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Comment Re:"Pledges" (Score 2) 364

Actually, if you aren't within certain parameters of the Android Comptability Test Suite, then you can't use the Android trademark, and if you aren't using the Android Trademark then you cannot include any of the google proprietary Apps, which would be Maps, Gmail, Market, etc.

Comment Re:Just another provocation of war (Score 4, Informative) 206

The definition of "dedicated" is up to interpretation. Already under the "Operation In Our Sites" that ICE is performing, many legitimate websites have been caught in the crossfire while being claimed as "dedicated" to copyright infringement. Several were accused of copyright infringement and had their websites taken down, only to find out that the videos were given to them by the copyright owners as promotional material.

We don't give the government right to take down a website without due process, no matter what. Not only that, but even The Pirate Bay has some legitimate, non-infringing content on it.

The government and big-business do not get to decide what is and is not allowed to be accessed. If the law is being broken, then charge or sue the people who are breaking the law, that is it.

Comment Re:obvious choices (Score 1) 323

choices that have already greatly enriched the options available to consumers

They have only enriched the options available to consumers because other companies were free to see what works, copy, modify and improve upon it. You are arguing that once Apple created the iPhone, no other device would be allowed to be created during the life of the patent that uses a similar feature set. Effectively, you want patents to hinder competition even more than they already do. This is a ridiculous notion. If anything, this is an argument that that protection is not needed at all as Apple more than managed to make billions in profit without those protections.

Comment Re:obvious choices (Score 1) 323

The LG Prada makes my point very well because the LG Prada was not a big success, despite being made by a well-known factory and having a famous design imprint. Hardly anybody in the US has used it, because no US carrier even bothered to offer it. Clearly, it takes more than just a touchscreen to transform the market for phones.

What's that you say? That it takes more than having a full touchscreen and a rectangular shape and bezels to copy a device? That even though they used a similar physical design, the problem was that the iPhone had better software? Hmm....that seems suspiciously familiar....

It would seem that even Apple and all their innovative glory, imitated the LG Prada. The difference between them, was that the software for the iPhone was better.

Oh, yea. That's what I already said. You seem to have missed my point. Since we have gotten off to a large tangent, I'll try to bring it back. The conversation was talking about the form-factor, and physical design. Apple themselves copied the physical design of the LG Prada (if they didn't they've never denied it) and paired it with better software to differentiate it. They didn't pioneer anything but usable software to go with a touch screen. Just as Samsung has created a tablet in a similar design to the iPad because that design is what consumers want, Apple created the iPhone in a similar design to the LG Prada because that was the "New big idea".

As I said, the concept of a flat, rectangular, bezeled device is nothing new at all. There's nothing novel about it.The software running on it that takes advantage of the form factor and makes it as useful and easy to use, that is novel.

Exactly. There is more to a successful touch phone or pad than just the form factor. What transformed the market was Apple's felicitous combination of a particular hardware design with software designed and optimized to take advantage of it--which is why the clones have imitated both.

You even agree with me. Except where we disagree, is where you are claiming that only Android is imitating the iPhone, when instead, both are imitating each other. I'll even give you, based on the posts you linked, that the design change from a blackberry-like device to a full-screen touchscreen device was to compete against the iPhone. But for everything you could probably name where Android supposedly "copied" or "imitated" the iPhone or iPad, I could also name ways where the iPhone and iPad are imitating Android. Apple is not this shining paragon of innovation. They do the same as everyone else, figure out what features the competition has that consumers want and copy them. Then come up with new things such as improvements or new features that differentiate themselves from the competition. If you really believe that what I just described is wrong and bad....then you think that the iPhone shouldn't have Copy&Paste, that they shouldn't have drag down notifications, hell, you believe that the iPhone shouldn't have the ability to add third-party applications! All of these were design choices made by Apple after competitors had them and they copied the idea, and implemented it.

Market share is pretty misleading here, since Apple's market share of iPad-like devices was initially infinite, so clearly it would drop. In Apple's form factor (as opposed to el-cheapo 7" pads), Apple remains dominant. There is clearly a market for devices like the Fire and Nook--but it is a different market.

I never said Apple wasn't still dominant. Hell, I said they have 63% of the market. However, the Kindle and Nook are not a different market than the iPad. They are simply lower cost alternatives. That's like saying that Volkswagen cars aren't in the same market as Lexus cars. Of course they are in the same market, the VW is just a lower cost alternative. There are pros and cons based on what features you get for your money. It's still the same market.

The point is that surveys are showing that the iPhone 4 is so compelling that people are buying the iPhone 4s without waiting for their contract to expire so that they would become eligible for a new discount. This emphasizes that Apple is to a large extent competing with themselves.

Releasing a new version and people buying it, is not competing with yourself. That's called a desired response. They don't want you to buy the old ones, they want you to buy the new one because it costs more. If Apple had two different phones (not one phone with a newer version) then they'd be competing with themselves. Besides the point though, people have shown that the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy S II, and many other Android phones are also so compelling that people are buying them without waiting for their contract to expire and thus paying much more. The fact that people will pay more and buy an unsubsidized phone is not a differentiating factor, nor is it unique to the iPhone. Thus, I don't see what your point is. The iPhone is competing with various Android phones and currently, as a whole the Android platform is winning. This is unrelated to the original topic.

The original topic being, that every market is just a series of competitors copying each other's best features and then improving upon the products. To hinder this cycle in any way hinders competition, and that is precisely what Apple is trying to do with this ridiculous lawsuit against Samsung. There is no customer confusion, people are not buying Galaxy Tabs and thinking they are iPads. Thus the suit has no merit.

Comment Re:PC analogy (Score 1) 278

But while we're asking questions, what gives you the right to determine how a company choses to sell their products?

I don't care how they sell their products. But the right of a consumer to do what they like with property they own is paramount. If I am purchasing something, then I own it. End of story. What gives a company the right to tell me how to use my own property?

It's not like you did not know this before purchasing the product, or at the very worst after reading the licensing agreement and still able to return the product.

Most people actually do not know this, because they don't do their research. It's a deceptive market practice, which I'm pretty sure most people see as bad. It's called consumer protections. Not only that, but I'd have to pay a restocking fee for returning an iPhone (not that I'd ever purchase any Apple product). So I'd be out money just because a company thinks it can tell me how to use my own property and I disagreed.

It's the companies product and they can chose to sell it to whomever under what ever conditions they chose (or at least they would if there was actually a free market*). If you don't like those conditions then don't by the product

People are going to buy it regardless. They don't do their research or don't realize the damage or just don't care. Either way, Apple is making money hand over fist despite this. With more and more manufacturers going this way where they are trying to control how you use hardware you purchase, eventually the option will be to either suck it up or don't use technology. That's not a choice at all. This is why a "pure free market" doesn't work. Companies will do whatever they can to milk more money out of consumers while restricting them in more ways. There's a reason why consumer protections exist and are necessary.

Comment Re:Subsidized Devices (Score 1) 278

And, you being the honest person that you are, would continue to pay that contract even though you no longer use the phone on the AT&T network.

Why would you no longer use the phone on the AT&T Network after you jailbreak it? The phone isn't very useful if you don't have service to it.

Me, being a far more evil person, would immediately stop paying my contract once I jail-broke my phone. What are they going to do? Slash my credit rating? Meanwhile, AT&T is still out the cost of my phone.

That's why they have ETFs. They would slash your credit rating and you'd owe them the ETF. Up to you....

Comment Re:PC analogy (Score 1) 278

When you buy a phone, you don't have to sign any contract about the hardware.

all you have to do is remove every last trace of apple software and then you can install anything you want (Oh you might also have to figure out how to do that without violating the DMCA).

Currently, specifically for iPhones, there is already an exception to jailbreaking iPhones for the DMCA.

Or, and this is a really novel idea, you don't purchase products from companies that would like to restrict how you use their products.

The hardware involved is good hardware, it would be more expensive and very very difficult to attempt to get the same thing without just purchasing the product. Why should the company have any right whatsoever to dictate how I use their product as long as I am not harming anyone else? Easy, they shouldn't

Comment Re:PC analogy (Score 1) 278

You have only stated the argument as to why to disallow the ability to play games online if you put custom firmware on it. However, as long as you aren't playing multiplayer and thus the potential to cheat, why would you disallow DLC, Console Firmware Updates, Dashboard updates, game updates and apps? That makes no sense.

None of those should be affecting anyone but the person whose console is modded....

Comment Re:PC analogy (Score 1) 278

Security has nothing to do with it. running trainers to cheat on games is more what I was thinking about.

I'm perfectly fine with the idea that if you hack the box and put custom firmware on it, they don't have to let you on their network. However, that should not preclude you playing games offline.

Comment Re:obvious choices (Score 1) 323

Isn't that straw man a bit itchy? Nobody said that Apple invented the smartphone. But before the iPhone, smartphones were more like a Blackberry. Now, virtually all are trying to look like the iPhone. That is a transformation in design.

LG Prada Try again. Apple wasn't the first, and the only thing that makes them "trying to look like the iPhone" is the focus on a large touch screen rather than tons of buttons. Seems the entire "Apple transformed the market" is the straw man.

The perpetual refrain of the imitator. The iPhone, with almost no hard buttons, was a huge change from popular phones like the Blackberry and Sidekick. And consumers adopted it in droves.

Again, the LG Prada made that change and won awards for its design repeatedly. It sold millions, consumers "adopted it in droves" It would seem that even Apple and all their innovative glory, imitated the LG Prada. The difference between them, was that the software for the iPhone was better. Also, don't misinterpret what I said. I said that consumers "don't like huge changes" not that they never work or result in successful products. Apple marketed the HELL out of the iPhone (as they do with every product) to get the consumers adjusted to the change, not only that but the LG Prada that came out before it broke the ice so it wasn't as big a change.

So yes, now we have manufacturers trying to ride on Apple's coattails by taking the basic design that only Apple was courageous enough to introduce and adding a bow.

Wow, your entire argument is predicated on the falsehood that only Apple thought of removing the buttons and using a large touch screen. The idea was to create something similar to tablets and PDAs but smaller and easier to use. The idea of using only the touch screen and a single button makes perfect sense when you realize that and considering they weren't the first to make a phone like that, isn't what created a transformation. It was the software in the iPhone that made it so popular.

None of which achieved market penetration comparable to the iPad. Which demonstrates that the iPad's huge and instant success was not simply the consequence of there being pent-up design of a tablet with that form-factor, but for the particular combination of hardware and software features that Apple pioneered.

Before the release of the iPad tablet PCs never got the type of market penetration that it did, mostly due to the lack of good user friendly software. Tablet PCs were developed more with the Geeks and enthusiasts in mind so the average person couldn't figure out how to easily use it. With the creation of the iPad, Apple was riding its own coattails to success. It was marketed, essentially, as an iPhone with a bigger screen. They capitalized on the iOS software that scaled well and chose the size well, probably after some good R&D. However, the form-factor concept of a flat, rectangular screen, with bezels on the side is nothing new. Tablet PCs before the iPad did it just as well. The iPad's name is reportedly a homage to the Star Trek PADD, which looks extremely similar to the iPad. As I said, the concept of a flat, rectangular, bezeled device is nothing new at all. There's nothing novel about it.The software running on it that takes advantage of the form factor and makes it as useful and easy to use, that is novel.

The real cost to Apple was taking the initial risk to actually build, manufacture, and introduce something new into the marketplace--a design that almost all the pundits predicted would be unpopular with consumers. [...] So no, even if there were no competition at all, Apple would lose money if they did not continue to substantially upgrade the iPhone and iPad.

That's a good straw man. The question was with the popularity of the iPhone as it is now, not if it bombed. I agree that if it bombed, the cost would have been tremendous. However, with its popularity, the only reason to continue to substantially upgrade it is to keep people buying and using it. If there's no competition, they know everyone is going to want their product still (since nothing better has come along) and thus they can create a few small improvements to get people to buy a new model instead of hold their current one. Apple is notorious for small incremental improvements so each model has some feature that makes you want to get it instead of keeping your current one. However, when faced with competition, Apple then makes their upgrades more substantial. Without competition, there's no need to put massive amounts of money into R&D when you know everyone is just going to continue to buy your device. As long as you have a profit margin on every device manufactured, you just continue to make money.

And the competition, at least in the iPad area, is probably to negligible to impact Apple's profits, and is likely to remain so for quite some time.

The Android tablets are already starting to gain market share against the iPad. Just in one year alone (2010 till now) Apple has dropped from around 80% market share in tablets, to 63%. The Kindle and the Galaxy Tabs are making the most headway. And if you don't see these lawsuits against Samsung as Apple attempting to slow down the competition, then you aren't paying attention.

And until a few months ago, many would have had to change carriers to get an iPhone, and the price of iPhones was substantially greater than the cheaper clones. Surveys also show that iPhone users hardly ever switch to Android, but Android users are switching to Apple

By a few months, you mean nearly a year. Verizon's iPhone was released in Feb. Also, the high-end Android phones that actually compete with the iPhone directly on hardware, cost about the same as the iPhone. The fact that you can get some Android phones cheaper than the iPhone is a GOOD thing and is one of the reasons more people own Android phones. Also, recent surveys show many people considering (and switching) to Android after being disappointed by the 4S not being quite as much of an improvement as they hoped. Essentially, you can come up with whatever excuses you like, but Android has the higher market share and, similar to Windows vs Mac in the past, it's going to stay that way. Though I'll admit, for now, that the iPhone does have the advantage in developers.

Whatever you chose to call it, the price is much, much higher than keeping your old iPhone another year or two.

So is the price for all the people buying unlocked Android phones off of contract. I fail to see your point. Tons of people purchased the Galaxy Nexus, unlocked, for hundreds of dollars more, because they didn't have their upgrade yet. That doesn't mean anything except people are willing to pay lots of money for new technology regardless whether it's Android or iPhone.

Comment Re:obvious choices (Score 1) 323

Really? Then why are so few companies doing what Apple does, coming up with new products that completely transform the marketplace? Why are most of the phone manufacturers playing follow-the-leader?

"Completely transformed the marketplace." Oh give me a break with the exaggeration. Yes, they made the smartphone more popular through ease-of-use and marketing. They did not, however, completely transform the marketplace any more than someone who comes out with product which becomes the leading product in its category. Smartphones existed before the iPhone, which allowed applications to be installed via a store. Apple made it more user-friendly, thus revisionist history makes it seem like they revolutionized things. They simply made a great product. In technology, everyone tries to follow the current latest-and-greatest while they research what will become the next latest-and-greatest. It happens in cycles.

It seems like we need more incentives to originality, not less.

The biggest hang-up for originality is the consumer. Consumers don't like huge changes. Which is something else that proves Apple didn't revolutionize the industry, they just found the right balance of marketing to get Consumers to accept the things they changed, while touting the things that they made better. Not even that, but most phone manufacturers aren't just playing "follow-the-leader" they are actively trying to differentiate themselves and improve upon the iPhone's design. Look at the variety in the hardware and phone design in Android phones. The originality in their sizes, shapes, and hardware, is driven by consumer requests, usability, and competition. Every single one is copying some aspects while changing others to try to appeal to the consumers. If anything, I'd say that Google and Android had a larger impact on the industry simply because so many phone manufacturers are competing solely on hardware specs and design rather than locked down software features. Of course, one could argue that the only reason why the phone manufacturers are doing that is because they have to compete with the iPhone but...well you get the point.

But it is not as if anybody knew that before Apple took the risk of introducing the iPhone or the iPad. There were no market surveys showing a great demand for flat, featureless phones with hardly any physical controls.

Sure there were, the problem was that the software at the time that accompanied them wasn't sufficient to support that form factor. A flat, featureless tablet, with nearly no physical controls, has literally been the dream of huge swaths of consumers. It's been the dream of every geek and person who enjoys sci-fi. Every single depiction of "future technology" involves a pad that looks quite like an iPad. Where do you think the idea came from anyways? The hardware and technology has existed for a long time, the only hold-up was the software to support it. That's what Apple brought to the game and why it worked.

Indeed, the conventional wisdom was the consumers wanted phones and netbooks with hard keyboards.

In fact, that is still conventional wisdom and a selling point for a lot of Android phones. Many people purposefully get an Android phone with a hard keyboard rather than an iPhone. They get the features and functionality they want, with the keyboard they wanted.

as long as nearly everybody is lined up behind Apple playing follow the leader, and nobody has the courage to risk trying something genuinely novel. Once more, the evidence seems to indicate that we need to make imitation harder, not easier.

Researching and coming up with something genuinely novel takes time. Saying that no one else but Apple is allowed to make a bezelled, minimalistic, rectangular, tablet...in other words, what consumers in that category want, just hands Apple a monopoly for the time being. All it does is reduce competition which is bad for consumers. And then when something novel does come along, which will take longer than it otherwise would (incremental improvement works much faster, history shows) it will just be another monopoly until someone else creates something. As Steve Jobs himself once said, "Good artists copy, Great artists steal." Saying that everyone needs to stop "imitating" Apple and come up with a "novel" approach to the tablet that's not flat, featureless, etc, is like saying that everyone needs to stop making vacuum cleaners that have a handle, a flat portion on the bottom where it makes contact with the floor, and uses suction to clean. They are aspects that are intrinsic to the form factor and what are necessary for it to be useful. Notice that companies like Samsung, Motorola, and Amazon, aren't just ripping Apple off, but changing the design with different shapes and sizes.

So you don't suppose that it would hurt Apple's profits if owners of earlier model iPhones just decided that the model they have is good enough, and that there is no reason to upgrade to the new one?

Quite the contrary, if they just kept putting out the same thing and didn't create a new one, and had no competition to the iPhone, their profits margins would increase because they wouldn't have to spend the money to develop and create something new. Competition drives development.

The second generation iPad was a major upgrade, at least as major as the annual iPhone upgrades. Yet Apple had no appreciable competition in the pad arena in that area.

Sure they had competition, the motorola Xoom, the Nook Color, etc. They were lower cost alternatives to the iPad. So they reduced the price of the first iPad to compete with the lower cost alternatives, and upgraded the iPad to keep themselves on top. If they didn't do the upggrade, then when the Android tablets further improved, they would lose their advantage.

Moreover, surveys show that large numbers of iPhone 4 owners are breaking their contracts to buy the new model. This is not competition with other manufacturers, but competition with Apple's own previous models.

Surveys also show that more people own Android phones than iPhones. In addition, buying a new model doesn't break their contract, they just don't get the subsidy. All that means, however, is that people are willing to spend lots of money on technology. Plenty of people also paid full price for off-contract unsubsidized Android phones. None of this has anything to do with what the landscape would look like if they didn't have to compete with anyone. Historically, if a product has no competition, then it stagnates. There's no reason to make large developments and improvements if you know for a fact that people will continue to buy your product because it's the only product that exists.

Sorry for the giant rant. It just baffles me how people seem to not understand that monopolistic behavior is bad and competition is good.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 848

The success of the platform says otherwise. Although there are less iPhones out there than the sum of all the various Android phones, far more iPhone apps are sold than Android apps. Heck, not even sold - there are more downloaded.

Looks like you're wrong now

It took time for Android to overtake iOS in the smartphone market. But not only are there more Android users, there are more total apps downloaded also. Currently, the iPhone has only more apps downloaded per user than Android. The more total apps downloaded is chalked up to the open policies of the Android Market.

Does the "one stop shop with strict rules approach" work? Of course it does. Does it result in many apps that would be great, innovative, and novel not being put onto that platform? Yup. See, you're falling into what TFA talks about. The problem with the iOS App Store is not that the strict rules don't work, because they obviously do. The problem is that more and more companies are seeing the walled garden strict rules approach as a viable option (look at Windows Mobile). If every company takes up that walled garden approach, then tons of creative, innovative applications will be disallowed from being created simply because some corporations don't allow it. If people don't make the fuss and aren't outright vocal about the restrictiveness of the rules, then it will continue to be seen as desireable.

Does it work? Sure it does. But if you're restricted just to the one market, then you're missing out on lots of applications. Many of which you might find useful, fun, productive, etc. You stay satisfied with "good enough" I'll stick with better

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