

    "The root of the problem is that the iPad doesn't have a user accessible local file system."

    No, the ROOT of the problem is that you have to have an application that will open the type of file you've created. :) The same could be said about any desktop application that doesn't have a tablet counterpart. You could have had full access to the file system and, without an app to open it, you're still stuck in the same position.

    Just because I was curious, I searched "iOS PowerPoint" and found references to apps that would allow you to present from the iPad. Two of them, Keynote and SlideShark, only requires that you have the presentation on your device. No additional technology necessary aside from the iPad and the cable.

    "I eventually found Scatterslides for Android that allows me to do presentations from my Android phone"

    WHAAAAAAH?? You mean you had to download an app for Android that would allow you to show presentations? The Android file system didn't magically just allow you to open a powerpoint file? Gotta say.... I'm surprised! I did look into that application, though. It doesn't allow you to present from your phone directly (i.e., connect a cable from phone to projector and there you go!), you have to have a Windows device running Scattershow Player in order to present. And, well, if you HAVE a Windows device, why not present from that? Just sayin'.

    There are a LOT of reasons to need a filesystem on an iOS device, I'm not saying that there aren't. BUT, this isn't one of them. You just needed the right tool for the job.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:48PM (#40967913)

    I'm a former iPhone user, currently on Android. It's more customizable, all right... but "better"? I would not say that is true for the "normal" user. I like to screw around, so it has been fun for me... I'll probably get a Windows phone next, just to screw around with that. But the iPhone is ready right out of the box. The Android... works... out of the box. But it has taken me a few months to get it to where I don't feel the need, for example, to download a couple dozen keyboards until I find one that works as well as the iPhone's.

    The one common criticism about the Android that I can't really agree with is App availability. Sure, there are some real stinkers... but if you Google around first, you can usually find whatever you are looking for. There are certainly some Apple-first offerings, but that should only bother the impatient. And Apple apps tend to have a bit more polish... really just a reflection of the whole system.

    My biggest disappointment with Android so far has been the integration with Google Voice. It's so tantalizingly close, but things like text messaging are not fully integrated, nor does MMS have Google Voice support (but it does for Sprint customers?). Anyway... disappointing.

  • Re:Ok.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot@nosPaM.stango.org> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:11PM (#40968083) Homepage Journal

    Here's the thing. Appearance designs are not copyrightable or patentable in ANY other industry.

    Oh yeah? Form a soft drink company and sell your product in a bottle shaped like this, [4thringroad.com] and see how long it takes a cease and desist letter to arrive.

    Trade dress [wikipedia.org] is applicable in more than just the computer industry.

  • Re:History (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twbecker (315312) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:22PM (#40968625)

    Well isn't that just tough shit for the poor poor carriers. IMO the fact that the buying an iPhone screws the carriers is a point in it's favor. The bottom line is that Apple is building a phone users want. The Android manufacturers are building the phones the carriers tell them to build; phones intended to discourage competition and keep them from becoming a commodity, which is exactly what they should be. I have nothing in particular against Google or Android, but I'm not going to support a platform that the real Bad Guys are using to screw consumers.

  • Re:History (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twbecker (315312) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:29PM (#40968663)

    Um, what premium do you pay? Pretty sure $199 is the standard for pretty much all high end smartphones nowadays. And seriously you're complaining about upgrades with an iPhone? Did you pay for iOS5? What about iOS6 when it comes out next month? Ask an Android user how many upgrades they've gotten on their phones (rooted phones excluded). The Android upgrade paradigm is a joke. It's predicated on carriers doing the work to qualify and release them for every phone, and they have exactly zero incentive to do it.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:35PM (#40968717)

    Not much remains very long in this industry as a unique feature. Apple didn't invent the smartphone, didn't invent the browser, but did come up with a combination of best-of-breed (mostly) ideas that when combined, represented strong, easily understandable value.

    There's a value proposition, and added customer relationship. I could use a car analogy, but they've become trite. Apple custom-designed a hardware system that was/is very highly intertwined with its software loads. The combination is really strong. Yet others know how to do that, too.

    The PC model (save Apple and a small handful of others) was: build a killer hardware design, and we'll port stuff to it and together it'll sing. The driver glue that makes graphics go, the mathCPU mechanics that make rendering possible, some are more accidental than others. Apple's determination was to design something from the ground-up that worked together as a system; doing so meant no sacrifices for compatibility with someone else's (perhaps obscure) stuff.

    Their winning MP3 player became a phone, which became the crux of a tablet design. All three of these were really good, there is common agreement. They sealed the deal with developer ecosystems, and convinced the various media companies to market through iTunes. None of these things are unique, and numerous companies have the ability to mime the success. Why shouldn't they? Should they stand in the corner and twiddle their thumbs in fealty? Not gonna happen.

    Do the various companies that Apple stole from just go away? The unique portions of the Apple intellectual property pool are interesting, but there are many parts, like Google's (and so many others) that are just cannon balls to be used in IP litigation-- patent wars. This is not to defend Google, rather to identify that asset protection has a stage called: sue the bastards, where you slow down competition while you're trying to get ahead. This is the stage we're at with Apple.

    What do they have up their sleeves in innovation? What's left? TV, which is in crises due to digital delivery systems and corporate by-offs of news services. Wires glow in the US and across the world because of duplicate media delivery systems, and a usable Apple TV faces the problem most organizations face: the last mile, which is controlled by handfuls (at most) of companies across the globe. There's not enough wireless spectra to do it over the air, and not enough penetration of regional distribution systems (and fiber) to replace what's already there.

    So Apple has to either create new categories of "cool" stuff, or hold onto the growth in the markets they have, churn the base, and get some royalties if possible. They have to do this and report fabulous quarter after fabulous quarter to Wall St, or see their stock (and market-cap) go south, and quick. Can they do it? Not by stepping on their customers, so how else do they slow down the competition? Innovate or sue. Guess which one they're doing right now.

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @10:17PM (#40968961)

    Nah, that's not why the numbers are out of whack. The numbers are out of whack because Americans don't buy phones. Instead, they sign carrier contracts that come with a phone. Everybody else in the world, on the other hand, actually buys the phone first, then picks a carrier. So, yes, you're sort of right, it's price, but it's price because the market in the US is completely whack.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Monday August 13, 2012 @01:20AM (#40970039) Homepage

    He calls the carriers bad guys because they're rolling in profits and dictating what you can do and not do.

    He fails to apply the same standard to Apple. In the case of Apple, fans actually boast of the huge profit margins on each phone plus the fact that you can't do anything Apple doesn't allow you to is viewed as Apple protecting you.

  • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

    by richpoore (925284) on Monday August 13, 2012 @10:26AM (#40972779)
    As one who gives random tech support to non-techies sometimes it is easier to talk a user through a reboot than talking them through menus to cycle the network. Sometimes when helping others, especially when you're not present, the easiest route is more desired than the quickest or more efficient route.

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