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Chinese 'Apple Peel' Turns iPods Into iPhones

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the cheap-data-is-the-key dept.

Cellphones 178

angry tapir writes "The Apple Peel 520, a Chinese-developed product that drew the media's attention for being able to turn an iPod Touch into an iPhone-like device, is coming to America. The add-on device, which just went on sale in China, has been billed as a more affordable option for users wanting to get their hands on an iPhone, but lacking the budget."

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It is a phone (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731830)

It juts uses the iPod as its UI.

Re:It is a phone (5, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732116)

'It juts uses the iPod as its UI.'

Or to put it another way, it replaces the cheap phone components that Apple left out of the Touch so that it could cash in on the low end of the market without threatening the status of its expensive flagship product. Although the true cost is often buried in a contract, in the UK you can buy an unlocked 64Gb iPhone 4 for £599. The equivalent iPod Touch is £329. Obviously the iPhone 4 is more expensive to produce, but not £270 more. The cost of this device (not to mention the cost of a complete PAYG Android phone, about £100 over here) shows that Apple could produce a much cheaper device if they chose to. But rather than owning the whole smartphone market (as they already own the mp3 player market all the way down to the Shuffle), they've decided to focus entirely on the high end. Whether this will turn out to be a wise decision in the long term remains to be seen, but it's obviously highly profitable right now! In the meantime it leaves us with the oddity of the iPod Touch, a device designed by bean counters, which has no real competition in the market because only Apple can get away with selling a 'smartphone without a phone'.

Re:It is a phone (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732230)

I don't know about in the UK, but here in Australia the iPhone is quite a bit more expensive than the iTouch, but so are Android phones. Most people get these kind of phones on contracts - $0 upfront and $59 p/m (anything from $350 to $500 of cap) over 24 months seems like the standard plan for a majority of the providers. I'd say people are drawn here by the small monthly payments. Why pay $380 for a lesser product when you pay nothing for it on a cap plan (the plans are almost identical to the BYO plans)?

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732594)

The cheapest PAYG Android phone in the UK is about £80, less than half the price of the cheapest Touch. Step up to a better model and add an 8Gb card to equalise the storage and it's about £115, £74 less than the basic Touch. Another payment of £20 will buy you 6 months worth of 3G net access on T-mobile (though with adequate rather than great coverage where I live). Cheap PAYG phones are common in much of the rest of Europe, though less so in some other countries including Apple's core US market.

Re:It is a phone (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732674)

The cheapest PAYG Android phone in the UK is about £80, less than half the price of the cheapest Touch.

Which phone is that? Most I have seen have been twice that, and I don't think I've seen one below £100. At £80 I might get one

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732724)

T-mobile Pulse Mini from Argos. But you only get a resistive screen (the regular Pulse for £20 more has a very decent capacitative screen).

Re:It is a phone (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733152)

The cheapest Android phone is also a turd. Heck I have an EVO and I think that's a turd for the most part.

Why don't you stop buying turds, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733254)

Why don't you stop buying turds, then? Or is this so you can complain about Android phones whilst kidding on you're no fanboi?

Re:It is a phone (5, Insightful)

khchung (462899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732292)

only Apple can get away with selling a 'smartphone without a phone'.

I recall something that was called "PDA" which seems to qualify quite well as a "smartphone without a phone", and quite a few companies like Palm, HP has been quite successfully selling those before smartphone became popular.

I know it is trendy with moderators to bash Apple here, but at least try to bash for things they are actually guilty of, ok?

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732492)

'I recall something that was called "PDA" which seems to qualify quite well as a "smartphone without a phone", and quite a few companies like Palm, HP has been quite successfully selling those before smartphone became popular.'

I think the key phrase here is 'before smartphones became popular'. Now that the additional phone components are so cheap, PDAs have essentially vanished and the Touch pretty much has its niche to itself. I can't imagine any similar device without Apple's brand image and iTunes/App store compatibility doing well, at least in countries like the UK where several PAYG Android phones are available for substantially less than the cheapest Touch.

Re:It is a phone (2, Insightful)

FalcDot (1224920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732660)

Except that my Touch needs to be recharged maybe once a week, depending on exactly how much I use it for gaming on the subway. My ordinary cell phone also lasts about a week on a charge. Yet if I were to combine both, I'd end up needing to recharge it every day. And I'd better have my charger around 'cause it might not last through the entire day.

Re:It is a phone (1)

od05 (915556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732756)

My Samsung Moment lasts a day, at best.

Re:It is a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733096)

Hey, what do you think you're doing? This is an Apple bashing story! If you aren't bashing Apple or being trolled, get out!
Nobody cares about your Samsung!

Geez, some people!

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733020)

It's certainly true that the current generation of smartphones is very battery hungry. But a lot of this comes down to additional capabailities that even the combination of a wifi media player and a conventional phone won't give you. The things that really seem to drain my battery are 3G net access and GPS; if I just leave the phone switched on to receive calls and only use non-networked apps like an epub reader I can go a couple of days between charges (with normal usage, I charge once a day). And, of course, I only have to worry about a single charger (or just a cable where I have access to USB, like at work). But with your usage pattern a smartphone may have fewer advantages - 3G and GPS tend not to work well on the subway!

Re:It is a phone (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733422)

my android phone lasts 3 days if i don't run games or listen to music. also, i can recharge it on any USB port in the world, a compatible cable (micro USB) is dirt cheap.

and i only have to carry one device.

there was a time that i'd rather have an ipod for music a phone for calls, since most "feature phones" of the time had crappy music players with shitty sound.

today, most phone have comparable sound quality to ipods, have pretty decent screens that i can read well even in the sun, plus very decent mobile browsers. so my pockets are a little less crowded, if the price to pay for it is recharge more often, so be it.

Re:It is a phone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732706)

only Apple can get away with selling a 'smartphone without a phone'.

I recall something that was called "PDA" which seems to qualify quite well as a "smartphone without a phone", and quite a few companies like Palm, HP has been quite successfully selling those before smartphone became popular.

I know it is trendy with moderators to bash Apple here, but at least try to bash for things they are actually guilty of, ok?

Don't know about you but I haven't seen a PDA in years. They are not a viable product for anyone but Apple which is why the PDA makers have all either perished or added phone functionality to their product line.

Re:It is a phone (2, Informative)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732758)

If you 'recall' then, Apple was also first on that bandwagon. Newton anybody?

Re:It is a phone (1)

lineswine (731846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733200)

If you 'recall' then, Apple was also first on that bandwagon. Newton anybody?

Yes, and what a roaring success THAT was! Does anyone have one that isn't in a museum?

Re:It is a phone (1)

sharkman67 (548107) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733480)

I do! Actually two of them. Still work great!

Re:It is a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732388)

In the UK you can buy products that don't exist? Like a 64 GB iPhone 4?..

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732456)

'In the UK you can buy products that don't exist? Like a 64 GB iPhone 4?..'

Oops! The correct comparison is of course between the £599 32Gb iPhone 4 and the £249 32Gb iPod Touch. Of course this just makes the iPhone look even more expensive relative to the Touch.

Re:It is a phone (1)

andyh-rayleigh (512868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732474)

in the UK you can buy an unlocked 64Gb iPhone 4 for £599. The equivalent iPod Touch is £329.

There are more differences between the iPod touch and the iPhone than just the phone components:
GPS, compass, battery capacity. In the previous generation the touch was also missing the cameras and microphone.

OK, that's still less than £270 worth but the difference is closed somewhat.

Re:It is a phone (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732560)

It's actually a £350 difference for the 32Gb models (my mistake, see above), and I'd say that GPS and compass at least are now 'cheap phone components' even if the Apple Peel doesn't come with them - an £80 PAYG Android phone on sale in the UK has both.

Re:It is a phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732476)

Only the uneducated think the new iPod is simply an iPhone4 without the "phone". It's hugely worse in a number of ways - much worse screen, half the ram, no gps, etc. etc.

Re:It is a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732710)

The new Touch has the same "Retina Display" as the iPhone 4.

Re:It is a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732752)

Regarding Apple's customers - "if you've got a cow, you have got to milk it"

Re:It is a phone (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732828)

Or to put it another way, it's vaporware. If the device needs to connect through the dock, then the manufacturer will need to get approval from Apple, and will need to license Apple's proprietary dock technology. Let's hope they dot their eyes and cross their teas... and stick with the developer agreement... so if Apple rejects their design for no good reason, they can at least file some sort of lawsuit, ala google apps, and don't just start selling it without Apple's approval, and get sued back into vaporware.

Personal Massager (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33731838)

I would like a personal rectum massage device that can communicate with Apple Peel. Bonus points for vaginal discharge enhancement.

I hear lawyers licking their chops... (0, Redundant)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731842)

Somehow, I have the feeling Apple is not going to be happy about this...

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (0, Redundant)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731918)

Boy are you going to be in for a surprise when you find out that US laws emphatically do NOT apply in China :)) .

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

DougBTX (1260312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731934)

Presumably they do apply in America, though?

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732678)

Presumably they do apply in America, though?

Unless you're a Muslim

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731972)

Boy are you going to be in for a surprise when you find out that there are no US laws that make this illegal.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732010)

Boy are you going to be in for a surprise when you find out that there are no US laws that make this illegal.

Meh ... they'll just throw some random DMCA, copyright/license violation accusations around, attacking the way that thing interfaces with the iPod. Supported by a horde of lawyers Apple would win; at least keep it off the US market.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732246)

That's almost certainly what they'll do, and I'll tell you how they'll do it.

They'll point out that iPhone, iPod and Apple are all trademarks of Apple Computer. If the distributors wish to continue selling their product, they'll have to sell it with a description along the lines of:

"The new Peel device turns a well-known MP3 player into a telephone! But we can't tell you which MP3 player it is!".

Wasn't a well-known parallel importer from Hong Kong closed down with a similar suit?

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732336)

So what? These things can and will be sold across borders, regardless of whether there is a company on US soil that is legally able to put them on store shelves. A lawsuit would bring much-needed publicity, the closing of a front company with maybe two employees total and not much else.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732460)

You'd better tell Lik Sang that. They thought they could do exactly that.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (3, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731986)

I get the feeling that China values innovation far more than the USA does.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (5, Insightful)

Der Huhn Teufel (688813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732066)

China values imitation much more than the USA does.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733106)

China values imitation much more than the USA does.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733270)

china values imitation much more than the USA does.

To use a Fark meme (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732070)

LOL WUT?

Are you serious? Have you looked at the Chinese market? China does very little innovation. Their economy is nearly entirely based around either producing things to the specifications of other companies (some of their best known places like Foxconn do this) or to copying devices that other made. China is big on knockoffs. You innovate, they'll copy.

Even when they try and innovate, it is often rather shallow. For example China has been trying to enter the CPU market with the Loongson processors. So, some amazingly new innovative system right? No not at all. It is just a MIPS chip, and not a very good one. Initially they just copied the architecture and tried to work around patents, now they simply license it. So a bit of innovation I suppose, it is a new chip, but not much.

The Chinese economy is many thing but innovative it is most certainly not. That is just not how they've based it. That may change but currently they are all about building things that others designed. Often times it is a work for hire, other times it is straight up copying/fraud.

Re:To use a Fark meme (0, Troll)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732174)

I just said "more than the USA" not that it was "very" innovative.

Right because the USA makes nothing (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732538)

Well except for CPUs. Every desktop CPU is designed in the US (both AMD and Intel are there) and a large number are made in US fabs. But that's it. Oh well and graphics cards, nVidia designs their cards in the US (AMD in Canada). And ICs like A/D converters (Texas Instruments designs in the US). And airplanes, one of the two remaining major airline designers/manufacturers is Boeing, who is in the US. And search engines, both Google and Bing are developed in the US...

Getting the point? The US actually innovates a hell of a lot. You find a great many new, high tech, things are developed in the US, even if they aren't built there.

This is NOT an example of Chinese innovation, it is an example of the opposite. Apple did the innovating, to the extent there was some. The developed the platform, the OS, the UI, all of that stuff. This just adds a cellphone radio to the iPod Touch. That isn't innovative, that is what an iPhone is. Not saying it may not be nice for people but innovative it is not. They just bought off the shelf GSM parts and wrote an app (probably using Apple's development tools) to modify another off the shelf device to act just like yet another off the shelf device. Neat? Perhaps (though if iPhones are too expensive just get something else, seriously there are plenty of other good, maybe even better, smartphones out there). Innovative? Not hardly.

Seriously, this hate on the US's industry shows nothing but your own ignorance of the actual markets. Do some research, if you actually care, and you'll discover that the US designs (and actually builds too) a whole lot of high tech, state of the art, shit. You'll discover China does not. Usually when they make somethign high tech, it was designed elsewhere and many of the parts are made elsewhere too.

Like say you buy a Denon receiver. Very high tech gadget with lots of nifty features. Unless you buy the high end ones, it is made in China (the high end ones are made in Japan). However all of them are designed in Japan, China only does the assembly per Denon's specs. Also the DSPs, the heart of their capabilities, are designed by Analog Devices (USA) and fabbed at either their US or Irish fab. Their converters are designed and made by AKM Semiconductor in Japan. Their room correction software is designed by Audyssey Labs in the USA. It's video processing system was designed by IDT (USA) and made by TSMC (Taiwan).

So while the label may say "Made in China," all that means is they assembled the parts. All the "innovation" went on in other countries.

Go research it, if you care, but please stop spouting off if you aren't willing to.

Re:Right because the USA makes nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732578)

> Every desktop CPU is designed in the US

http://www.arm.com/about/company-profile/index.php

Re:Right because the USA makes nothing (2, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732810)

This is an example of the kind of innovation that happens in the developing world, where ingenious, relatively low-tech, cheap solutions are found to problems that don't really exist in the developed world.

The Economist had an article on this in the last year or so (and a stupid name for it that was irritating but would at least have helped me google it up for you).

Re:Right because the USA makes nothing (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732878)

Well, the Chinese are more innovative at keeping a static population through procreation, and at having only male children, also, at selling organ-killing baby formula on the cheap, and they are pretty innovative at suicidally intense societal pressures, and at pushing their students to achieve in the medieval and abstract and ultimately meaningless arena of 'grades' (WWAD). You gotta give them that. I like Chinese.

Re:Right because the USA makes nothing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733068)

So while the label may say "Made in China," all that means is they assembled the parts. All the "innovation" went on in other countries.

Indeed, when the Chinese started trading knockoff machine tools with the rest of the world they copied designs so faithfully that they copied every last flaw. It's great for parts interchange, though.

Re:Right because the USA makes nothing (1)

lineswine (731846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733490)

Well except for CPUs. Every desktop CPU is designed in the US (both AMD and Intel are there) and a large number are made in US fabs.

Patriotism will never defeat reality. The Pentium M processor was the first design to emerge from Intel's Israel design centre. AMDs main chip foundry - Fab30 is in Dresden (Germany, NOT Ohio) Try again, sparky.

Re:To use a Fark meme (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732254)

People said the same thing about Japan 30 or 40 years ago. Now look where they are.

...and? (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732574)

I never said China wouldn't change. My statement is on what the situation is, not what it will be. The original poster seems to have this idea, as do many online, that the US doesn't do anything. Nothing comes out of the US anymore except movies...

Well that is completely false and it takes not much research to discover the fact that the US does tons of R&D, tons of innovation (and for that matter is still the world leader in manufactured goods, though China will overtake them by 2020 or sooner). It also doesn't take much research to reveal that China does not do hardly any innovation. Their economy is currently all about either building things to spec, or copying things.

I am not judging that as a bad thing, just stating a fact.

This is also particularity silly in this case, where it is something that is very non-innovative. They took a device designed by Apple, added to it off the shelf GSM components, and made it work like another device designed by Apple. That's fine, but innovation? Hardly. Innovation would be creating a new smartphone platform from scratch. This is just attempting to cash in on the fact that Apple sells an iPhone without the radio for significantly less than the cost of adding a radio. Business savvy, but not innovative.

Re:...and? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733416)

The Chinese do not need to design a new cellphone platform. Android is there for anyone to use.

Re:To use a Fark meme (2, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732350)

People were talking about Japan in the same disparaging terms during the early seventies. Ten years later those same people were all "japanese work ethic" this and "kaizen" that and "we must be saved from cheap, excellent, innovative Jap cars" the other.

Re:To use a Fark meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732534)

Riiiiiight. You do know that their biggest video website, tudou.com launched before the first line of youtube code was even written, right? Just to name a small example of irrelevant innovation.

You're forgetting that innovation is almost always evolutionary. The Chinese obviously are behind in almost all industries, so they their innovations seem backward to us, but that doesn't mean they're not innovating at a very rapid pace relative to their level of development. As soon as they catch up to our level, you'll find that they have "suddenly" started to innovate. We've seen this with Japanese and Korean before, are seeing it with Taiwanese now, and will see it with Chinese next.

Re:To use a Fark meme (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732808)

Here's an innovation.

I wonder if this link will work :

http://j.map.baidu.com/r-jM [baidu.com]

that's the world trade centres in Beijing.

If that doesn't work go to http://maps.baidu.com/ [baidu.com] search for beijing '', and the click the '3D' button ().

Amazing.

Re:To use a Fark meme (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733338)

China cannot use advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes because of a trade embargo on the export of such machine tools to China. Namely lithography machines of the latest generation. This means their processors will always have worse performance no matter how smart they are.

Their government is probably just interested in having "good enough" electronics for a wide range of products. Even if they cannot replace imported components, they can still have their own home grown electronics used on strategic assets which do not require a lot of computing performance.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

newviewmedia.com (1137457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732870)

China lacks the restrictive legal framework far more than the USA does. Showcase of what's wrong with the free market and innovation in the US.

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (1)

stephencrane (771345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733074)

This device doesn't scream innovation to me. It's not like it hasn't been thought of before. It also sounds like it uses off-the-shelf components, with a bit of minor design thrown in. No, the real value-added here is that a Chinese company (especially with some political backing) carries an implied resistance against the litigious patent culture. They're just less afraid of being sued by Apple, and made a play. That's cool and the gang with me, more or less, but it's not really innovation (reverse or otherwise).

Re:I hear lawyers licking their chops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733188)

This is not innovation. Show me something original that China/India/etc. have developed. They are the kings of knock-off, but innovators they are not.

Oh, that's what they do? (-1, Flamebait)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731880)

From the article:

But the Apple Peel is a notable example of "reverse innovation," in which Chinese developers have found ways to tweak products from foreign countries and make them more suitable for the domestic market, Wu said.

Funny, I always said that is a case of them doing whatever the hell they please because they have no appreciation for the hard work of others.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33731904)

Consider:

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
- Isaac Newton

I am not condoning massive copyright infringement, but consider that the Chinese electronics industry is much, much more vibrant in terms of consumer options than any Western market. Perhaps this is not entirely a bad thing.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732058)

Were it not for Apple, whose products would the Chinese 'tweak'?

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732232)

If it wasn't for China, where would Apple produce its "products"?

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732576)

Motorola? Nokia? Pretty much every electronics brand is selling stuff in China that will never see they day of light outside of Asia.

Don't like Google? Get your Android phone with Bing or Baidu. Prefer a different maps provider? Got that too. Need dual-simcard slots? No problem. And that's on brand phones. All legal, not ripping anyone off. Even if you ignore the huge number of shady products, choice is definitely bigger in China. I dare say that it's in fact these shady products that force the brand manufacturers to actually delivery stuff people want, rather than stuff they prefer to sell.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732896)

Zune :-)

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731978)

Funny, I always said that is a case of them doing whatever the hell they please because they have no appreciation for the hard work of others.

Because, as we all know, Apple developed their products from scratch. They started with the fire, then the hardened wooden spear, etc. Up to the iPhone.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732050)

The difference is that Apple has paid licensing fees. Random Chinese copycat production company? Not so much.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732120)

Bull.

Apple is being sued left and right by companies that have actually innovated in the cellular field. Apple just copied everything and paid no-one.
Apple has blatantly refused to join any patent pools, instead they happily infringe other companies' IP rights.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0, Redundant)

dwater (72834) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732356)

> Bull.

> Apple is being sued left and right by companies that have actually innovated in the cellular field. Apple just
> copied everything and paid no-one.
> Apple has blatantly refused to join any patent pools, instead they happily infringe other companies' IP rights.

Yeah, this is my impression too.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732212)

The difference is that Apple has paid licensing fees.

I would need a citation for that. Who did Apple pay for the fire? plastics? electricity?

Never forget that you're talking about a non-natural law concept that shouldn't be treated as moral law.

If a different country doesn't share your mercantile laws, tough luck. You change that by military or economic threats, but you have no moral claim on those rulings.

I would have a different opinion were we talking about human rights, for example, in which you have both morale and law on your side.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732448)

in which you have both morale and law on your side.

I understand your point and I generally agree with you. However your final line made me think about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [un.org] . You might be overly optimistic because many of points of that declaration are not taken fully into account by the laws or the common practices of even the major countries of the world.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732454)

You're right. I thought about that but I lack a term for what I understand as "basic human rights".

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732886)

Tell that to Nokia who is currently in an infight with Apple because Apple violated their patents blatantly without paying them. Tell that to HTC which is older than Apple in the mobile phone arena which apple currently is suing for stuff they have copied themselves.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732002)

This may actually sell more iTouches. It does not infringe on Apple's intellectual property at all. It's simply a peripheral that adds functionality to a device. That fact doesn't change just because Apple sells a higher priced iPhone. For those who like iPhones, they will probably not be encouraged to buy an iTouch and a peripheral. Somehow I don't thing the experience will be the same.
How is that not appreciating the work of others?

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0, Troll)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732042)

What is an iTouch?

You've also taken my comment out of context, which included the quote from the article.

And you're replying to a troll, but that's a shame on me.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732074)

An iTouch is an Apple iPod Touch, like a PC is "a compatible descendant of an IBM AT". Sometimes regular Joe citizen-consumers evolve the freedom to develop their own terminology rather than adhering to the Kennel Club Official Brand Standard. Sit, Ubu, sit!

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732514)

Remember that AT&T has an exclusive lock on the iPhone. The iPod Touch, therefore, wasn't just a lower-end product (relative to the iPhone) or a higher-end product (relative to other flash-based iPods). It was a way to get a product with part of the functionality of an iPhone, that was NOT subject to the AT&T agreement.

Add a phone feature back in ... and, you guessed it, the AT&T agreement would almost certainly apply. That's why you're not going to see Apple selling this or endorsing this (aside from questions of quality, and of Apple wanting to have the hardware profits). If the big attraction is being free from AT&T, it's not an attraction that Apple can easily offer (yet), or one they need these guys to help them offer (later).

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732028)

Wait, are you saying that tethering your iPod Touch (or any other TCP/IP client) to some sort of mobile network gateway is, "a case of [those pesky Chinese] doing whatever the hell they please because they have no appreciation for the hard work of [Apple]"?

The biggest differentiator between an iPhone and an iPod Touch is the 3G radio. Guess who didn't develop GSM tech, but doesn't adhere to the licensing terms offered by the developer? I guess it's a case of [Apple] doing whatever the hell they please because they have no appreciation for the hard work of [Nokia].

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733000)

The biggest differentiator between an iPhone and an iPod Touch is the 3G radio.

Yeah, the phone UI and more so the interface between the phone app and the other apps is completely unimportant. Who would want to be able to tap on a phone number on a web page and be able to simply call it? That's what copy&paste is there for.

BTW, the Apple Peel doesn't not have 3G.

Re:Oh, that's what they do? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733280)

Who would want to be able to tap on a phone number on a web page and be able to simply call it?

Mass market PDAs/palmtops/whatever have had "call 'phone number in a document using a particular input combination" for at least two decades, starting off by simply emitting DTMF tones.

If you thought
(1) Apple was the first to think of this, a specific case for the WWW of "different protocols open different handlers";
(2) this concept is somehow more involved than the design of GSM;
then you might want to spend more time reading up on computing history and the history of human invention in general. Or become a lawyer for a patent troll.

I can do better then that! (1, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731884)

By duct-taping my Android phone to my iPod I can add the ability to run Droid apps to my Apple iOS product!

Re:I can do better then that! (1, Funny)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732022)

I call it an iDroid....

Re:I can do better then that! (2, Informative)

wgoodman (1109297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732136)

Just so you know, My iPhone dual boots into Android as well. Current release only gives internet/voice/mms functionality (if your SIM is unlocked), but next release should have the Android app store.

http://www.iphodroid.com/ [iphodroid.com]

Sounds like a winner to me. (1)

Timtimes (730036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731942)

What's not to love about this? Enjoy.

Why an iPhone (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33731948)

It would have been much better to turn the iPod into an Android phone.

Unless they now release a way to install Android in the resulting pseudo-iPhone.

They can call it iBerration.

iTypical?

iBnormality?

Damn! you're a tough public. Tip the waitress anyway and don't worry, I won't be here all week.

Re:Why an iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33731992)

I would call it the aPod

Innovation (1)

khchung (462899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732012)

Is this kind of innovation even possible in the lawsuit happy culture and the carrier-locked-phones environment of the US?

Maybe 7-8 years ago, there were already tack-on devices that turns Palm PDA (anybody remember those, actually it's a Sony Clie) into a phone, one that can use the address book of the PDA, and uses the PDA screen as UI. Why did nobody in the US made this for the iPod touch in all these years?

Re:Innovation (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732048)

Because Apple would sue them for "deterioration of user experience".

Re:Innovation (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732872)

Easy, the minute you bring this onto the market you have bazillion of laywers on your back who sue you into poverty. 90% probably coming from Apple 10% coming from patent troll companies who seek an easy cash in.
Face it innovation is crippled, a modern apple would not even stand a chance in the US if you look at apples phone breaking/ garage innovation / xerox copying history.
One of the main reasons why the western industry goes down the gutters currently, we are strangeling our still possible small garage innovation in a sea of lawsuits.

Yikes (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732030)

TFA,

Earlier this month, solar technology company GoSolarUSA signed an agreement with the Chinese developer of the Apple Peel, Yoison Technology, to develop the device, file it for a U.S. patent and distribute it in America. The first demonstration models of the Apple Peel will arrive in America this week, GoSolarUSA said in a statement on Monday.

Who is GoSolarUSA?
http://www.gosolarusa.com/company.html [gosolarusa.com]

Apparently they don't do anything yet. Okay, let's check out CEO Tyson Rohde. Says he /was/ CEO of Biotricity before this gig.
http://www.biotricitypower.com/company.php?main_cnt=our_team [biotricitypower.com]

Huh, what a shock. Biotricity is /another/ company that doesn't seem to do anything. Including list the current CEO who replaced Tyson.

Okay, how about Brewer Captital Group? Ah, well their link redirects to a 404.
http://www.brewercapital.com/ [brewercapital.com]

Goldbridge Energy Partners then? I get "network problem" -- no site available.
http://goldbridgeenergypartners.com/ [goldbridge...rtners.com]

And none of those "companies" or Tyson Rhode have managed a mention in Wikipedia of course.

I thought it was a little unlikely to see a solar energy company going into dubious electronics, but this is looking like a less unlikely match with every link. Maybe this'll even get some steam and be good for a couple of weeks of /. stories. I kinda miss Darl.

It's not what this ipod touch user wants (1)

Alpha Whisky (1264174) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732060)

I have an ipod touch and this is definitely not what I want. I didn't buy an iphone because all it is is a thicker, heavier ipod touch with worse battery life and a mediocre phone and camera built in. I have a nice, small, light mobile phone with an acceptable camera and it doesn't make me look like a tit holding a metal brick up to my ear to make a call.

No, what this ipod touch user wants is iOS support (or at a pinch an app) to allow me to do what the ipod touch hardware is perfectly capable of, I want to be able to bond my ipod touch through bluetooth to my cheap but very capable phone for mobile internet access on the ipod. That would be the best of both worlds, a phone which works great and a mobile entertainment device which works great. As a bonus you could also still use the ipod while talking on the phone, can the iphone do that?

Re:It's not what this ipod touch user wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732108)

Jailbreak and then iBluever (http://ibluever.blogspot.com/) does what you need.

Re:It's not what this ipod touch user wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733320)

Jailbreak and then iBluever (http://ibluever.blogspot.com/) does what you need.

If what you need is to tether your iPod Touch to an iPhone then yes, it does.

The last time I asked about this, the suggested other phones that I might be able to tether to were things like Droids and WinMo phones. If those are the only choices then I may as well just buy the iPhone and be done.

I want a simple, inexpensive phone, e.g. like a RAZR, that I can tether to. Got any suggestions?

Re:It's not what this ipod touch user wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733608)

Buy a used cheap HTC WinMo smartphone (Excalibur/Dash might be good) and go from there.

Re:It's not what this ipod touch user wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732114)

iBluever does this.

Death grip?? (1, Flamebait)

bool2 (1782642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732134)

If you can hold it in your left hand without a complete loss of signal... you'll have a better phone than a real iPhone!

This will work great (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#33732176)

This will work great... right up until apple releases a firmware upgrade that intentionally breaks it.

I just want to tether to a 'simple' phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33732902)

Sometimes I just want to carry my phone.

Other times I'm willing to carry my iPod Touch -- and my phone.

Sometimes I carry my MB Air -- and my phone.

(And sometimes I don't carry any of them.)

If I could have an inexpensive phone that would do wireless and/or bluetooth tethering. Oh, and I'm on T-Mobile.

Re:I just want to tether to a 'simple' phone (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33733318)

Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic.

Grab a copy of Telexy Networks software for it, and you can now sync your phone via 802.11 or even via a VPN with your data plan.

Cheap as all crap too :)

Re:I just want to tether to a 'simple' phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33733588)

sync the phone via 802.11? I have my iPod Touch for music. I'm not interested in putting music on the phone.

Search on t-mobile.com suggests that this phone only operates on 900/1200, and t-mobile runs their 3G on 1700, so no 3G.

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