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Why Apple Is Suing Every Android Manufacturer In Sight

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the mysterious-ways dept.

Android 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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738 comments

History (5, Insightful)

kd6ttl (1016559) | about 2 years ago | (#40966121)

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

Re:History (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966545)

Good ol slashdot, always ready with a bit of historical computer trivia to show you they've got their fingers on the pulse of the market.

Re:History (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#40966549)

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.

When Domination Isn't (3, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#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.)

Re:When Domination Isn't (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966189)

Samsung alone has been outselling the iPhone for a while, which is why Apple is desperately trying to crush them in particular.

Re:When Domination Isn't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966323)

ha, no they aren't.

Go check the numbers revealed during the trial.
"Samsung sold 21.25 million smartphones between June 2010 and June 2012, generating revenue of about $7.5 billion."
"Apple sold 34 million iPads on revenues of $19 billion since the first generation device launched in the third quarter of 2010."

They've sold more iPads than Samsung has sold smartphones.

Re:When Domination Isn't (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966455)

wait when did the GP mention ipads?? I thought he said iphones

Re:When Domination Isn't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:When Domination Isn't (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966481)

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

Re:When Domination Isn't (4, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:When Domination Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966619)

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.

Shareholders would care about profit. Apple could launch a new phone at "free with a 2yr agreement" pricing, and they haven't for a reason. They don't want the bottom end market, and they are hardly the only company with this strategy.

It's the same deal with the Mac business, of course OS X would gain huge marketshare if they licensed it for use on non-Apple hardware. They care less about that and more about a profitable Mac business.

Re:When Domination Isn't (4, Informative)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | about 2 years ago | (#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.)

Re:When Domination Isn't (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40966419)

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 (4, Informative)

marx (113442) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sorry, you're wrong (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#40966301)

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.

Re:Sorry, you're wrong (4, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | about 2 years ago | (#40966387)

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...

Re:Sorry, you're wrong (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966425)

Those huge profits are lifted straight from iTool wallets.

Re:Sorry, you're wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966553)

So... to illustrate how much better apple's market share is you tell us that it has a bigger market share in tablets and portable audio players. Awesome.

America's culture is better because you can fuck us up with nukes.

Over 2/3 of industry profit (3, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:When Domination Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966223)

Um, in the article it says Samsung alone shipped 20 million more phones than apple.

Re:When Domination Isn't (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:When Domination Isn't (0)

Ziekheid (1427027) | about 2 years ago | (#40966271)

This is so wrong, please do some research before posting replies like these. Samsung dominates the android market.
Personally I don't get why, must be because they did a 1:1 copy of the iphone with the first galaxy phones. Personally I find these samsung phones awful, they feel cheap and light and break easily. I prefer HTC phones over a Samsung any day.

Re:When Domination Isn't (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#40966383)

HTC phones are unreliable and need charging hourly. I say that as an HTC owner. We're seeing Nokia vs. Ericsson all over, with Samsung as Nokia and HTC as Ericsson. Back then I ended up choosing Ericsson again and again for the cool features, every time believing that the new model would not have the same problems.

I probably won't make the same mistake with HTC though. They have shown that they have no interest in providing firmware upgrades, even though they promised to do so. My next phone will be Android (but not HTC), and if that one doesn't get firmware updates I'll be switching away from Android.

Re:When Domination Isn't (3, Insightful)

Spykk (823586) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:When Domination Isn't (2)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#40966587)

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.

Re:When Domination Isn't (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#40966609)

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 to the reasons people care about these stats in the first place.

Re:When Domination Isn't (0)

Tiger_Storms (769548) | about 2 years ago | (#40966663)

I think regardless they need to stop spending money on sueing the other companies and start looking as making more than just 1 phone. I think the biggest issue is cost. You can buy a cheap android phone, you can't really get a cheap iPhone unless you want an older one. Not to mention other companies are making new phones every 6 months where apple seems to be a lot slower at it.

Count me in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966137)

I'm strongly trying to go back to a dumbphone if only I can actually find something akin to my old Motorola Razr v3m (a descendant of my beloved Motorola StarTac).

I pine for the days these corporations self-destruct or go GTNW (global thermo-nuclear war) on each other. I look forward to the post-patent-apocalypse market place. I'm seriously you guys.

Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (5, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966207)

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

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (4, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | about 2 years ago | (#40966381)

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

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

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966647)

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (5, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 2 years ago | (#40966215)

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.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (-1, Troll)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 2 years ago | (#40966297)

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

Apple is making MS look less douchebaggish by comparison.

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

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (3, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | about 2 years ago | (#40966371)

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

Apple is making MS look less douchebaggish by comparison.

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

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

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966523)

Yes. They are real. And they don't affect you. So any consumer decision based on companies suing each other is an emotional decision.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (5, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | about 2 years ago | (#40966435)

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

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

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (3)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40966449)

... and explain to your friends why they should do the same. That part's important too.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (0, Flamebait)

Nursie (632944) | about 2 years ago | (#40966445)

Yup, that's right kids, basing purchasing decisions in part on corporate ethics is "douchebaggish". Just keep consuming mindlessly and it'll all turn out for the best!

Fucking moron.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#40966629)

Yup, that's right kids, basing purchasing decisions in part on corporate ethics is "douchebaggish". Just keep consuming mindlessly and it'll all turn out for the best!

"Douchebaggish" like copying instead of developing your own stuff. As proven by a 140 page Samsung document pointing out what needs to be changed on a Samsung phone because the iPhone does it better.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966531)

I won't buy android phones / tablets because it's made by an advertising company. Nothing douch about that. I'd just rather buy my tech from a tech company. Google is not a tech company - they are trying to end run traditional tech companies using their ad supported model. Any tech google makes is solely for the express purpose of delivering ads and keeping you in their ecosystem which is supported by delivering ads.

Chrome = ad delivery tool for the web
Android = ad delivery tool for phones and tablets
Chrome Book = ad delivery tool for laptops
All web sites (including search) = create content people want and deliver ads to them while they consume it
Driverless Cars - deliver ads to drivers while google handles getting you there. Reroute to ice cream store if you click the link on your dashboard.
Google Fiber - make ad delivery faster

Nope. Nope. Nope. Not for me. Enjoy it if you want - but I'll be using apples or Micrsofts products for many many years to come. I'm google free.

Re:Getting tired of Apple lawsuits (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40966675)

Are you for real? The only way to send a real message to a company whose practices you disagree with is to vote with your wallet and not purchase their products. Anything less is almost meaningless. It is in no way "douchebaggish" to decide not to support them in the future, nor to make your objections heard publicly.

I swear, the people who suffer from blind brand loyalty perplex me greatly.

Wrong % (4, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 2 years ago | (#40966147)

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:Wrong % (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966197)

Oh likely, but selling 200 million phones at $1 sure beats selling 20 phones at $10. You can increase the price of the $1 phone by .5 and people will still buy and you've increased your profits by 50%. For apple to do the same thing, they have to take their $20 phones, and sell them for $30. Likewise, if you are an app developer, its more fun to sell to 200 million people, than to sell to 20 million people, especially if you get the same amount no matter whose phone your app is running on.

Re:Wrong % (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40966439)

Selling 100 million phones at $100 profit each is also preferable to selling 100 million desktops and laptops at an average profit of $25 each.

Re:Wrong % (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#40966229)

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:Wrong % (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40966405)

I would imagine that's quite intentional. There's no point shipping way more than will be sold, and they can project fairly accurately. It's a lot easier when you only sell a couple of models as well.

Re:Wrong % (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966457)

This distinction is irrelevant considering the numbers involved. Unless you think 50 million android phones are moldering around in warehouses.

Re:Wrong % (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#40966671)

You haven't been following the recent releases from the lawsuits, have you?

June 2010 to June 2012, they only sold 21 million infringing (ie, Android) smartphones phones in USA (does not cover windows phones, etc).

Same time period, Apple sold 60 million iphones (though I think that's world wide). So all those "Samsung outside Apple X to 1" headlines are bullshit.

http://allthingsd.com/20120809/apple-vs-samsung-trial-forces-companies-to-open-up-the-books/ [allthingsd.com]

Re:Wrong % (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966245)

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 % (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#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 % (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966613)

Market share is also not particularly meaningful if you a buyer of products.

Re:Wrong % (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#40966487)

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.

Re:Wrong % (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#40966623)

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.

Repeat of SCO (3, Informative)

unics (741003) | about 2 years ago | (#40966149)

Didn't we go through this already?....oh yeah:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120807133033596 [groklaw.net]

Re:Repeat of SCO (4, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#40966237)

Not just with SCO but with apple itself back during the personal computer era. Originally apple was making a killing in the market then people started making clones and PCs and apple was suing everyone they could get their hands on rather than innovating further. Eventually they became a small niche computer that they were prior to the iPod boom.

Now it would seem history is repeating itself in the phone market, with apple creating only high end, super pricey, super locked down phones and suing anyone who even puts a touchscreen on a phone. I give them another ten years of being relevant max if they don't come up with something new instead of just suing them. I'm not saying they will close down shop or anything just that they will under go the same shrinkage that happened back during the PC era

Re:Repeat of SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966355)

Wow, flamebait and ignorance in one post sir. FOSS people always need an enemy to hate.

The eyes of the technology world... (2)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 2 years ago | (#40966167)

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

No, but nice try.

Why are they suing everyone? (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | about 2 years ago | (#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:Why are they suing everyone? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966477)

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

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

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

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

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (3, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#40966555)

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?

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40966611)

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.

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 2 years ago | (#40966635)

You're being ridiculous. They never got into a huff over WebOS because WebOS was nothing more than a very niche product.

The "patents" they hold are silly and can be applied to anyone who makes any kind of phone-ish, mobile-ish product. They will just go after whoever's the biggest threat to them first.

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (0)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40966507)

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.

Or just that they feel that Android and especially Samsung has illegally copied iOS.

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (2)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#40966509)

Samsung is getting sued for copying the designs of the phones - rectangles with rounded corners - not iOs though.

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40966577)

Then they should have come up with something original on their own.

Re:Why are they suing everyone? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 2 years ago | (#40966659)

They did. Apple had nothing to do with writing Android or designing Samsung's phones. The "patents" they hold are just obvious implementations that would come to fruition in any design for a smartphone.

The numbers are from IDC (4, Interesting)

k2enemy (555744) | about 2 years ago | (#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]

Most Android phones are feature phones now (1, Interesting)

gig (78408) | about 2 years ago | (#40966211)

This article is of the “Apple is doomed” variety. That does not match the fact that every new iOS product outsells all the previous years. There is no way to spin that as being bad for Apple.

Android is all propaganda. It's so tiresome. Most Android phones are generic feature phones with no data plan. Android went downmarket a few years ago. If a carrier has iPhone, it not only outsells all their Android, it outsells the BlackBerry and other phones combined. The fact that there is a worldwide feature phone market that ships a lot of burner phones that make almost no money does not predict the smartphone market.

Android is in the same place versus iPhone as Windows is versus the Mac. They had to go downmarket because at the high end it is all Apple. Now, iPad is crushing Windows at $400–$600, and when Apple ships their low-end/feature phone, Android is going to suffer also. Especially when the hardware makers have to pay Apple and Microsoft for the stuff Google just 1:1 copied.

Android is in trouble right now, not Apple. That is why the Android partners are switching to building their own hardware (like Apple) and Apple is not switching to OS licensing (like Android.)

They won't pay (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#40966217)

If these android manufacturers would just pay $5-$15 a device to Apple [slashdot.org] , Apple would probably drop all the suits.

I am just obnoxious or trying to defend Apple here, but to say in comparison it is what is going to kill innovation. Apple is saying, right or wrong, design something different, follow the FRAND rules, and be innovative. Not everything has to be an iPad or iPhone. The Kindle Fire, for example, is not remotely an iPad, but is an extremely functional machine.

OTOH, MS is saying they own everything, and anyone who does anything owes them money. This is what they did with the naked PC fight. By focusing on Apple, and their effort to innovate, instead of MS and their effort to take a cut of anything that looks like technology, we are losing the war.

Re:They won't pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966417)

I like how you're marked Troll for both defending Apple and citing your sources :)

Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966221)

I find this very interesting. If Apple had 68% of market sales, do you realize how much money they would be making compared to what they make now?! How much is Google making from this?

That said, I couldn't care less from either's point of view. As long as more 'screen's are being sold that don't allow ads all over the place I'm happy. Though I'm waiting for the day that they just give up on trying to layout ads in the middle of the apps, and just pause the app and make you click off a full-screen ad on the phone instead (like a full blown commercial)

IPhone value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966233)

I doubt they are that worried. I think they really feel that Samsung is copying their design wholesale (which they are). I would guess that the fact iPhone brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft helps though.

Let me condense this down for you all. (0, Troll)

lexsird (1208192) | about 2 years ago | (#40966247)

Apple: Litigate and Legislate, not Innovate.

And they have the Chinese make it.

In summary: Fuck you, Apple.

Troll news story. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966299)

In the current tech world, Apple is not the only person suing somebody. They are not even the most prevalent. Everybody forgets the lawsuits Apple is facing too. It is current tech climate with a broken patent system. Apple is only trying to protect its own IP, while every other company is trying to do the same. Hell, Apple even tried to settle its patent dispute before it went to court by offering to license its patents.

Also, lets be realistic about the sales numbers. 80-90% (pulling these figures out of thin air) would have to be low end $100 devices that are hardly competition to the iPhone. These are hardly smart phones when you compare them to an iPhone, Galaxy S series, HTC One X or Droid etc.

I am a believer in best tool for the job. It thats an Android device, so be it, MSFT device, I'm cool with it, Apple device, thats your choice. People should get off their high horses, accept that they ave made a platform choice, and move on and let others have theirs instead of turning to fanboy tactics.

Phones should just be phones (2, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Phones should just be phones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966557)

Cell phones are quite affordable once you step away from the smartphone market. Smartphones (as opposed to cell phones in general, perhaps) are a luxury, not a necessity.

Re:Phones should just be phones (2)

bidule (173941) | about 2 years ago | (#40966567)

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.

Re:Phones should just be phones (1)

linebackn (131821) | about 2 years ago | (#40966669)

"Landlines" aren't going anywhere. Just because some idiots think they need to be connected 24/7 doesn't mean that they will go away. And if cell phone prices go up from all of this sue-happy nonsense, then more people will simply switch back to regular phones as they realize the luxury isn't worth it.

apple vs. android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966311)

Apple "...is right to worry" about what? That there are marketplace competitors with serious products? I should hope so. Personally, I got heartily sick of the way Apple imprisons its customers in its "exclusive" product lines. I'll never buy another Apple product, if I can help it.

Key number (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40966339)

Off by 1

Shipped vs Sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966359)

The problem with all these number comparisons is that Apple talks about sold and most Android manufacturers talk about Shipped. The recent documents in the Apple / Samsung case show that the numbers sold by Samsung are a lot lower than the shipped numbers.

Another thing to remember is that Apple and Samsng earn 107% of the profits. All the other manufacturers are losing money on smartphone sales. Samsung makes a bulk of its money on the high end (S3 type phones) and not the low end. Thats the market Apple is competing in. I would be interested to see what the sales % are for high end smartphones.

Dead iPhone walking (-1, Troll)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#40966369)

iPhone is a dead phone walking. Apple may seem to be in denial - although I'm pretty sure they're not - but the writing is on the wall. Seriously, what person with a keen eye on the future does not think that iPhone is going down the same path BlackBerry went ?

Re:Dead iPhone walking (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40966535)

Anyone who have looked at their sales figures.
Last time I checked, they were doing pretty well.

all they need to do (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 years ago | (#40966377)

is drop the price of the iPhone by $150.

One Word: Hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966413)

Apple's business model has always revolved around making you pay at least twice what your hardware should cost and 'encouraging' you to upgrade/replace that hardware more often than you really should need to.

Die, Apple, just die. (0, Troll)

StoicJim (1520097) | about 2 years ago | (#40966469)

Apple ALWAYS wants to monopolize any market by hook or by crook. I can't wait for Apple to cease to exist.

Re:Die, Apple, just die. (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#40966551)

Apples wants to make great products that customers love.
That's what they are doing.

Re:Die, Apple, just die. (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#40966591)

Apples wants to make great products that customers love

They'd have more customer and more love if they added the ability to have a few more options.

The customers who like them the way they are would be fine. They don't go into settings -> advanced settings and change things that they don't understand anyway.

The inability to add 3rd party app stores, or to install 3rd party apps that "duplicate functionality but better" is that way because that is what "customers love".

Re:Die, Apple, just die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966605)

So what company doesn't want to monopolize? Foolish statement.

Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966475)

Apple is also being sued by the companies it's sued, I don't remember who started in which instance and which is a retaliation lawsuit (probably in hope to settle both out of court or something). A table with the lawsuits: http://technologizer.com/2011/04/19/mobile-lawsuits/

But, why should we care? Lawsuits are part of the normal business practices these days. So if biig corporations want to sue each other, I don't think we should care. If they were suing small startups to stifle innovation, that would be more newsworthy.

What would be really nice if technology sites would stop flooding us with news about lawsuits and resumed covering cool techs and gadgets.

if only android was good i would be totally mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966495)

but android pretty much sucks, like all google's products it's only appeal is ease of piracy... let's face it the iphone is the superior experience except for the kids that wanna watch pirated pornos in the dorm bathroom. oh and maybe mexican housewives, they all seem to use android, maybe you can stream spanish soap operas easier on android?

profit is what matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966515)

Come back to me and show me who's making a profit off of these phones.... oh yeah AT&T, Verizon, and Google. Not developers. Not the phone makers, except perhaps samsung. Those numbers are so skewed because they include all android models. Look at Samsung's lineup. Shit, half those phones people got because they were cheap and could have facebook messenger.

Android, as great of an OS as it is, is being championed by companies that primarily don't give a shit about users ( the phone companies )
and by the largely silent partner who reaps all the passive income ( analytics ala Google )
I still carry an original droid incredible as my daily phone, but even I can see that 90% of everything I run or use is "me too/also ran" stuff.

I don't mind one bit that Apple is making a crap ton of money, and so are the developers in their marketplace. It's a healthy ecosystem.
People who get emotional about Apple as being some sort of bad guy need to sit back and think real hard about where they were in the phone/mobility world prior to iPhone. I have a feeling many of you didn't even have a smartphone back then.

And to those that don't think Apple is responsible for this revolution... watch the original iPhone keynote from 2007.
When Steve Jobs demos the iPhone, there are audible gasps when he does things like the rubber band scrolling.
I've been in IT for almost 20 years now, and the guys I work with every day ( *nix admins ) talked about the iPhone for weeks. We would share the coolest bits with people in the office who didn't even get it.

Apple is due its respect. They created this generation of phones. They shouldn't have a monopoly, damn straight. HOWEVER, just like Google themselves warned Samsung, don't copy off of Apple, there's plenty of other ways to make a great phone. Go out there any make it and stop aping apple.

The reason why is obvious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966541)

Apple hates... HATES competition. This has been known for years.

Re:The reason why is obvious! (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | about 2 years ago | (#40966673)

And Slashdot loves sensationalistic, untrue comments.

It's cool to hate on Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966615)

Look, I know it's cool to hate Apple here, but some perspective is in order.

I'd like to think that the reason Apple is suing them isn't to get rid of the competition, but to send a clear message that you can't ride on their coat-tails to the bank. Get back to the drawing board and figure out something else. Samsung's designs are just too close to Apple's, and Apple is standing up for itself. Otherwise, they'll have every other manufacturer out there copying their designs. Unless they defend themselves, there's constant precedent to copy their designs, which makes it really hard for them to differentiate their own product against a sea of copies.

If you look closely at the game Apple is playing, they're actually playing it as if they have nothing to lose. It may not look like that on the surface, but that's the game they always play. When the iPhone was introduced, Steve Jobs lowballed their forecast numbers, saying they'd be happy if they sold a million in the first year. That's the first clue. They never bet the company on a single product, and that gives them enough flexibility to do whatever they want with it. They have demonstrated no qualms about making radical changes to their products, or even killing them off, often at the expense of leaving a lot of users behind. They have enough money in the bank that they could stop selling the iPhone tomorrow, or even stop selling *everything* tomorrow, and still be able to go for years. It doesn't matter how much they invest into a product or a concept, they have shown no remorse about killing it or changing it if it suits them.

If Samsung beats them and they lose their trade dress suit, you know what? They will have something completely different out within a year, even more protected by patents. But the critical thing is that the next thing they bring out will make the current phones look dated. They will look old. And the new ones will be bought by millions of people, and Apple will laugh all the way to the bank. You can't beat them at this game, because as soon as you catch them they change the game.

But they can't really do that if they're going to be copied at every turn. So I don't think it's about "beating" Android as it is about making sure that whatever their next thing is, there isn't precedent in the industry to just churn out copies of whatever they do. That's why they're suing Samsung and not Google.

Give me a break, Slashdot. (0, Troll)

toddmbloom (1625689) | about 2 years ago | (#40966645)

It couldn't be because Samsung blatantly copied Apple in a mad rush to get their foot in the door and flood the marketplace with cheap iOS knockoffs.

I wouldn't want to get in the way of the typical irrational Apple bashing you see on Slashdot, though.

Apple = New Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40966657)

I love it! Apple has turned into the New Microsoft. I wonder what all the Apple Fans are saying now after years and years of complaining about Microsoft suing everyone and anti-competetive behavior!! LOL at Apple.

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