Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses Patents The Courts Apple

Apple Is Giving Away Its Secrets By Litigating 149

An anonymous reader writes "Apple, by going to a jury trial to defend the patents of its most prized products, is allowing competitors and the public to see inside one of the most secretive companies in the world. From the article: 'While in court on Friday, Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, pulled the curtain further back when he divulged the company's advertising budgets — often more than $100 million a year for the iPhone alone. Also at the hearing, Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, explained that the early iPhone was called "Project Purple." Mr. Forstall said it was built in a highly secure building on Apple's campus. A sign on the back of the building read "Fight Club." Behind the security cameras and locked doors, most employees on the project did not even know what they were working on.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Is Giving Away Its Secrets By Litigating

Comments Filter:
  • These are secrets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:30PM (#40889027)

    So the secret sauce I need to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation is spend a lot on advertising, give my projects fabulous color names, hang up a fight club poster... Thats all it takes?

  • Slow day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:07PM (#40890033) Homepage Journal

    This a slow day samzenpus? This article is bad, and you should feel bad [].

    Possibly the worst headline ever. I notice nowhere in the summary or the linked article where Mr. Schiller specifically avoided commenting on the new iPhone due this fall. Don't worry, I'm sure there will be plenty of back and forth between fanboys and fandroids. Slashdot will get pageviews, and my karma will end up in the terlet.

  • by Meatbucket ( 2039104 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:12PM (#40890057) Homepage
    So I guess when I code a url in my app to point to the app store for posting a review I finally know what the "purple" means "itms-apps://"
  • Re:Patents (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:15PM (#40890077)

    This story isn't about patents, even though the trials are. The things being exposed is exposing stuff like Apple's development methodology and advertising tactics. I guess it also goes to show that the secret to Apple's success isn't it's technological innovation, but it's marketing budget.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:40PM (#40890231)

    Tell that to Microsoft. They spent half a billion marketing Windows Phone 7 when it launched, but that didn't seem to help. They spent a fortune marketing Bing, even paying people to use it, but that didn't help either.

    Marketing alone is never enough. You have to have the right product at the right time.

  • Secrets? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:42PM (#40890245)

    Uh, ok. I admit - I'm an Apple fanboy so I follow Apple news pretty closely but, thus far, nothing secret has been revealed. A large marketing budget for their key products? Uh, duh! A massive and secretive development process behind the iPhone? Seriously, duh! Literally, nothing at all that has been revealed thus far is anything remotely close to a "secret". The closest thing to a secret has been the revelation of specific prototypes but everyone knew there were prototype iPhone designs and most people already had a basic idea of what they looked like - now we have pictures. But the only people who consider any of this a secret are people who don't follow the tech industry at all and anyone who follows Apple surely finds nothing to be a shocking secret thus far.

  • by Grave ( 8234 ) <> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:47PM (#40890273)

    Marketing isn't just about how much money you throw at it - your ads have to actually be good. The WP7/Bing ads have been awful.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:23PM (#40890455) Journal

    Which indicates another way to become a multibillion dollar multinational corporation: Sell advertising.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:40PM (#40890573)
    Except for the fact that Microsoft's marketing has been routinely pathetic (anyone remember the Vista commercial with Jerry Seinfeld? [] )

    On the other hand Apple's marketing has been rather catchy (I'm a Mac, I'm a PC and the MacBook Air commercial)

    The biggest problem with Microsoft is that it tries to come up with improvements after the product is already out in the hands of the masses and makes so little improvements that for most its not worth changing. Apple comes up with a product and makes it desirable, it creates a mass market where there only was a niche market before. Apple didn't invent the MP3 player, it invented the market for the MP3 player other than among geeks. Apple didn't invent the smartphone, it made the consumer smartphone market.

    Apple is brilliant in creating a market where there wasn't one before. That, is great marketing.
  • Re:Patents (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:52PM (#40890627)

    Which explains why everybody is busy trying to copy their products, rather than their ads.

    Seriously. Were you dropped as a child?

  • by zaphod777 ( 1755922 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:13PM (#40890713)
    Tell that to RIM and Nokia, money alone is not enough when you have incompetent leadership.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @11:28PM (#40891091)

    On the other hand Apple's marketing has been rather catchy (I'm a Mac, I'm a PC and the MacBook Air commercial)

    Not [] any [] more. []

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:48AM (#40892419) Journal

    It's also a matter of timing. NeXT was doing pretty much everything that the first OS X Macs did - in some cases better - up to a decade earlier. But back when NeXT was doing it you couldn't sell the machines at a profit for anything under $5000, $10000 for a decent one. A bit later, Apple was selling more powerful machines around the $1000 mark.

    The same thing happened with portable media players. The 1.8" hard drives made mass-market ones possible. Earlier ones had used 2.5" laptop drives (too bulky) or flash (64-128MB - enough for one or two albums) and weren't that appealing. The iPod would have been a disaster if it had been released any earlier, because the technology just wasn't there. If it had been released later, then it's possible that the Nomad would already have had enough mindshare that it would have been hard to compete. Apple entered the market at exactly the right time and advertised the hell out of their product so everyone knew about the iPod, whereas only people who read geek news knew about the Nomad.

    Their phones and tablets are a similar story. It's not surprising that everything looks like an iPhone now - the availability of cheap capacitive touchscreens make finger-based touch interfaces popular. We're around the 20th anniversary of Microsoft's first entry into the tablet market, but these machines were huge (remember the size of a battery on a 386 laptop?) and needed a stylus. Being able to interact with the system with your finger - or fingers - is a big shift. Apple jumped in right at the right moment, when a new technology made a new market possible. And, once again, they threw huge amounts of advertising money so people think iPhone-like phone instead of phone-with-capacitive-touchscreen.

egrep -n '^[a-z].*\(' $ | sort -t':' +2.0