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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight 738

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.

    • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:21PM (#40966327)

      Unfortunately, the market in question is not as well versed in the details as it was in that case. 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. One switch to one of the new BlackBerry phones because she wanted a physical keyboard (I'm in Canada, so we still have a bit of a soft spot for them). This isn't a valid statistical sample or anything, but it is a decent number. The only people I know that are keeping their iPhones are the ones that really don't use them for much.

      • 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.

        • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hherb ( 229558 ) <horst@@@dorrigomedical...com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:41PM (#40967843) Homepage

          You might be sorely disappointed then. At least with the iphone 3GS and iphone4 we have in our family, we too have to reboot on occasion in oredr to get out of the "no signal" in areas where there is definitely a good signal. Doesn't happen often, but happen it does. It does certainly not happen any mpre often than on my son's Galaxy S2.

          In terms of stability and reliability I would rate them "on par", but in terms of user friendliness and features in our family's collective opinion the Galaxy2 wins by a small but significant enough margin for the remaining 4 iphone users in the family wanting to make the switch. Everybody in my family is sick of Apple telling us what to do and preventing us from doing what we want to do through their appstore monopoly abuse.

        • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

          by puto ( 533470 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:01PM (#40968009) Homepage
          As a tech support manager with AT&T Iphones require more reboots than androids to maintain, regain, or have signal strength, the Iphone is the worst smart phone for seeing the network... You have obviously never used an iphone.
          • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

            by rhombic ( 140326 ) on Monday August 13, 2012 @08:19AM (#40971787)

            As a tech support manager for AT&T you recommend a full reboot to regain signal strength rather than just cycling the cell radio, which takes about four seconds? That explains a lot about the quality of support I seem to get from AT&T. Must be freakishly lucky,for the past two years I've only ever rebooted my iPhone for OS updates.

            • 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.
        • Re:History (Score:5, Informative)

          by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:02PM (#40968017)

          This is the textbook definition of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I've owned 3 Android phones and none of them have required reboots or had signal strength problems. Quite unlike the iPhone 4 actually where even a reboot wouldn't save you.

          So why blame the OS (Android) on a hardware / carrier software modification problem? Just get a Galaxy Nexus.

        • Re:History (Score:5, Informative)

          by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:25PM (#40968181)
          If your carrier doesn't have iPhones now, they aren't going to have them. It's just not cost effective. I was involved in some of the meetings in relations to this for a particular carrier and Apply royally screws the carriers just like they do all of their vendors and they absolutely refuse to negotiate. As a carrier you either take a loss on them just so you can claim you have them or you avoid them all together.
        • Re:History (Score:5, Informative)

          by Gumbercules!! ( 1158841 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @09:29PM (#40968659)
          You're not getting better signal strength by rebooting, you're rejoining a tower by rebooting. Your signal strength is dropping off over time because your provider has over-subscribed your area in terms of users vs tower capacity. Getting an iPhone won't change this.
      • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

        by phrostie ( 121428 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:33PM (#40967765)

        I was an iphone user.
        I didn't leave for Android, i left because of itunes.

        i have a Galaxy S. it's not perfect, but it's close enough i won't go back.

      • 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:History (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MrDoh! ( 71235 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @11:07PM (#40969287) Homepage Journal
          Aye, GVoice, even now, is great, but it still has a bit to go. Google just needs to stop wasting time and buy TMobile already! Wifi calling wherever possible, TMobile when away from a wifi. Sure we'll see some cool tech in Kansas City with their rollout. Apps, yeah, pretty much the same, though I do find it odd, that Google, being THE search engine, their app store is... faffy... to search through. I don't find it easy to find stuff in the apps. The web playstore is marginally better, but even so, needs work. Main issue is the actual install screen on the devices themselves. Simple usability things like, let me search alpha/time/type. If I click an app to install it, and hit back, take me back to the same position in the list so I don't need to keep scrolling scrolling scrolling.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 )

      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.

      • Re:History (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:12PM (#40966755)

        Where's SEA now versus the ubiquity of the zip file format. Katz had to change the extension, but won overall. He won because the community knew he had a better product, and SEA was using the courts to block him ... it's actually a really good comparison, and if people spread the word, Apple might be in the same position eventually, or have to at least change their ways.

        • by cheekyboy ( 598084 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @07:10PM (#40967583) Homepage Journal

          Throwing lots of android handsets at lawyers with apple logos.

          oh... make it html5, so it runs on iOS bypassing their safegarden, ($99 for a dev kit, forget about it)

      • Re:History (Score:5, Insightful)

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

        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.

        • 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.

    • We need to lump all these lawsuits together into one giant class action lawsuit. Then Google can award every android user a $10 coupon off their next android...or is it $10 off their next iphone?

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:01PM (#40966189)
      Samsung alone has been outselling the iPhone for a while, which is why Apple is desperately trying to crush them in particular.
    • 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 @04:41PM (#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.

        • 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.

      • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:51PM (#40966569)

        The litigation seems like a desperate attempt on Apple's part. They have a mighty war chest. And their customer love is huge. The market was bound to get bigger, and Apple knew it, and even Apple cannot last as a monopoly.

        How about more innovation instead of breathlessly baiting the world with nominal, incremental changes? Apple can't stop Android, try as it may. It might try to snack off vendor paranoia, as Microsoft has (to the tune of more revenue than their own phones). There's a law firm somewhere that told Apple that this should be part of their market share retention plan, and they bought into it, much to the love of armies of law firms. Those attorneys should be fired, and the temp turned up where Apple won lots of hearts: outstanding design and flawless customer retention. Ultimately, that's the only place I believe they can win. The courts might hand them victories, but at a hideous cost.

    • by cheesecake23 ( 1110663 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:03PM (#40966205)

      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.

      Umm, no. If you had actually RTFA, you would have seen that the iOS market share in the same quarter was only 17% (RIM, Symbian, Windows, make up the rest). I'm pretty sure one or two of the major Android suppliers (Samsung? HTC?) can match that 17% figure all by themselves.

      (But yes, this was measured in Q2 - expect iOS to do much better in Q4 when the next model is released. Also, matching Apple's smartphone *profits* is a different story.)

      • 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.

    • Sorry, you're wrong (Score:5, Informative)

      by marx ( 113442 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:04PM (#40966213)
      From the article:

      IDC notes that Samsung was responsible for 44% of all Android devices shipped. That equates to 46.11 million devices, or about 20 million more than the iPhone.

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

      • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:18PM (#40966301) Homepage

        20 to 1

        Thanks to ongoing lawsuit, we know [computerworld.com] that Apple's iPad outsold the Galaxy tablets by a margin of 20 to 1 when the Galaxy tablets launched. In the most recent quarter (which may not be complete), Samsung only sold 37k Galaxy tablets. For reference, during it's slowest quarter the iPad sold 63k units per day.

        Much like the iPod market, Apple is absolutely crushing people in tablets. The Kindle Fire has been be the best competitor, and it seems to have lost it's sales. The Nexus 7 is a much more compelling device, so we'll see what happens there. Apple doesn't have the lead in phones (only 16% of the market), but they have 71% [digitaltrends.com] of smartphone profits. Android may be moving more units, but that's not a good trend.

        • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:29PM (#40966387) Journal
          As I mentioned in the other tablet thread, Apple better worry about the Nexus. It's flat out a better device than the iPad- yes, it's smaller, but going back to iOS on my iPad feels like stepping back in time. Really, it's not close anymore- Apple's sat on their laurels and has decided to sue rather than innovate, and iOS 6 has a ways to go to catch up.

          As far as the profits argument, that's very true, just like it was back in the early days of the PC vs. the Mac. Apple has always had better margins than the commodity makers, but that doesn't matter since there will always be another member of the horde to take the place of anyone squeezed out. I own some Apple stock and I'm beginning to worry about it- the parallels to what happened to the Mac are beginning to look awfully obvious.

          Then again, I bought the stock back in 1998 at something like $2.50/share adjusted for splits, so I probably shouldn't complain too loudly...

          • by shugah ( 881805 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @05:44PM (#40966987)
            I bought an iPad 2 last fall and have serious buyers remorse now. It served its purpose while we were travelling in Australia and China for 4 months, but when we got back, I found pretty quickly that it can't really be used for business purposes. I wanted to use it for business presentations to save lugging my laptop around. So I bought both an iPad -> HDMI adapter and a VGA adaptor. However I soon found out that no matter how I tried to transfer my powerpoint presentation to the iPad, I could only "present" it within the Safari browser with a browser frame around it. I tried converting it to a PDF, but it was too large for the iPad and would open within any PDF viewer. I uploaded it to Google Docs, but Google Docs for iPad, displays it as a PDF within the brower window. It won't go full screen. The root of the problem is that the iPad doesn't have a user accessible local file system. You can't upload a file and open it with an application. You have to have an application "associated" with the file. Presumably file systems rank up there with having 2 buttons on a mouse as being too techy and complicated for Apple users. I gave up in frustration. iPad is a toy. I eventually found Scatterslides for Android that allows me to do presentations from my Android phone.
            • by noh8rz7 ( 2706405 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:30PM (#40967287)
              why dont you transfer it to keynote? you know, the software that is designed for this specific purpose. also, you know, use the appropriate tool for the job? "my ipad is great for some things, but it sucks at changing my car's oil, so I'm going to hate on it."
            • 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.

      • 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 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."
      • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @08:48PM (#40968373)

        You are making a mistake that's easy to make - you're believing what Samsung says. Samsung has a policy of withholding SALES figures because they're "commercially sensitive" and reporting SHIPMENTS instead. That is to say, Samsung reports how many phones it has put in boxes and sent to stores - it doesn't report how many of them got bought. That leaves analysts and journalists to make educated guesses as to how many phones Samsung has actually sold, and of course the closer the relationship between Samsung and those third parties the more enthusiastic their educated guess are. Google muddies the waters further by reporting "activations" and then the analysts and journalists make more guesses. And because there are a whole lot of entities with a vested interest in Apple having strong competition, a whole lot of articles get published claiming awesome things about Samsung's phone business. But you need to remember... they're guesses, made by people who have a personal stake in those guesses being good numbers.

        Now Samsung is being sued by Apple, and the court doesn't give a shit about "shipments" and "activations per day". The court cares about SALES. So Samsung has been compelled to produce actual verifiable sales data.

        They're not good.

        According to Samsung's response to the court, filed last Thursday, from June 2010 through June 2012 Samsung sold 21.25 million phones, generating $7.5 billion in revenue. By way of comparison, sold more phones in six WEEKS over the holiday period than Samsung sold across its entire range in the two YEARS up to the start of last month. Shit, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4Ss in FORTY-EIGHT HOURS.

        You can't say "oh that's biased this report from IDC says something much better and this forum post at androidforum.com says something much better" because these are Samsung's official figures entered into the record of a lawsuit. They have come from the legal department, not the marketing department.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:07PM (#40966235)

      How many units are sold by all X makers in aggregate isn't really all that important here.

      So the fact that Apple was on the ropes and facing the threat of bankruptcy and nonexistence back in the 90s and early 2000s thanks to that aggregate statistic that "isn't really all that important" means nothing in your little world?

      People wanted "a PC". They didn't want "a Mac". "A Mac" didn't run the programs "a PC" did, and was more expensive. People didn't care that what they bought was a Dell, or an HP, or a Vaio, or whatever. And it turned out the market didn't care, either. The aggregate sales of PCs beat the pants off of Macs in sales. Period. Apple knows this. They are terrified of what this means, because Steve won't come back to save their asses this time around.

      What does the entire "Apple sells the most of a single specific model of phone, and depends on that one single model of phone to promote their phone infrastructure, without which they're left with nothing" statistic MEAN, anyway? Um... good for Apple? Meanwhile, 68% of the smartphone market are using Android phones?

    • 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.

    • Bullshit. Samsung had 44% of Q2's Android sales, and shipped 46 million phones, while apple only shipped 26 million iphones. Samsung sold almost twice as much as apple.

    • I think people care about Android vs iOS comparisons because market share of an OS translates more or less directly to the size and vitality of the software you can get for those platforms. If it weren't for platform lockin nobody would give a shit about smartphone market share, no more than they care about the market share of dishwasher manufacturers or their brand of car. For Android to win as a platform (continue winning) it doesn't matter if a single model of phone outsells the iPhone, that's irrelevant
  • 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.

    • 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.

    • Apple's sue happy policy and I will take that into serious consideration during any future purchases.

      If you are not buying based on lawsuits, you are out of luck regarding buying any smartphones or tablets.

      Apple is not alone in suing lots of companies. Google (through Motorola) was trying to sue Apple over patents that were SUPPOSED to be able to be used by anyone implementing the 3G standard, at a standard cost - but Motorola was shaking down Apple for more. How is that fair or right?

      Meanwhile Samsung is

  • Wrong % (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nova Express ( 100383 ) <lawrenceperson@@@gmail...com> 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bennomatic ( 691188 )
      Also, the article kind of ignores the "shipped" vs. "sold" question. The word "sold" doesn't show up once in the article.

      Apple sells basically every item that's shipped. Nobody really knows with Samsung how many of those shipped devices end up gathering dust until they're sent back.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      77% of the profits in the smartphone market go to Apple. I always think it's funny when people ignore this rather insignificant detail!

      Source: http://allthingsd.com/20120806/apple-gorging-on-mobile-industry-revenue/

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          Or those loss making companies will go bankrupt or leave the market. With $100 billion in the bank and their current margins Apple can bankroll a pretty long fight. Apple only owns a relatively modest percentage of the PC market but they are easily the most profitable PC maker out there. They don't need much of the market share as long as they can continue to own the bits making all the profit. So far Apple has made all the right moves and their strategy looks good. Even Microsoft and Google cannot for

    • It's only important for investors in Apple or other manufacturers, basically. For everyone else who just uses smartphones, what they care about is apps - how many there are, how likely it is that their favourite app is available on the platform, etc. For all those people the important percentage is market share or install base.
  • by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @03:57PM (#40966167) Homepage

    The eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung

    No, but nice try.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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,

      • 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?

        • But now they are patentable. We may not like the current system, but it is the current system and until we change it we have to live with it.
          As you said, Apple have licensed several different technologies in order to build their products. Their competitors could chose to do the same.

    • How are they assholes when they reached out to Samsung multiple times and asked them - why are you copying us?

      Apparently you feel that blatant outright copying is OK, but the law may not agree with you.

  • by k2enemy ( 555744 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @04:03PM (#40966201)

    The numbers are from IDC, so they might not be very accurate. According to IDC, Samsung sold 2,391,000 tablets worldwide in Q2 2012, but according to Samsung's court documents in the Apple case, it sold 37,000 tablets relevant to the court case. It could be that almost all of their sales were international and/or not-relevant (such as Windows tablets), but it is hard to reconcile those numbers nonetheless. The most likely explanation is that IDC really sucks at estimating tablet sales. Maybe they are dramatically better at phones?

    Source: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/08/10/apple-sold-5-7-million-tablets-in-the-u-s-last-quarter-court-documents-show-samsung-sold-37000/ [cnn.com]

  • 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 bidule ( 173941 )

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

      Those who want affordable cell phone won't buy smartphones. I don't think Apple has a single patent that touches commodity cell phone. Don't be overly concerned.

    • 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 ThePeices ( 635180 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:02PM (#40967141)

    It makes me wonder, what if we lived in a world where Apple won and had its own way...

    The only smartphone in existence would be the iPhone, and they would hold so many patents that nobody but Apple could make smart devices that are usable. With a 100% market monopoly, the vast majority of cellphone owners would have dumb phones because they couldnt afford an iPhone. The iPhone would be one of the most visible separators of the rich vs the poor.

    Any person caught without an iPhone would be ostracised and teased as "that person who is so poor they cant even afford an iPhone, what a loser...etc etc".

    Innovation would drop to essentially zero in the mobile market, as any attempt at competition vs Apple would result in Apple Legal utterly destroying the offending company.

    In all, it would be the equivalent of the Smartphone Apocalypse, a veritable wasteland where only the well-to-do are allowed to enjoy the fruits of mobile technology, and the rest of us shamble along, dejected, left out and downtrodden.

    What an awful world that would be.

    Fuck you Apple, you narcissistic greedy bastards.

  • by hyphz ( 179185 ) * on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:03PM (#40967145)

    Seriously -

    Cheung Kung University of Taiwan are suing Apple [Patent infringement]
    The US Department of Justice are suing Apple [iBooks Price Fixing]
    Antione Pontbriand are suing Apple [iBooks Price Fixing]
    Noise Free Wireless are suing Apple [Patent]
    Trans Video Electronics are suing Apple [Patent]
    Scott, Koffman, SIlversmith and Monroe are suing Apple [In-app purchase baiting]
    Apple is suing Motorola [Patent]
    Motorola were suing Apple [Patent]
    Apple is suing Samsung [Patent]
    Samsung are suing Apple [Patent]
    Samsung are suing Apple again [Patent]
    Samsung were suing Apple yet again [Advertising]
    Apple is suing Kodak [Patent]
    Kodak is suing Apple [Patent, constructive litigation]
    Kodak is suing Samsung [Patent]
    Varia Holdings are suing Samsung [Patent]
    Varia Holdings are suing RIM [Patent]
    Samsung is suing the Australian Patent Commission [Patent]
    Apple is suing HTC [Patent]
    HTC are suing Apple [Patents bought from Google]
    Symantec/STEC IP are suing Apple [Patent]
    Nokia was suing Apple [Patent]
    Nokia is suing Google [patent]
    Nokia is suing HTC [Patent]
    Nokia is suing RIM [Patent]
    Nokia is suing Viewsonic [Patent]
    IPCom is suing HTC [Patent]
    Interdigital is suing Nokia [Patent]
    British Telecom is suing Google [Patent]
    ProView were suing Apple [Trademark]
    EMG Technology is suing Google [Patent]
    Microsoft are suing Motorola [Patent]
    Motorola are suing Microsoft [Paten]
    Oracle were suing Google [API Copyright]
    PayPal is suing Google [Patent]
    Mount Hamilton Partners is suing Google [Patent]
    The Authors Guild are suing Google [Google Books transcriptions]
    The state of Texas is suing Google [Antitrust]
    CamUp is suing Google [Patent]
    Intellectual Ventures is suing Motorola [Patent]
    Tivo are suing Motorola [Patent]
    Fujifilm are suing Motorola [Patent]
    Viacom is STILL suing Google [YouTube Copyright]
    MTEL is suing RIM [Patent]
    Openwave is suing Apple [Patent]
    Openwave is suing RIM [Patent]
    WiLAN is suing RIM [Patent]
    NXP Semiconductors are suing RIM [Patent]
    Dolby Laboratories were suing RIM [Patent]
    Evelyn Paswall is suing Apple [walking into a door]

    At that point, complaining about any one company refusing to innovate is unreasonable and it simply shows a major problem with the entire system of patents, especially in their interaction with international companies.

  • by kenorland ( 2691677 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:12PM (#40967195)

    Apple can engage in shenanigans around Android and patents for a while, but they really have nothing: right now, manufacturers may perhaps infringe on a few patents because Apple's patents are so vague and ill defined, but as part of the lawsuits, they have to put their cards on the table about which gimmicks they want to own. Once they do, it's easy enough to design around. And the damage that this b.s. is doing to Apple's reputation is immense: presumably, Apple is suing over their best innovations, and everybody now sees what they are: springy windows and black bezels.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday August 12, 2012 @06:24PM (#40967257) Journal
    The adage is those "who could, innovate. Others litigate". May be Apple thinks differently and asks "why not both?" and it litigates innovatively ;-)

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter