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back to article Apple: Samsung was in 'crisis' over our iPhone awesomeness

Apple has told a court that its iPhone put Samsung into a right tizzy and that's why the South Korean giant had to go and copy all its stuff. The fruity firm trotted out an internal Samsung document that likened the features of the iPhone to "Heaven and Earth" and revealed Samsung staff were suffering a "crisis in design" over …

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HMB
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Conflation

Apple have made an interesting move clouding the water.

Android was the key to competing with iOS, but Android (purchased by Google in 2005) isn't on trial here, Samsung is, at least officially. Apple can claim any win against Samsung a win against Android, conflating the two.

The best case I see Apple having here isn't that Samsung had similar looking phones (as the design was so generic and simple), but that Samsung used Touchwiz to "iOS-ify" android.

I just see lots of collateral damage being a distinct possibility in this case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

Apple hope to show that Samsung had -

- similar looking phones

- with a similar looking UI and icons

- in similar packaging

Apple are claiming a bit more than the 'round corners' that trolls love to quote - to the extent that Samsung copied every important aspect of the iPhone and its packaging.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

Lets face it, the iPhone had Google, Microsoft (although not soon enough), Nokia, Samsung, HTC and all the others worrying themselves about it's new UI and touch screen approach.

Out of all of the above only one company made their UI, phone design and packaging similar in appearance to Apple and it is Samsung.

Google changed Android to be a large screen touchscreen OS. Nokia fumbled around for years and failed to get anywhere and HTC were largely immune since they don't have their own OS.

Some people who discount the iPhone's impact need take their mind back to 2006 and early 2007. There were touchscreen phones but they required a stylus to tap buttons on the screen. Most people were using phones with numeric keypads.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

"Lets face it, the iPhone had Google, Microsoft (although not soon enough), Nokia, Samsung, HTC and all the others worrying themselves about it's new UI and touch screen approach."

*BOLLOX, the iPhone still hasn't brought anything new. Touchscreen were in use prior to the iPhone release and the UI wasn't new either. Why do fanbois decide to ignore the facts?*

"Out of all of the above only one company made their UI, phone design and packaging similar in appearance to Apple and it is Samsung."

*What so all of the other mobiles I've purchased came in a paper bag? Stop lying to yourself.*

"Google changed Android to be a large screen touchscreen OS. Nokia fumbled around for years and failed to get anywhere and HTC were largely immune since they don't have their own OS."

*Do you see with your grandparents eyes? Rhetoric*

"Some people who discount the iPhone's impact need take their mind back to 2006 and early 2007. There were touchscreen phones but they required a stylus to tap buttons on the screen. Most people were using phones with numeric keypads."

*Touchscreen is a touchscreen, stylus or not. So apple didn’t invent the touch screen. They spent $M's to reel in the week of mind, and it worked, clearly.*

Stop trying to kid yourselves. All the bull Apple spouts can be proven to be complete spin, not an ounce of truth in what they spout.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

"Apple can claim any win against Samsung a win against Android, conflating the two."

No they can not.

"Apple can claim any win against Samsung a win against Android, conflating the two."

I don't have a samsung handset, don't like them, but Apple can not claim a win against android! What Win are your talking about anyway? In your head?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

"Re: Conflation

Apple hope to show that Samsung had -

- similar looking phones

- with a similar looking UI and icons

- in similar packaging

Apple are claiming a bit more than the 'round corners' that trolls love to quote - to the extent that Samsung copied every important aspect of the iPhone and its packaging."

What important aspects?

A rectangle with rounded corners. All phones have rounded corners (nearly). Apple stole the idea od frounded corners from every other phone released prior to iphone.

Since when does Android and it's icoms look the iPhone? Android doesn't look like 80's wallpaper. That can't be said of iOS.

Stop kidding yourself and stop trying to spread the lies.

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Re: Conflation

> Since when does Android and it's icoms[sic] look the iPhone? Android doesn't look like 80's wallpaper. That can't be said of iOS.

I have read and seen pictures indicating that Samsung replaced some of the default Android icons with alternatives that look much more similar to the iPhone icons so it is possible that Samsung products were similar even if vanilla Android wasn't.

To me it seems clear that Samsung made choices to make their product much more similar to the iPhone than did other Android manufacturers. Much more similar than was necessary to produce a touchscreen phone. Now the court will decide whether it constitutes infringements of Apples design patents under US law (similar to registered designs here I think).

> Stop kidding yourself and stop trying to spread the lies.

You seem to be lightly informed of the details but are making strong accusations. Maybe the other poster is wrong (at least in some areas - I don't think Samsung copied every important aspect) but that doesn't make them a liar.

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Stop

I don't think there's a single claim or patent on trial here

That is in stock android. All the software claims are changes that Samsung made with TouchWiz.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

I love your constant references to wallpaper, and try as I may, I just cannot see what on earth you are talking about - but that has been the case with most of your posts.

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Re: Conflation

What was this new UI? Seriously, I've used touchscreen Symbian (Nokia 5800), and now Android 4, and the way the touchscreen UI works is the bleeding obvious way to apply touchscreen to my 2005 feature phone - that had rows of icons, but instead of clicking with a button, you now touch with a finger. From a development point of view, for the most part touchscreen is implemented similar to a pointer. Yes, there are tweaks like multitouch, which is the only thing Apple added - but having used both a single touch and multi touch phone, by far the biggest improvement is having touch at all. The additional benefit of multitouch is tiny in comparison, on a well designed UI. So either Iphone has some great UI that no one else has (in which case, you can't claim it influenced anyone else), or it's not true at all.

Nokia fumbled about for years? They delivered a Symbian smartphone that did touchscreen and apps before Apple (since the original Iphone was a dumb phone that couldn't do apps), and went onto sell hundreds of millions with that platform, far more than Apple's entire phone sales. It was Nokia who brought the concepts of touchscreen and smartphone together, not Apple. It was Nokia who also popularised it, with the number one platform until 2011, when they were overtaken by Android, not Apple - and Symbian outsold Iphone until the switch to WP (even now, the installed userbase is probably larger).

"There were touchscreen phones but they required a stylus to tap buttons on the screen."

Not this myth - a stylus is a useful addition, not a requirement. I liked it on my Nokia 5800, but it wasn't required. Same with a Galaxy Note today.

"Most people were using phones with numeric keypads."

But this was still true in 2007. And 2008, and probably later. And when it stopped being true, it was thanks to Symbian or Android, not Iphone. Just take a look at the factual sales figures.

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MrT
Bronze badge

As I recall...

... when the iPhone originally came out, most talk was of the shift in the balance away from the network and subsidized or branded handsets (such as most of HTC's work before it developed it's own brand).

Whether the manufacturers were immediately jealous or affected by the physical device was not their first concern - it was the possible change to their position in relation to the accepted business model. Apple were treated as a special case at all points, for example having different contracts and allowances, with everyone watching carefully to see if the new content-driven revenue model would work.

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FAIL

Re: Conflation

"What important aspects?"

These for a start:

http://i.imgur.com/z4ZnA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/UTMrR.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/MkrAT.png

http://i.imgur.com/7hi4d.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yXDfr.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lw5Qf.jpg

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Re: Conflation

"All the bull Apple spouts can be proven to be complete spin, not an ounce of truth in what they spout"

They spout less bullshit than you do

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Happy

Re: Conflation

@obviously! - you're the biggest fandroid and always have to leap to detest the iPhone without any clear logic and fair criticism. Seriously, do you work for Google? I suspect you do to be quite frank.

Look back previous to the iPhone:

- Nokia's large screen offerings were weird, slow and didn't embrace the possibility of the Internet.

- Windows previously dominated the touchscreen market which were PDAs. Again slow, cumbersome, and the OS looked older every day that went by. A very lazy evolution.

- RIM were strong in the business sector and their Blackberrys should of continued to push. Again, slow OS progress caused them to slow down rapidly once companies started to trust the Apple and 3G appeared with business attributes.

- Motorola had huge success with RAZR. I personally loved my flip version. Again, their progress stagnated and didn't have a clear direction.

With regards to iOS looking old, take one thing from it. I wonder the percentage of people who have remained through out the progression of the original to today's 4/4S. Probably quite a fair percentage. And the UI has a similar feel to Mac OS X. Why break a winning formula? It always needs a polish at every release and there's no reason why it should change in a big way. Why upset your customers by placing buttons in different places, with different colours and orientations. I bet I couldn't pick up Android 4 versions on from when I used the first ever T-Mobile G1. From what I remember, it was very clumsy and crashed constantly. Probably the same as today.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Conflation

I can't believe people are complaining that two companies released products in a BOX with a PICTURE OF THE CONTENTS on it. Fuck me pink, that's pretty pathetic.

Maybe if Psion had sued the two of them for copying "it's" idea of having a phone with icons for different functions they'd still have a business model. But, you know, that's obviously different because, like, Apple used coloured icons so that's basically the same as Steve Jobs inventing the whole idea of mobile phones, or some shit like that because he saw it some where and that's visual, which makes him a visionary dunnit? stands to reason.

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Facepalm

Re: Conflation

Are you retarded? No one said apple invented touchscreens. His point is their overall design was deemed better and everyone followed their lead which is pretty much true. My old G1 had a touch screen as did my win mobile phone but both also came with keyboards like most smart phones. So the focus wasn't just on the screen which is why those phones were lacking in touch screen usability.

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Silver badge

Re: Conflation

A quick image search for Psion MX origina box reveals boxes with - a picture on the lid.

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Stylus required

"required a stylus to tap buttons on the screen"

No they didn't. My first touchscreen phone (released 2004) had a stylus, which I would get out occasionally when precision was required. Usually I would use my finger. OK, so resistive screens will not work with the feather-light touch of capacitive screens, but capacitive screens do actually 'require' a fleshy (or at least conductive) pointer. A resistive screen can be operated with a stylus, finger (with or without gloves), corner of coffee table, ball-point pen, camel's hoof - whatever.

Apparently, the first capacitive touchscreen phone was made by LG.

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Anonymous Coward

Another opportunity

For the android fan base to scream and shout like children in a nursery.

Actually that statement is insulting to children who do not have much control over their emotional responses.

At least they have an excuse, the Fandroids have none.

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Silver badge

Re: Conflation

Those are interesting images. The packaging certainly looks very similar to Apples. But then Apple's design motif is very minimalist. It's a white box with a picture of the product on the front. If Apple had a swirly circle and line design and Samsung did the same, it would be easy to sue. But it's a white box - can you really patent minimalism? And it's just packaging. Are Apple really able to sue because the box that the device comes in is similar? Are they arguing that the box is a significant part of the purchasing decision? Similarly, the advert looks very similar, but it's again minimalist, no different to any number of perfume ads or other products. And again, are they suing over the product being similar or for doing similar marketing material?

The cable interfaces are ridiculous to sue over. USB is a standard interface. Are Samsung expected to stick spikes on the plug or something to make it look different? The speaker looks like a rip-off.

Taken individually, none of these convince me. Taken in aggregate it builds to a picture of some influence, but that influence seems to be mainly in the area of packaging and marketing, rather than the actual device. I wasn't aware that Apple were suing over similar marketing rather than purely about the device. I think it's a pretty weak basis for a claim by Apple and I'm not really convinced suiing has an ethical basis here as I'm not 100% convinced that similarity of packaging or ads are a legitimate basis.

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Re: Conflation

"so it is possible that Samsung products were similar"

So in other words you are speculating to try and make Apple's case.

I owned both phones, the UI on the Samsung not only was totally different to the iphone, its is better for my purposes.

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Facepalm

Re: Conflation @ Mark.

The Nokia 5800 was released in April 2008, thats 15 months after working versions of the iPhone were demoed.

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Silver badge

Re: Another opportunity

Agreed, they're almost as bad as Apple's fanboi base. Give me an old Nokia any day and I promise to charge it once a week whether it needs it or not.

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WTF?

Re: "These for a start"

I see no possibility for confusion.

All the images for Samsung products have "Samsung" written on them.

All those for Apple products have "iPhone", "MacThingy" or a fruity logo drawn on them.

You can read, can't you?

How big do they have to write "SAMSUNG" on the FRONT FACE OF THE PRODUCT for you to realise that you aren't holding an iPhone?

Beyond that, they have rounded corners because no-one sells products to go in pockets and handbags with pointy corners and they never have done. The interfaces look the same because Xerox invented the WIMP interface and failed to stop Apple and Microsoft from copying it. All consumer electronics looks the same. That's why your children can pick up and use any of them, even if this feat continues to amaze anyone over the age of 20.

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Re: Conflation

Every important Apple UI element was copied by Samsung.

Read the directions for improvement, er, make it more iPhone.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/102317767/44

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Silver badge
Flame

Re: Stylus required

Capacitive touch screens go back at least to the 1980s. But in the late 1980s we thought sketching and handwriting and using a remote desktop was important. All those need a Stylus and the higher superior precision of the resistive screen. The Capacitive screen was regarded as inferior.

Trolltech actually had two versions of their UI, one like "Windows" that needed a stylus occasionally and a 2nd one for "finger use".

Apple's innovation isn't in HW at all. But being at the right place and right time to market a phone and UI more for Media Consumption and "Joe Public" than most (but not all) the previous smart phones all orientated really to business use and data entry.

Their UI is a logic and obvious progression from mouse or stylus UI (not quite the same as you realise if you try to use Graphics tablet instead of a mouse on "standard" OS 9, Linux, and Win95/NT. Hence a tablet edition of XP.

They don't deserve to have more than a handful of patents. They are brilliant at marketing. Shame on them for attempting to block any decent competition when the SW & HW and shape of their own products is almost entirely based on Prior art . But USPO doesn't do due diligence, it's apparently up to people with very expensive lawyers to challenge every claim in a Court system that assumes Innovation is American and everyone else is cloning..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Conflation

Now I know why my S2 came in a 4S box.

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Re: Conflation

1) Why do people misremember the past in this way? It's really bizarre. What touchscreen mobiles were in common use at the time of the iPhone launch? I didn't know a single person back then who had a touchscreen phone.

2) Why are some people unable to read properly. The GP was saying that Samsung's packaging was similar to Apple's, not that other phone manufacturers didn't have any packaging. What a weird inference to make!

3) Who claimed that Apple invented the touchscreen? Neither Apple nor the GP? You are tilting at windmills and people are laughing at you for doing so.

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Re: Conflation

That is a truly amazing set of images....the cumulative effect is really something.

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Re: Conflation

So you asked some questions:

1) Can you really patent minimalism?

I think the box comes under trade dress, rather than patenting. And there are plenty of ways of differentiating -- Sammy's picture could have been of the phone at an off-angle, it could have been a picture in situ rather than contextless, there could have been icons emerging from the phone, etc etc. You just need to google "Android phone box" and you can see the endless creative ways there are of differentiating products on the shelf.

2) Can Apple sue because of a similarity in the box (vs the device)?

Yes, a manufacturer can sue (and win) because of packaging similarities.....because of your third question

3) Are Apple arguing the box is a significant part of the purchasing decision?

Yes. Same way that Coke can go after manufacturers who use the same shape bottle and the same labelling....and same reason that own-brand cola labels are so often red. Red = trusted brand colour for cola for many consumers. Apple are also arguing that the combined effect of all the similarities is what really counts in confusing the purchaser.

Re the cable interfaces. Just google images of "USB plugs" and you will see that the vast majority of USB plugs do not look like iPhone USB plugs. A typical USB plug looks like this:

http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/File:USB_Plug.jpg

Surely you can see how the Sammy and Apple plugs look far more like each other than either looks like this plug? In fact, you'll have to hunt pretty far and wide to find a USB plug from any other manufacturer, phone or not, that looks like Apple's or Sammy's USB plug.

Seems to me that you're not too sure of the differences between trade dress, design patents and utility patents.

As to the ethics of it, I think it's pretty straightforward. You develop a lovely shiny new toy that popularises some technologies that have been around and about for ages, but which no-one has previously been able to make come together smoothly. You put huge effort into making sure your toy looks beautiful and distinctive, so that people recognise it instantly and want to hold it. You launch it. Some other bugger comes along and copies your toy, including how it looks, so that consumers can't much tell the difference between the thing you brought to market and the thing the johnny-come-lately brought to market. Not very fair. That's the ethical case. It would operate the same way for someone who made a knock-off of an Aston Martin. Even if the engine under the hood was different, you can't just copy the same lovely body shape and pass off your car as being an Aston. It's Not On.

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Mushroom

Lol - FFS, can this get any more childish?

What's next - a game of chinese burns until someone cries?

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Silver badge
Coat

I think you will find it will be a game of south korean burns until someone cries.

Or as they call it in australia, nice korea

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The story or the responses on the thread?

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Anonymous Coward

@QuinnDexter

Both, I reckon.

I mean, I'm a huge Fandroid (but I'm cutting down on the pie-and-chips...) but seriously, can't we all just get along?

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Anonymous Coward

Lets see

"The overall impression that the ordinary observer would have of that design, is that they're substantially the same," Bressler said eventually.

That's the expert witness paid for by the plaintiff, who says that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets see

Yes, and if the plaintiff's implementation came before the defendant's, then the defendant loses. Geddit?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets see

I'll rephrase that for you. That's just the opinion of a man who has been paid a lot of money for it.

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You've copied my house design.... how? By putting round corners on it!

Its great when two tech giants can go head to head over the style of a device, Apple are just whining because the only thing that does actually make there phone recognizable is its shape, the actual features aren't the selling point for them and never will be!

The fact that Apple are now suffering at the hands of patent trolls just adds to the fun, they're about to get their ass dragged through court over face time, siri and various other ip infringements. They seem to be getting more like MS, get a product we can sell no matter what the cost or method and throw money at any problems later once we already sold loads of them.

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Silver badge

truthfully

does anyone give a fruit?

I'm a droid user, but some of my best friends are apple users. We marvel at each others device and see the merits in both. Apple users buy apple products and other tech heads but android.

All the great phones have a rectangular touch screen and have a variety of apps installed. Maybe the fandroids and the fanbois should unite and tell the manufacturers to quit this cock measuring contest as both players indeed have a penis that is about the same size.

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Thumb Up

Re: truthfully

Totally agree.

This whole patent BS is out of hand. I am SO sick and tired of the entire lot of them.

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Re: truthfully

I give a fruit.

Specifically, I'm going to be annoyed if companies are able to obtain ownership of fairly common ideas just by virtue of good execution. Apple has accrued a huge financial advantage for being first to market with a really usable touchscreen web device and that's enough — sure they did a lot of hard work but they've been rewarded for it.

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Re: truthfully

Yup, this is what annoys me, the sheer greed behind it all. Apple have, from their successful execution of ideas which were really all already out there, accrued a pile of cash large enough to ski down.

But is that enough? No, they want to be the only child in the schoolyard which is allowed to play with the toys.

I know that this is the corporate world where greed is institutionally encouraged, but really it's sickening to watch, especially from a company which purports to 'think differently'. Doesn't look too different from where I'm sitting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: truthfully

"sure they did a lot of hard work but they've been rewarded for it."

For example?

(I'm thinking here of stuff that they didn't copy, so that rules out touchscreens, mobile music players, WIMP, etc)

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Re: truthfully

"does anyone give a fruit?"

Given the limits that Apple are trying to put on developers and the chilling effect it would have on innovation in the industry, yeah, I really do!

But I totally agree with the "quit the fanboi wars over phones" sentiment.

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Re: truthfully

How is helping to make developers billions of dollars "chilling"? Are the console makers having a chilling effect on the the game developers? If anyone is hurting inovetion it is Google for trying to force developers into their advertising eco-system by wiping out every other viable smartphone platform.

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Re: truthfully

So pushing and actively suing for software patents is a good thing for developers? WTF... think about that again SOFTWARE PATENTS & DEVELOPERS is there a link there?

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Unhappy

Re: truthfully

"Are the console makers having a chilling effect on the the game developers?"

Actually, yes.

Games development on consoles is basically static, but because the market is more lucrative, it's the market publishers want the games developers to focus on.

For a decade gaming resolution increased every couple of years, as the predominant hardware got better - we're now in a situation where the same resolution has been used for 5+ years, as the consoles are dictating the available hardware limitations.

Creating a closed, albeit lucrative, ecosystem ultimately stagnates development - you chase money alone.

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WTF?

Uh-huh

So Samsung, a chaebol that makes ships, aircraft and electronics, and has construction and banking branches, was "in crisis" over a phone? I think Apple needs to stop believing its own hype ...

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Facepalm

Re: Uh-huh

That was from an internal Samsung document, you should read the article before beliving Samsung's PR.

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