* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Come with me if you want a lid: Apple bags Terminator-esque LiquidMetal mobe patent

DougS Silver badge

Re: thermal movement

Liquid Metal has elastic properties, so once bonded to the sapphire glass (the patent describes the process to make that happen ) it will not separate again.

Assuming it comes off as described, it would be an amazingly durable device. Scratchproof face, and likely impact resistant to normal drops from head height or less at most/all angles. Liquid Metal itself isn't scratchproof, but it is significantly more scratch resistant than the machined aluminum Apple currently uses. If they waterproof it as well, no one will need a case unless they want to bling it out.

Though I wonder, if the bezel is bonded to the glass, what will they use for the back side? If the back side was also sapphire and also bonded, it would be essentially impossible to open. Not that this is really a problem, since 99% of iPhone owners will have Apple service it anyway, but iFixit might have to add a zero to their "repairability" score range of 1-10 if that happens!

Australia iOS ransom gizmo-snatch OUTRAGE not our FAULT: Apple

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Apple may want to tweak its policies

My understanding is that this only affects users who don't have an unlock passcode on their device, because they have disabled screen lock. If so, Apple will want to force all users to set an unlock passcode that is active even when screen lock is disabled, so they have a way of unlocking their device to mitigate any future versions of this attack.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Other sites have statements ....

Obviously we don't know the details yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if we hear about a compromise of an Australian ISP later this week that turns out to be where the passwords were obtained.

FTC calls for Congress to crack down on consumer data harvesting

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FTC proposes legisation that lets consumers have control over their information

Translation: FTC proposes a law that has zero hope of passing once Google and the other companies that make billions off using/trading our information get through lobbying.

Yeah, I'd love to see some legislation along these lines that had some teeth passed, but I'm not going to hold my breath. If they do pass it, there will surely be holes that companies that only use but don't sell the information will be unaffected by (Google, Facebook) or companies that do sell the information will simply be required to give consumers "better" disclosures - but it'll still be opt out, making such legislation meaningless.

Four-pronged ARM-based Mac rumor channels Rasputin

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Analyst = STUPID

If Apple switches to ARM for Mac laptops, they can only convert at most half of them or so, because half of Mac laptop buyers want to run Windows apps at least once in a while. That limits the market to a few million a quarter, or a less than 10% increase over the number of ARM SoCs Apple is using in iPhone and iPad.

And that, of course, assumes that Samsung remains the manufacturer of 100% of Apple ARM SoCs, when rumors indicate that they're switching to TSMC for at least a good chunk of them, and could easily switch to GF for the remainder if they wanted to remain Samsung-free (I'm not sure they do, but if they did...)

The idea that one should buy stock in a multinational corporation like Samsung, of which their chip foundry accounts for a single digit percentage of their earnings (even if Apple accounts for the large majority of that single digit percentage) on the basis that Apple might increase the number of CPUs they order by a single digit percentage is silly.

Even if Apple had Samsung continue to fabricate 100% of their ARM SoCs, and Apple was somehow able to convert every Mac to ARM, it would mean an increase in Samsung's revenue by maybe 2% at best. Yeah, I want to buy stock to capture that! I would think a better play would be shorting Intel, since any switch of Apple from x86 to ARM is going to have a larger downward impact on Intel's share price than an upward impact on Samsung's share price, since Intel is almost exclusively a chip provider, while Samsung has businesses ranging from toasters to oil tankers of which their foundry business is only a part.

Microsoft Cortana EULA contains the Greatest Disclaimer of ALL TIME

DougS Silver badge

I don't see the problem

You might not hire someone who says that as a personal assistant, but I'd expect more from a person I'm paying $50K a year (or whatever a personal assistant makes) than a free feature on a device I was going to buy anyway.

If I hired a researcher he'd do a lot better than Google searches do for finding what I want, but I'd be paying him a lot more too.

China ponders ban on IBM servers

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I wonder if this is why

IBM sold their PC/server business? Maybe they feared this would be the reaction if the NSA spying program they knew about (since they're on the list of cooperating companies and have probably worked with them for decades to bug specific computers known to be going to unfriendly nations)

I may give them too much credit, but if not, the guy who made this call may for once deserve whatever oversized 7 or 8 digit bonus he gets.


DougS Silver badge

@berserko1 - that's NOT a reason to control your lights

It is cheaper put simply put occupancy sensors on your entry way lights. You don't want to do that with lights in other places because they'll turn off if you stop moving, but most people don't stand around in their entryway for 5-15 minutes without moving making it a perfect application for occupancy sensors.

There's simply no reason to have a "smart" home just for something like this. What happens if you don't bring your phone when you go somewhere - you'll come home to a dark house.

Anyway, people have somehow been getting along for decades having to flip a light switch when they enter their house. I could have put this in my house, but I didn't see the point. I know friends who had a bunch of high tech features added to their home because their builder talking them into it with FUD about how not making the home smart would hurt its resale value, and they regret the decision. Once they get over the "look, I can see if the kitchen light is on from work" cool factor, they don't use it for much of anything.

I'd love to see what Google will do with the data they'd collect from a Google smart house. If you spend a lot of time in the living room, they'll show you ads for couches. If you spend a lot of time in the bedroom they'll show you ads for mattresses. And adult toys if you watch a lot of porn on your Google TV in your bedroom :)

Apple goes after BlackBerry's last stronghold

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The Register's Apple articles get weirder and weirder

I guess they're just looking to make a rather boring story that Apple is doing something to sell into the fourth largest country in the world more "headline grabbing" by making it sound like they're actively targeting Blackberry?

I doubt Blackberry having decent share there or having 0% share wouldn't have changed Apple's position any. They feel they can sell more than they do in Indonesia if they open a few stores there, improve localization, etc. If Samsung started opening stores there (if they already haven't) is it because they're going after Blackberry, or because they're going where there are millions of potential customers?

Apple wheels out sueball cannon, again

DougS Silver badge

Re: Jury ?

Yes, it is a dumb system. The average person isn't qualified to determine whether infringement has happened in technology patents, let alone decide on appropriate damages. Even those of us reading/posting about this probably aren't qualified for that (though perhaps better qualified than the jury)

The problem is, the typical judge isn't qualified either. You'd need some technology expert judges, and putting that kind of power into the hands of one person is asking for abuse. Like when DoD contracts are awarded and the general who made the decision often seems to retire shortly after and end up with a cushy consulting gig or seat on the board with the company that won the bid. Nothing unsavory there, no sir!

At least the average joes on the jury aren't likely to be bribed or bought. Not that it would be difficult for a company to buy one of them, but the more they try to buy it quickly becomes a certainty they'll be found out so they know better than to try.

Intel cutting prices, taking on all comers in fondleslab market grab

DougS Silver badge

They ARE subsidizing x86

Google Intel and "contra revenue". They're paying OEMs to use x86 in tablets.

DougS Silver badge

Intel can buy market share for as long as they want

But the moment they try to reclaim their standard margin, the market will return to ARM. If Intel believes a small advantage in price/performance will swing the Android market from ARM to x86, once they quit subsidizing it will swing back to ARM. There isn't any CPU lock in as there was with Windows.

Google tells indie labels to take its YouTube deal or face OBLIVION

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Re: Is that unreasonable?

Yes, it is unreasonable, given YouTube's position in the market. Perhaps even "evil".

The whole idea of the internet allowing artists to connect directly to people without the big 6 (now big 4) labels getting in the way breaks down if Google inserts itself as the new "big 1". Hopefully the FTC is paying attention, maybe it is Google's turn to get slapped around by them since they've finished with Apple.

Beautiful balloon burst caught on camera

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Surprised at all the little pieces

Guess it is a different type of balloon than the typical party balloons, which when bursting remains in a single piece.

Employees grab Apple and Google's $325 MEEELLION olive branch in hiring suit

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Re: Another sad day for the rule of law.

If the complainants agree to it, how exactly is it a failure of the rule of law? Corporations broke the law, employees sued them, corporations are paying up.

Maybe you think the penalty should be larger, but that's up to those who have been harmed by it to decide, not you.

Keep in mind, this is a civil violation, not criminal, so there isn't anyone to jail. If you don't like that, take it up with your legislators.

Redmond promises IE8 patch is in the pipeline

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Microsoft is getting really schizophrenic lately

First they won't patch XP after the drop dead date, then they do. First they won't patch this, now they do. The million changes of direction for Xbox One.

I guess the lesson is, if they say/do something you don't like, just wait a couple days and then read the Reg, and you'll find they've changed their minds.

I'LL BE APP! Apple renews LiquidMetal contract, Terminator rumours flood interwebs

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They must have a use for it bigger than a hinge

They are spending $10 million a year or something like that for the exclusivity contract. They've renewed it twice now, so there must be something they're working on a bit more important than that.

Interesting that it is only renewed for a year this time though, I wonder if they're trying to light a fire under Liquid Metal's feet to resolve whatever manufacturability issues there must be that are preventing it being used for whatever Apple has in mind.

ET hunter: We will find SPACE ALIENS in 20 years

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Re: For 20 years of gravy...

Especially if you're less than 20 years away from retirement.

Boeing CEO says no more 'moonshots' after 787 Dreamliner ordeal

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25 years is a long time for a company

They probably said the same thing after the last moonshot, but all the senior people involved were long gone and the new bunch believe they were smarter and had better technology so even if they heard about problems from the last time they believe they will easily overcome them.

Around 2040 or so technology will have advanced a long way, all today's leadership will be gone, and they'll try another moonshot. Hubris is a constant in the universe.

China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

DougS Silver badge

Re: Three Reasons Why..... plus the fourth real reason

Fully agree. The author's assertion that China "figured out how to grow without piling up debt" shows an utter lack of understanding of China's financial situation. Their national government doesn't have a big debt load like the US, but their regional/local governments have piled up massive debt. Some of it for useful infrastructure projects that aided the growth and modernization of China, but much of it wasted to line people's pockets. They learned a bit too well from the West, I'm afraid.

Fanbois Apple-gasm as iPhone giant finally reveals WWDC lineup

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Re: 2007, not 2008

Like it or not, the iPhone brought smartphones to the mainstream, instead of a niche of geeks and PHBs that used them previously.

World changing isn't the same as inventing. And handwriting recognition is irrelevant to compares with the iPhone, since they don't support it or sell a stylus (though I imagine there are third party apps for those who care)

DougS Silver badge

2007, not 2008

Is when the iPhone was first sold, though you could argue it didn't become apparent how successful it was going to become until the 3G in 2008 and third party apps were enabled in the App Store.

Google hit by class action lawsuit over claimed AdSense fraud

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Re: This

You may have legitimate gripes with Google, but why are you glad they're getting sued over something completely unrelated to your gripes? How does that address your problems?

DougS Silver badge

How often are payouts?

If they're, say, once a month, and one considered disabling an account within three days of payout as happening "shortly before payout" then just by normal happenstance 10% of accounts would be disabled shortly before payout, and you could put together a list of companies that have been so defrauded.

You'd have to show it is happening far more often than by chance, and eliminate other possible reasons. Like payout being on the first day of the month, and algorithms that check for fraud running on the last day of the month.

Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

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Off by default

Until some future update when they realize that less than 1% of users have voluntarily enabled it and they want to increase the uptake.

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

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Re: So close...

Ahhh, the envy of those who never went outside their bedroom wi-fi range.... travel a little guys, get out of your basements, feel the sun, you will discover there's not yet wifi and even mobile coverage everywhere...


Gee, someone ought to invent a way for laptops to use cellular connections instead of just wifi.

DougS Silver badge

Re: So close...

Snap on the keyboard and you have a laptop with a terrible keyboard.

DougS Silver badge

Re: So close...

If it were true there were "a lot" of people who wanted that, Microsoft would be selling a lot more Surface tablets.

DougS Silver badge

Re: So close...

But why did you want a tablet instead of an Ultrabook if you have real work to do? Sure, you can hammer nails with a pipe wrench, but it is easier to just use a hammer.

DougS Silver badge

A tablet with a FAN?

Microsoft still has no idea what people want. Another flop. Maybe they'll get it right with Surface 4...

Apple haggles with ISPs for fast lanes to its own websites – industry guru

DougS Silver badge

You're thinking too small

If you only care about getting your traffic to the customers of your ISP, what you suggest is fine. But if your ISP is AT&T, and you want to reach Comcast's customers, without net neutrality you have to negotiate with them even though you aren't their customer. Comcast might not even offer service in the state in which you reside, but if you want a national reach you will have to pay up or risk having them throttle your connections. If what you're selling competes with Comcast in any way, or if they just decide to throttle all streaming video traffic that haven't paid them, you're kind of screwed.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Paying extortion...

Content providers need to tell ISPs to go fuck themselves

They should, but once one blinks the others have no choice but to follow suit. Once Netflix paid the protection money, it became a lot harder for others not to. I have a feeling that Apple wasn't the only one who called up Comcast after that Netflix deal was announced, they were just the first to get their deal signed. There will be more, because Comcast is in a position of power controlling the speed at which their traffic can reach Comcast's customers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fine with me

Deals like these aren't to "allow Apple to make their own service faster", it is legalized extortion. The breakdown of net neutrality essentially gives ISPs the power to demand payments from companies like Apple or Netflix (anyone doing a lot of streaming) under the implied threat that if they don't they might have unhappy customers. All Comcast has to do is take the necessary amount of capacity offline "for maintenance" and they can create traffic jams among those who don't pay whenever they want for however long they want.

Comcast and other ISPs would be in a position to determine winners and losers. They also wouldn't have to charge companies the same rate. They might say "well the first company to sign up will get a deal, and each company to sign up after pays a little bit more", as an incentive to get companies to rush to sign up, instead risking a wait and see approach that might make them pay several times as much.

If Comcast launched their own streaming music service, maybe when Apple wanted to renew the deal Comcast tells them the renewal will cost them 10x as much. If Apple doesn't pay, suddenly iTunes Radio works terribly and Comcast customers leave iTunes Radio and sign up with Comcast's streaming service that works perfectly all the time.

It gives the ISPs power over everyone else on the internet. You can think of it as "Apple paying to make their service faster" if you want, but really they did as insurance against Comcast throttling them and giving their customers a poor experience that they would blame on Apple.

No such luck: Apple, Samsung say peace talks are off – way off

DougS Silver badge

Re: Frivolous and vexatious litigation

Sorry, the courts determine that, not fanboys, and unless you are filing lawsuits that are thrown out by the judge immediately upon filing they aren't considered frivolous or vexatious.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Not Cool

Apple has sold over a half billion iPhones, and are unlikely have to spent anything like a half billion in legal fees, so it would be less than a buck a phone. The same would be true for Samsung.

Google is tech industry and world's most valuable brand as Apple rots

DougS Silver badge

Re: $US1589bn?

Perhaps the story was edited since you posted, but it shows $158.9 billion, not $1589 billion. Or perhaps that was a typo on your part and you were questioning the hyper accuracy of these numbers?

That latter is certainly justified, as the formula used to calculate these numbers are pulled out of their ass, calculating it a decimal place is rather silly. The reason they do it, of course, is to lend an air of scientific credibility to their results.

There are other ways to measure brand value, such as "goodwill" in accounting, which is defined as the excess valuation of the company over and above its financial value. That is, if you look at the cash flows, growth, etc. you can use well known formulas to calculate what a generic company should be worth. If its market cap is higher than that, it has positive goodwill (like say Coca Cola, since it is a long standing well-loved company with a "secret formula" that can't be duplicated) If the market cap is lower, it has negative goodwill (like a company might after a big scandal)

Creepy Facebook urges users to pester friends about their SEX LIVES

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Enabling creepers

I have a feeling 98% of such requests will be sent by men to women they barely know and who are uninterested in getting to know the guy any better.

Good way to turn women off using Facebook, nice job Zuck!

Apple 'rainbow' logos set to fetch $10-15K at auction

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Re: What? No injunction from Apple?

He's selling something existing with the Apple logo on it. No different than selling an old Apple II with its logo. What you can't do under trademark law is make products using the trademark of another. If he was making keychains that used that old Apple logo, he'd probably be getting a certified letter at some point. As would any company, because where trademarks are concerned, if you don't defend it, you will lose it.

iPhone-stroker-turned-fandroid sues Apple over iMessage text-slurpery

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Re: I really don't see...

Did it show the message as "Delivered"? I've seen some iMessage weirdness before, when my girlfriend added her iPad to iMessage using her email address it started trying to send some of my iMessages randomly to it (because I had her email in my contacts along with her phone number)

In this case I could always tell something was up when the message wasn't shown as delivered. Was a bit confusing for a while but eventually got things sorted out.

DougS Silver badge

I agree that would probably be a smart thing to do, but even if they offered to do it I doubt she'd drop her suit. She's in it for the money, and can't even point to any actual injury. If she has so little connection with her friends that when they text her and she doesn't respond they don't try to reach her in other ways money isn't the answer.

DougS Silver badge

@b166er - you misunderstand

There is no "intermediary" intervening. When someone uses the iMessage app on iOS, if the app has a user listed as an iMessage user it will try to send messages via iMessage. SMS is the "fallback" option for users who aren't iMessage users or when iMessage delivery fails.

Given that one of the options she's presented with is to ask her friends to delete and re-add her contact, I don't see what the big deal is. When they can't get in touch with her presumably they'd call or ask a mutual friend what's up.

How is Apple supposed to know when an iPhone owner buys a Samsung and uses it instead? I doubt the carrier notifies them, and the user could swap the SIM around themselves if they had unlocked phones. From Apple's perspective the iMessage can't be delivered, but that will also happen when they don't have a data connection available. When my data connection is unavailable I get text messages from my iPhone owning friends, so I find it difficult to believe she's really getting NOTHING. Maybe if someone is offline on iMessage for a week Apple could send them an email with a link to unregister from iMessage in case they're no longer using iOS?

This is a typical lawsuit over nothing from someone hoping to make a buck they don't deserve. She can't even point to real harm - if she missed a critical text that caused her to not get a job on Wall Street she could point to something, but I suspect the worst damage was that she missed a booty call or when her friends got together for some drinks she was late and they made her buy the next round!

Samsung mobes to get an eyeful of your EYE in biometric security bid

DougS Silver badge

There's probably a lot of companies "looking at" iris scanning

But it has its own problems similar to that of fingerprint recognition. It is relatively easy to spoof using images, and it is even easier to obtain an image of someone's iris than it is to get their fingerprint. It is possible to take an image good enough for recognition from 15-20 feet away!

What's more, the privacy concerns people have about giving out their fingerprints are just as bad for iris recognition, as like fingerprints you can't change your iris if it is compromised.

Perhaps a combination of fingerprint scanning, iris recognition and facial recognition would be good security. All can be easily compromised, but it would be difficult to spoof them all at the same moment.

FINGERS CROSSED: Apple and Samsung said to be hammering out settlement

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Re: Or...

Apple has had a cross licensing deal with Microsoft for ages, and Google and Samsung each have their own reasons why suing Microsoft would be a bad idea.

Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

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Re: Conspiracy Theory #42

Since half the conspiracy theorists are on the extreme right (the other half on the extreme left, there aren't many moderate/center conspiracy theorists as far as I can tell) one wonders how they can assign such amazing powers to a government they think is too incompetent to be trusted with anything?

Welcome to Heathrow Terminal, er, Samsung Galaxy S5

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Re: A long time ago...

That's the nice thing about period pieces. No product placement!

Beam me up Scotty: Boffins to turn pure light into matter

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Re: Star Trek Replicators

The anti-hamburger can be beamed down to engineering to help power the ship.

"I'm sorry Cap'n, I'm giving her all she's got! If you need more speed, send all available personnel to the nearest replicator!"

SAVE NET NEUTRALITY, urges Steve Wozniak in open letter to bigwigs

DougS Silver badge

Re: This new regime will be wonderful for the likes of A T & T

You may have missed it, but as part of AT&T's purchase of Directv announced yesterday, they're committing to abide by net neutrality for three years, regardless of what actions the FCC may take.

If in three years there is no net neutrality, Verizon, Comcast and everyone else will be charging so if AT&T goes along then it would be hard to point the finger of blame on them, rather than the FCC/congress.

So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

DougS Silver badge

wireless vs wired and analog vs digital headphones

The obvious problem with wireless headphones is that they must be charged. I can't see Apple dropping the headphone jack and not replacing it with something for this reason alone.

So the alternatives are:

1) invent a new connector

2) use the Lightning connector

3) use 3.5mm connector

Inventing a new connector seems pointless, since it could be made to plug into the Lighting or 3.5mm, so I discount that.

The problem with plugging into the Lightning connector is that then you can't charge your phone/iPod while listening to music without some sort of splitter, so that seems unlikely as well.

So you're left with the 3.5mm connector. It is analog today, but there's no particular reason a 3.5mm connector can't be used to pass digital data. More to the point, it would even be possible to create a digital 3.5mm standard that fell back to analog operation if the other end wasn't digital. 3.5mm connectors are already used for serial ports on some devices, it would be similar technology with a bit more speed than their 460kbps max.

Apple already uses a TRRS 4 conductor connector for their 3.5mm port, some sort of signalling protocol to tell it "go to digital mode" would be simple to implement. Then you use the left/right audio for differential signaling and the 'mic' (tip) to power the headphones.

I don't see any movement towards higher quality in audio however, as people have been happy to take a step down from CD to MP3/AAC and even though Apple does ALAC (lossless) they don't sell many compared to lossy. But even if only 10% of iPhone/iPod owners wanted to upgrade their music experience, that would be one hell of a lot of Beats headphones sold.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The reason Nokia lost

I'm curious, why did you want a bigger screen? None of those phones until the iPhone had a full browser. What's the point of a big screen if you're limited to WAP, and a handful of useless Java based apps?

When I saw the iPhone, I thought "why the hell would I want to have such a goddamn huge phone?" When I tried one, I thought the full browser is nice, but the performance was so crappy (via wifi, I'm not talking about 2G limits) that I figured I'd wait until it didn't suck before I considered it. When the 3gs came out, the the suckiness of the performance was reduced enough I was finally willing to buy, though it took a while to get used to then ridiculously large phone.

Before that 3gs, every phone I owned was chosen because of size - small size, and I had to pay for it. Especially with my first phone, a Nokia 8860 that cost me $500 after subsidy! Now some people won't consider an iPhone with a 4" screen because it is too tiny...amazing how needs/tastes change over time.

Apple, Google: WE SURRENDER ... to each other in patent war truce

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Re: Please link to those later stories

I find it interesting that people are downvoting you for telling the truth. I guess Apple haters wish to believe the fiction that Apple's sales are declining, as if "smartphone" market share is relevant. Samsung's share of the smartphone market is also falling, if you measure only the Galaxy S series and Note, for the same reason that Apple's is. Because cheap feature phones are being replaced by cheap smartphones.

The fact is, the high end of the smartphone market sells slightly more units per year than they did the last, but that's not where the big growth in the smartphone market is. It isn't in the midrange, either. It isn't even in the "low end", if you define the low end by Samsung's cheapest phones. No, even the whole of Samsung is now LOSING smartphone market share, because China and India have companies selling smartphones that cost much less than Samsung's cheapest phone. That's the hot sector in the smartphone market now - the $35-$70 phones.

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