Apple Wins In Court But Not With The Consumer

Apple has managed to promote the image of innovation. The truth is they have not been all that innovative except in two respects: Apple has managed to lock down their products so that users must rely on and pay for Apple approved programs and apps. In exchange for the very limited ability to modify or extend the abilities of their computer, pad, or phone, the user does get a simpler interface.

While Apple/Mac users like to talk about the lack of viruses and malware in the Macintosh world. The main reason there are few malwares is that the Macintosh had such a small portion of the market share until recently. After all, if you are a nefarious programmer of malware, you are just like legitimate software manufacturers. You go where the market is. And the market was the 96-7% Windows share, not the 2% Mac share. (The other 1-2% was Linux, Unix, etc.) In the last few years, the Mac market share has risen to almost 10% on the back of heavy marketing of the Macbook product line in colleges and universities. Oops. Now all the anti-virus manufacturers have had to come out with products to protect the Macintosh because there are many new virus and malware products out there. It was never that the Mac was immune to viruses (Though, by virtue of being more locked down, it was harder to write a malware.) it was just not that big a market to attract miscreants.

I said that there were two exceptions. The second is Apple’s constant use of the courts to fight innovation by others. In the early years, there were several home and desktop computers. The Apple II came with a spreadsheet and that fact helped it begin to make inroads in businesses. But the Apple only used audio cassettes to store the results. Third party companies began creating add on floppy disk drives and eventually hard drives. And Apple began their campaign of suing these companies, overwhelming them with lawyer and court fees. Even if the other company had a perfectly good patent, Apple would put so many lawyers and issues that the small company would just run out of money. Eventually the small company would capitulate and sell their innovation to Apple for a pittance.

Of course Apple has no problem copying others: The iphone is a copycat of LG Prada KE850. The iPod touch a copycat of Acer N311. And the iPad uses the same form-factor as almost all digital photo frames. (Apple always complains about “form-factor.”

Apple has continued to maintain that way of competing, not with the public but in the courts. Here’s another instance. Of course, Samsung is no tiny innovative company, but the Apple way of operating continues. Rather than going head-to-head in the marketplace, they sue to prevent the competitor from even being available to consumers.

There are several weaknesses in the iPad that the Samsung–and others like the HP Xoom, ASUS EeePad and Slate–have improved on. Maybe the iPad would prove the best competitor, but the consumer will not get the chance to choose because Apple is always trying to prevent that.

(Truth disclosure: I have looked at several different pad products and I think the ASUS pads are far ahead of the iPad or the Samsung Galaxy–or most of the others. No, I wasn’t smart enough to buy ASUS stock LOL.)

 This article is from the Telegraph, UK

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked in Europe

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have to be removed from sale across Europe following a judgment in a German court.

By , Head of Technology (Editorial)

5:25PM BST 09 Aug 2011

The tablet, which launched in Britain last week, must now be removed from shelves and Samsung must stop marketing it. According to some retailers, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 became the fastest-selling tablet since the iPad 2 when it launched in Britain.

The Regional Court of Dusseldorf has granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the sale and marketing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 across all of Europe except the Netherlands. It is possible to apply for a pan-European injunction in any country which, if upheld, covers all of the EU. The judge backed Apple’s claim that Samsung’s tablet had infringed on its intellectual property and copied elements of the iPad 2.

While Samsung can appeal against the judgment, the injunction will still stand in the meantime. Any appeal would be heard in around four weeks’ time and would be heard by the same judge.

Intellectual property analyst Florian Muller said that Apple had a separate lawsuit underway in the Netherlands. He wrote in a blogpost: “The exception of the Netherlands is due to the aforementioned separate legal proceeding in that country. That exception relates only to Samsung’s Korean parent company, not to the German subsidiary.”

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the latest tablet computer from the Korean manufacturer. The original version of the Galaxy Tab was a 7-inch tablet but this year’s model adopts a similar screen size to the iPad and is marginally thinner than the iPad 2.


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