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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.'"
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Apple Is Giving Away Its Secrets By Litigating

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  • by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @08:59PM (#40890327)

    <old man rant>
    When Slashdot didn't cover the smart phone wars and we conversed open source and linux, then did a healthy microsoft bashing for good measure. I miss those days.

    I get that the editors love the traffic from Apple stories but I find them so damn tiring. Yes, they are a tech leader but does the Slashdot community need to notified about every little quibble? (hey look, a slashdot headline!) If Tim Cook so much as farts, it makes frontpage news here, followed by some idiotic editorial that would be modded flamebait if posted to a story.

    Slashdot reminds me of this video ... with Slashdot playing the role of Paranoia. Now, if only we could successfully "stab em". []
    </old man rant>

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:09PM (#40890385)

    Apple's not doing anything spectacular. The company is just creating a product design that differentiates themselves from the competition and marketing it. They have a lot of money to do that. It's not like they really have anything all that unique functionality wise. They are dependant on the same companies Dell, HP, and everybody else is. That is they are dependent on Samsung for hard drives, Atheros/Realtek/Intel/etc for wireless chipsets, Intel/AMD for CPUs, etc. If they actually were to create a new product it would be one thing. They aren't doing that though. They might be the first to market for some items although more frequently than not it seems they really aren't. They are just the first to mass market a particular product.

    The portable audio player is a perfect example of this. Apple didn't invent the portable mp3 player. These were around before Apple and another company fought the hard battle to 'legalise' the technology.

    They didn't invent the sleek design. There have been other products with few buttons. Palm had devices that were extremely sleek. Even to this day would be considered slim. Like the Palm M500 (though it did have a few buttons- which actually made it better than the crap Apple puts out).

    Apple just takes a product and mass markets it and then claims to own the technology/design. It's a load of crap. There are smaller players on the market like ThinkPenguin which have similar products. I'm not saying everything came before Apple. What I'm saying is that Apple's product line isn't that unique. It's not the only company which sells hardware with a non-Microsoft operating system or the only company capable of designing / releasing a sleek stylish design. Humorously there are a lot of "Apple" fanboys who like ThinkPenguin's stuff. Sadly they like it for all the wrong reasons. They should like it because it's freedom friendly. Not because it's stylish, slim, fast, etc.

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:31PM (#40890791)

    You're almost there. Apple's initial designs have some fairly serious problems, and then they iron out the bugs. Microsoft on the other hand seems intent to rush something out and play catch-up, but they never spend the kind of effort needed to fine-tune the design. Apple, or at least Steve Jobs, wanted everything to be perfect for the user so they are willing to pay a premium. Microsoft is aiming at the general market, often balancing price vs. design.

    iPod was not well-received until the third generation (2003) when a few redesigns were made and iTunes took off.

    iPhone had (relatively) abysmal sales until the end of the second generation, after at least one OS upgrade, and the third generation was on the way (3GS), making second generation less expensive.

    iPad was done very well, mostly because they were in development, realized the same could be done in a phone, and shelved it while they worked out the iPhone. The market was already there, in the form of subnotebooks such as ASUS EEE. They applied what they learned from the iPod and iPhone and got this one right early.

    Apple's marketing is the same way - lots of attention spent on the end user's experience, rather than how much it costs. Just looking at what we've seen already from the trial, Apple continually gets feedback from focus groups, and from various sources it seems they start before the product is out the door. I wouldn't be surprised to see many revisions of advertising before it gets out the door as well, although those are easier to update if it's not hitting the right note.

    Apple: worry about design over price, change the product based on user feedback

    Microsoft: Know corporations will buy whatever you're selling, eventually, and people will buy consumer goods for compatibility

    Different markets, different tactics. It doesn't help that Microsoft's "lost decade" basically left them with barely anything to show for it - a new OS that finally caught up with OS X because it was make-or-break with Vista's debacle, XBOX 360, and advances in its development tools. Microsoft's focus is not on the consumer, and "good enough" is ready for a release. "Good enough" does not exist for Apple, it always needs refinement. Not the mindless UI changes Microsoft has been putting on Vista, Office, and the Xbox dashboard, but addressing actual usability issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @10:49PM (#40890875)

    Apple: worry about design over price, change the product based on perceived user needs

    Fixed that for you. I never asked for them to take away the "save as" option. I never asked them to reverse the default mouse orientation in Lion. I never asked them to change the Safari icons to an asinine color combination where I can't tell the difference between enabled and disabled back buttons. I never asked them to take away functionality from my scrollbar. That is just their OS product.

  • by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:28AM (#40891405)

    It doesn't hurt to have a big enough legal budget to litigate the small fry out of the market.

  • by MrMarket ( 983874 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:22AM (#40891665) Journal

    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.

    The product you're selling also has to be good. "Fool me once..."

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.