I want to hate Apple. The company takes the most egregious of Microsoft's monopolistic practices and raises them to an art form. It's aggressive litigiousness threatens to impede innovation in the mobile industry for years to come: innovation that isn't Apple's, that is. And Apple's lust for control makes it a very poor centre …
"innovation that isn't Apple's, that is"
Please enlighten us as to what exactley are Apples innovations?
They looked at what had already been produced and refined it. What exactley was new or hadn't been seen before?
And remember, I don't believe the hype!
Have they patented that yet? ;o)
They bring existing tech together in a decent package.
It may not be tech innovation, but it probably is an innovation in consumer electronics.
Their problem is that little of what they do is technically new (worthy of a patent) so they probably feel the need to litigate or what they do will be instantly copied. Welcome to globalisation.
What we need is a wider discussion in society as to what constitutes "innovation" and what we want to protect. The bad feeling comes from the fact that the definition is being fought out without public input (a jury doesn't really count) by highly paid lawyers using mostly spurious arguments, using a legal basis for technical innovation which being twisted to protect things it was never designed to protect.
Plus it stops us getting cheap cool things we want. It undoes all the benefits of globalisation for the consumer. As a society we need to decide how protectionist we want to be.
Well lets see, the iPhone was an innovation as it was unlike almost anything else out there.
The iPad was an innovation, look at what passed for a tablet at the time and compare them.
Innovation is different from new patent able hardware like say the LTE wireless chips, its look at what is there now, improving it and making something that is better and hopefully more desirable.
Lets be honest here, I don't like Apple kit myself but they are a great design company who understand how to make something that just works and is easy to use. If I was asked to recommend a tablet to a total novice I would have to point them to an iPad. For anyone more technically minded I would advise them to look at Android due to its non walled configurable UI.
And if you want a simple media device that you can use for browsing and email etc then the 64GB Playbook at £129 at the moment has to be considered, I took my goddaughter down to Curry's for her to try one and she loved it. Her touchpad will be going on ebay soon to finance the change. If as has been reported BB10 gets to the playbook it will be even better.
Its down to what you want to use it for really and already having a BB its a perfect fit.
Re: Patent litigation
Too much prior art.
@ P. Lee
"Welcome to globalisation." This isn't a global phenomenon. The weird patent rules are purely a US game (though NordRhein Westfalen seems keen to join in). The rest of the world is still free to carry on innovating (I'd have to add currently, given the UK's propensity for copying only the really bad ideas from the US).
"...the iPhone was an innovation as it was unlike almost anything else out there."
Actually no. It was just like any off-the-shelf WinMo device with a decent third-party shell on it. The only bit Apple did was to spot that actually consumers wanted the fancy front end included with the device and stick the results in a nicer case. Yet again taking bits off the technology shelf, bundling them and adding clever packaging.
The iPad is basically a bigger iPhone. They day that you can claim to be innovative by adding a bigger screen to a known successful product and OS is the day that innovation can be officially called dead. Spotting a marketing opportunity that you can adapt your existing products to take advantage of is not technological innovation, just marketing and a bit of basic product development.
 And not using all the features. Most WinMo shells could do "wall of icons", but only if you eschewed the cleverer widgets.
Apple does not innovate... they renovate and tell the world they have made wine from water.
You can ask that of Microsoft, Samsung or many other companies.
There was something rather innovative about creating a phone UI that allowed for finger control for everything. I don't remember any phone with a touchscreen having that before.
It's not the first touchscreen phone, it's not the first UI you could touch with fingers. But it was the first one for smartphones and I don't remember seeing multi-touch or gestures with finger based control anywhere else before. Although of course the iPhone 1 wasn't strictly a smartphone at first, you couldn't add new apps.
My smartphone history goes from Nokia communicators in 2001, through to Windows Mobile, Nokia's S60 and then the iPhone. Where were the multitouch finger operated phones prior to the iPhone 1?
Touchscreen phones were a pain in the butt before 2007. Silly styluses, tiny buttons and even Start menus!
Where was Android in 2007? oh yeah, it was a Blackberry style prototype!
Multi-touch and finger gestures were around in Fingerworks devices for years. Back in the day I had just saved up enough for one of their awesome Touchstream LP keyboards when Apple bought the company and discontinued all their products. Sure they weren't phones, but the technical innovation of multitouch hardware wasn't Apple's work. They just bought someone else's patents.
I had a touchscreen phone in 2006 and it was perfectly usable. Sony Ericsson P900, iirc. No stylus needed (although one was supplied), no buttons, no start menu. The handwriting recognition was so good I could even send email with one hand, with the phone in my pocket. Yes, it wasn't as slick as modern devices, but it was certainly good enough.
"Actually no. It was just like any off-the-shelf WinMo device with a decent third-party shell on it."
Rubbish. Windows Mobile was using the WIMP UI paradigm. You had start menus, tiny buttons and a mouse pointer substitute in the form of a stylus.
It was a scale down Windows desktop UI on a mobile device. There was no finger gestures or anything remotely comparable to the iPhone. You even had a file manager and task manager just like desktop Windows.
Windows Mobile was using all of the concepts of a desktop OS on a phone and calling that a Smartphone.
The iPhone threw all of that away, it was the first phone touchscreen UI designed for use with fingers only and has gestures you use with more than one touch at a time.
If iOS is such a clone of Windows Mobile why did Microsoft throw it all away and start again?
"If iOS is such a clone of Windows Mobile why did Microsoft throw it all away and start again?"
Comment on Ars Technica the other day - "Why would anyone want to copy iOS, it's years behind"
Sometimes chucking it all out and starting again is a good idea, especially when the underlying technology has changed so much. Current WinMo, much as I'm about as far from an MS fanboi as you can get, represents some impressive innovation in UI design. iOS, meh - not so much. And that's fine - mainstream users don't want cutting edge design, they need their hands held and that's perfectly OK. Smartphone users are not all geeky types who want the newest everything all the time, or are prepared to learn something different just to use a phone. Which is exactly why iOS is popular. Because it's simple, familiar, safe and easy. I can hand it to my Mum and she's fine with it. Me, I prefer something more modern - because I'm prepared to put in the effort to get the rewards. Neither is more right, it's different things for different people.
Oh, and you're wrong about it being the first touch-only UI. Symbian UiQ and s60 were perfectly happy just getting a finger. Seem to remember a few other devices were too, back in the day. iPaq, anyone?
I think you're confusing innovation with invention. Collins defines it as "to introduce something new; make changes in anything established." In fact, the word "innovation" comes from the Latin "innovatus, which is to renew or to alter. On the other hand, Collins defines "invent" as "to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation, or contrivance." Can you see the difference?
Thus, I would argue that a great many of Apples products and services are innovative. Take multitouch, for example. As a technology, it already existed. Thus Apple did not *invent* multitouch. But they implemented the technology on a mobile phone in a successful manner - true to the Latin root for innovation, they renewed or altered the technology.
Whilst I respect that everyone has an opinion, your poor grasp of the English language coupled with the accusatory tone of your post makes you sound like an imbecile - or worse, a deluded fandroid.
I see. So they took a device that you could really only operate with a stylus (and let's be honest, the WinMo phones of the time were all trying to be like the TyTN II) and that could do a wall of icons only if you were technical enough to install a third-party launcher (trust me - as a technical person I can tell you that it was beyond the capabilities of most)...and out popped the iPhone. A device wholly different to the TyTN II and other devices of the day, that had a capacitive (and not resistive) screen, and that was intuitively easy to use and operate.
I can't for the life of me see why you weren't asked to join Samsung's crack legal team.
Re: Patent litigation.. they didn't patENT it, but they might be about to be...
PATTED by it in South Korea... As i said earlier this week in another thread here, there WILL BE consequences for apple. See this:
“ The nation’s anti-trust watchdog said Wednesday that it will beef up the monitoring of multinational corporations to keep them from abusing their patents here amid growing intellectual property feuds between local and international companies.
The move comes at a sensitive time ― just days after Samsung Electronics suffered a setback in its patent dispute with Apple.
“We have launched an investigation into unfair practices regarding patents,” an official from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said. “Nothing specific has been found yet, but we will take a legal step against any irregularities.”
He said there are an increasing number of cases where multinational corporations abuse their intellectual rights, especially in fields such as information technology, medicine and machinery as local firms are vulnerable to patent lawsuits in those fields.
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Association, the number of international patent lawsuits involving Korean firms has increased by over 80 percent from 154 in 2009 to 278 last year.
Patent lawsuits are increasing as domestic firms depend heavily on exports and many local firms produce patented products through licensing.
The FTC also plans to look into aggressive and allegedly unfair patent lawsuits filed by some multinational firms as a way to hinder the advance of Korean businesses in their markets or to profiteer by requesting too high licensing fees.
“The reason (behind the investigation) is that multinational firms have reportedly enforced their patents in an unfair manner through discriminative royalties policies, tie-in sales and unfair conditions in licensing contracts,” the official said.
In fact, Apple is being investigated by the FTC for forcing application developers to use Apple’s payment system when they register their products in its app store.”
If apple are not held in check, curtailed...
They most assuredly might ENERvate...
Indeed, though bringing tech together in a "decent" package is not unique, it's what most tech companies do. Millions more people think that Samsung and Nokia do a better job of doing this for phones, than Apple, for example.
And there were other platforms with the easy "grid of icons" front end on them anyway. Even bog standard 2005 feature phones hand them. The 2007 Iphone was no different to other phones of that time - yes it had some features others didn't, but those other phones had important features that the Iphone didn't (e.g., apps, copy/paste, 3G).
Agree about Ipads. It's making things smaller that's hard in technology - taking a phone and making it bigger is the easy bit. If Windows 8 tablets take off, that will be the true innovation - taking a full blown PC, and making it smaller.
"Where were the multitouch finger operated phones prior to the iPhone 1?"
Congratulations, you've hand-picked the one feature that Apple did first (and that is just multitouch - earlier touchscreen phones could be finger operated). Why is that more important than zillions of other features important to phones today, that appeared in other platforms first?
Where were the apps in the Iphone 1? Or the simple UI features like copy/paste? Or the ability to multitask?
You're right, the Iphone wasn't a smartphone. So it's not even relevant to the discussion.
Well you're right that IOS wasn't like Win Mo, but you're talking nonsense to say it was the first one to do so.
Win Mo was unique on phones in trying to put a desktop OS on them - all other platforms, even bog standard feature phones, used a dedicated mobile UI, not a desktop one.
"it was the first phone touchscreen UI designed for use with fingers only"
"and has gestures you use with more than one touch at a time"
True. So Apple introduced one minor feature. Not sure why that's more important than loads of other features, like single-touchscreens, apps, 3G, Internet, email, web browsing, video playback, video calling, cameras, video recording, GPS, maps, sat nav, texting, MMS, or millions of other thing that other companies did first. Can you name those companies? If not, take a moment to learn them, rather than going on about Apple all the time. We're fed up of hearing about the one single thing that Apple did first, 5 years ago.
"Whilst I respect that everyone has an opinion, your poor grasp of the English language coupled with the accusatory tone of your post makes you sound like an imbecile - or worse, a deluded fandroid."
I was initially hovering over the Upvote button because you are correct in your analysis of the difference between 'innovate' and 'invent'. However, the wholly unneccessary ad hominem got you a downvote.
Dear apple corp.
apple corp's BLATANT HYPOCRACY.... YET the system,the press, as well as the buying public does NOTHING about it.... THIS is a GENUINE travesty....
A sad but true story first..
He so happened to have heard of this exciting and new IP from a very successful, and serious company X. He arranged thru some of his closest contacts, to meet this comüpany and bring along his best and brightest employees to have some meetings with the company X so he can really discern the IP behind this, as well as verify this unbelivable stroke of luck. Guess what. The company agrees. He take his employees with him and charms the company to really open up as to what they have, as well as to how to begin to understand the nuts and bolts of the IP associated. He would later proclaim this SAVED his company, who up till then only had a command line ( c: ) and an ugly green screen to type in commands.
His people then really DO slavishly work on this new GUI from company X for a year.... He admits it. Freely.
GUESS WHAT???? One year later The MAC is born.....
The COmpany stolen from, is XEROX Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto California. Their ( XEROX ) milions ( in 1970's money) poured into THEIR GUI started The Paperless Office revolution. And XEROX invented it, and owned it..... At least that's what XEROX thought before they showed off their IP to Steve JObs. apple stole Xerox IP and never really looked back. The Computer based office equipment XEROX was selling was doomed. Why buy a $50,000 solution, when these young guys sold one doing roughly the same thing with an exact RELICA GUI, for a small fraction?
Jobs later says ( seen in an inrterview, now on Youtube ( under I hired the wrong guy ) Good artists copy, GREAT artists STEAL. The sentences before and after refer to and pertain to his visiting XEROX. As he was refering to XEROX when he says he has NO compunction to steal.
Xerox later sued apple. Why, you ask? ( You'd think, right )
Seems Apple was trying to sue Microsoft for stealing what was ACTUALLY XEROX' IP... XeEROX says How can YOU ( apple ) SUE ANYBODY over OUR ( XEROX) IP.. The MILLIONS XEROX poured into research over the years will NEVER be recouped. Apple ACTUALLY owes XEROX BILLIONs according to accounting. Sad... Think apple will ever admit that.. Oops... Actually apple's founder did.. Here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7TQVFSA1Y
Oh... By the way... The GUI was so ahead of it's time.... That apple is STILL using XEROX IP..... As well as ms, and everyone ELSE utilizing a similar GUI...
has all the best iTunes
No generally drug addicts will not experience the 'love/hate' you talk about, it's more necessity and instant relief they think about.
The service is absolutely 10/10 - my wife had a tiny hairline crack develop on the back of her 3GS - replaced without issue. The gasket on my 4S slipped slightly obscuring part of the lens (quite possibly after being dropped - cannot be sure) - booked a slot at the Apple store - they asked me to come back 20 minutes later (as they were exceptionally busy) - went and got a coffee - came back - phone fixed.
The service from Apple is far, far and further above anything you get from Samsung or others and there is a REAL value to that. To compare - a friend had a Samsung - developed a fault - after 3 phone calls and over an hour on the phone they 'reluctantly' agreed he could return it. They sent out a pre-paid bag (which arrive about 4 days later), he sent it back - they had warned him it could take 3 weeks to be returned. True to their words it was about 3 weeks - so basically he was without a phone for a month. THEN the one they sent back was a refurb and in worse condition to the one he had sent back (his was less than 3 months old). Poor.
I haven't had a problem with any of my Samsung phones (one of them is over 10 years old). But when my Samsung PVR started playing up about a year or so after I'd bought it, they collected it, tried to repair it and, when that failed sent me the current equivalent model. The process did take a few weeks as you describe (it was over Xmas).
"The service is absolutely 10/10 "
So it should be, the price you are paying for this stuff.
@nematoad - so are you saying with Apple you get what you pay for? What does that mean for Samsung and other similatly proced Andriod phones where the service is nowhere near as good or timely?
I don't get trolling. Maybe I'm just young enough to be a geek and into all electronics but old enough so as to not have my eyes bleed every time I read a positive missive about a piece of hardware I don't own. Can't Fandroids and Fanbois just learn to get along?!
For people who like good service and who have plenty of money this sort of service is what they want.
We all know there are faster cheaper cars than a BMW or a Mercedes, but premium brands often have better service.
When I needed a laptop repair (due to faulty GPU from NVidia) I went to the Apple store after booking it in via an app. It let me pick a time to be seen and date. They tested it and said it would be a few days. I collected it the next day!
How do you do this for Samsung, where are their retail shops? or do you post it off or have to go and deal with the wonderful people at PC World?
Well, I'd go to the Samsung website, and under Support, I'd click on 'Find Service Locations' and take it from there.
It's not rocket science!
@Apple Store "Repair"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this whole "go into an apple store, and have them repair my device" a pay for service? How is this any different then me opting in my Cell Phone service carrier for an insurance plan, that lets me completely replace the phone if something goes wrong?
That's the experience I had with my iPhone. It developed a problem with the display, was away for 1 week for evaluation (by the network provider) and 3 weeks for repair (by Apple).
I did get the repaired phone back, rather than a refurb, so I suppose that counts as better service.
This is the one area Apple have, to my mind, innovated. Having their own stores means that they have an investment in everything from production, supply, sales, and returns. This ownership of the whole channel means that there *will* be better service - the staff are identified with the goods they sell, and it is to their advantage that the customer is satisfied. I may not like the actual style of the Apple Store model (I went in once, came out feeling dirty), but it is worth a fortune to the company.
I'll make no secret of it that I despise Apple for the vile techniques they use in their desperate attempt to gain a monopoly on handheld computing. Their plan to have devices that do everything not quite as well as the specialist devices has failed now that other manufacturers are capable of producing devices that do everything just as well, and being unable to keep up in innovation they have resorted to stopping their rivals joining the race at all.
Unlike you, Matt, I have not bought into Apple. I have considered an iPad, I won't deny, but ultimately Apple's business practices are too revolting for me to stomach. They have enough money to behave the way they do; they do not, therefore, need mine. Should they start playing nice, I might change my mind. But they won't.
I'm similar, I refuse to buy any Samsung products until they end the monopolistic corruption of South Korea.
Who else are you going to buy from?
Samsung are suing people, Motorola (acting on behalf of Google) are suing people. Microsoft are suing people.
The only people who don't seem to be suing is RIM. So are you getting a Playbook?
There's always the option of not buying one at all.
Friend had a Macbook Pro - probably 4 years old and at least 6-12 months out of warranty. Hard drive failed - took it to the Apple Store - they replaced / fitted the new hard drive with a new 1Tb one and reinstalled the OS and backup data rom TimeMachine. They charged him around £100 which at the time was the cost of a replacement bare drive from Amazon - you can't really ask for fairer than that.
I also know plenty of offices that have moved over to using Macs and made cost savings far in excess of he cost of the hardware by lower 'support' and time lost by downtime. Purchase cost is not the TCO.
I also received very shoddy support.
My iPhone 3GS stopped working the second day I had it. I took it back to the store, they sent it off for repair. 2 weeks later, it came back with the note "no fault found."
2 days later, it stopped working again. The next morning it worked for a couple of hours, then stopped working again, back to the store, they sent it away, 2 weeks later, it was returned "no fault found."
2 hours after I got it back, it stopped working again!
I went back to the store and balled the sales assistant out in a fully packed store, saying that Apple were incompetent and that the phone had now been sent back twice for repair and they had failed to even find the problem (the phone wouldn't switch on). I said I wanted a replacement device.
They sent the phone away, again, and 2 weeks later I received a new phone, with the comment that they had found the fault and replaced the handset!
So, from the first 7 weeks of ownership, I spent 6 weeks running round with a Samsung slider phone as a replacement for my iPhone!
Then my bosses iPhones started breaking down, same procedure, the phone was collected from the office and returned 2 weeks later - standard Apple operating procedure at the time. He went through 3 iPhone 3GS and 4 iPhone 4 phones in 5 months. each time, we had to wait 2 weeks. After the second 3GS broke down, he took an iPhone 4 on somebody else's company contract and we kept swapping back and forth. His 4S seems to be of better quality, he has had it 8 months now, without any problems.
At the same time, my htc Mozart 7 died after a firmware update. The defective handset was collected and they left a replacement handset behind.
Unfortunately, at the time, going to an Apple Store and talking to a Genius wasn't an option, the nearest Apple Store was in Paris, an 8 hour drive away, and they speak a different language!
Re: Shoddy support
So by your own admission, you didn't buy it from an Apple store. The retailer you returned it to (not Apple) are responsible for replacing faulty goods. They didn't and sent it to Apple for inspection and Apple found nothing wrong (which is likely not to be their fault, intermittent faults are always a tech support nightmare) and you have now introduced this story to blame Apple and not the store who were actually responsible for the shoddy after sales care.
This is precisely why Apple have been introducing their own stores; so they can control the customer experience because other retailers are so often crap and unthinking users blame them instead of the retailer who has been responsible for the bad experience.
And my anecdote is that they needed to charge £100 to repair an Ipod, even though it was also paid for with their insurance.
Why do I need "support" time? Maybe you do on Apple, but not with other products. You can harp on about your anecdotes all you like, but remind me the market share of OS X again?
Plus, to spin the Apple-arguments back - if other products cost more than Apple, I guess that means they're better as luxury products, right? I'm sorry you're too poor to afford that.
Re: Shoddy support
There were no Apple Stores to buy from. They didn't exist...
An opposing viewpoint!
I have an iPhone 4, had it 20 months and the home button got gradually less and less responsive. I know LOTS of other people with this same problem and the forums are full of complaints, so this is not my mis-treatment of a device (as opposed to dropping it and cracking screens, flushing it down the toilet, etc etc...)
I went to the Apple Store and they told me, sure they'd fix it, £139 for a replacement refurbished phone! :-o Excuse me, I'm within my 2 year contract, Goods in the UK should last a REASONABLE amount of time, please fix your shoddy manufacturing fault. No sir, we can't do that.
O2 volunteered to fix it for free, but they'd have to send the handset away. At least they know their legal responsibilities. So I ended up with a kid down the road who runs a repair business fixing it for £17 quid while I waited.
Oh and my (coincidentally) 20 month old 27" iMac with 1TB Seagate driver started showing signs of drive failure with messages in the log on regular intervals. Apple have a recall for this exact same drive in the 6 month newer model. My one? No. They want me to cart a huge iMac back to the Apple Store, then estimate £200+ to replace the hard drive, and are unable to tell me how long they need it, whether they have a replacement in stock or any of that malarky until I've physically lugged the most unportable machine imaginable on a 10 mile journey. What double-galls me is I could replace it myself if they hadn't changed the pesky drive firmware for their own temperature monitoring (What? Is SMART not enough of a standard for you guys to follow?).
Apple Customer Service? I don't think so.
I came to Apple 6 years ago after many years of Windows ownership. I find their attitude to customers appalling and if it wasn't for MS shooting themselves in the face with Windows 8, I'd be outta here.
Just another perspective, YMMV as they say.
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
"I'm within my 2 year contract" (but not with Apple?)
If you bought the phone from O2 then would assume they are your first port of call? Apple give you a 12 month warranty by default and you can extend it (for about £50 if I remember) with AppleCare to 2 years (3 years on some devices). If you bought it from O2 and they said they would fix it for free - not really sure where your issue is. I buy my phones direct from Apple and do get AppleCare (as it's vital I have my phone available) and if I have ever had an issue / question it has been resolved quickly.
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
um the 2 year thing is with the retailer, ie if its a phone from O2 on contract its them that are required by law with the 2 year bit.
Sale of goods act is the other one you could use but again only with the company you purchased from not the manufacturer.
Get in touch with them unless you purchased direct from Apple.
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
Ever heard of Applecare? It's a pretty cheap warranty extension and well worth it for anything 'critical'.
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
That is true, but UK consumer law states a device should last a "reasonable" amount of time. A "reasonable" amount of time for a mobile phone is the length of the contract that you purchased the phone with. I believe (from lots of reading around at the time) that this has actually been tested in law.
Would you honestly not expect a "quality" item that has absolutely no marks on it and has been well treated for 20 months to still be working? Funnily enough, I would. I wouldn't have thought I was setting my expectations too high.
I am offering an opposing view of the "going beyond their obligations" kind of CS that is being touted in this article, it certainly is not the way Apple treat all their customers. It's very much luck of the draw.
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
The retailer? I purchased it from the Apple Store. The same one I went back to...
Re: An opposing viewpoint!
You mean Apple charges you for something you should het anyway and you see this as good service.
If a phone is on a two year contract it should last two years.
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