View Full Version : The smart phone and tablet industry

27th August 2012, 13:17
I have a real hatred for anything that is a smartphone or tablet now thanks to the total crap that's going on between Apple and Samsung. Even Google's Android OS is going to get dragged in the next round as that's Apple's next target.

The patents and court cases are making me sick. How can you patent and monopolize something like multi touch? It's like trying to patent a PC mouse. Or a console gamepad. There is only one obvious way for touchscreens to work. Half of the stuff these companies patent were inveted in the past anyway - they just have bigger pockets to make it "theirs".

In the console market, the giants just get on with it from what I can tell. Then we have smart phones and tablets, the war of law. Yuck! PC hardware has always done better for consumers in an open market. If PC's were owned by IBM and their patents, we would never have enjoyed such a rich and open platform.

I'm sticking to PC's, Laptops and standard phones. Bollocks to all these "Start Trek the Next Generation" devices. :p

27th August 2012, 14:27
It is also really annoying me too. Apple are just being bullies because they have the money to keep attacking anyone who tries to encroach into their market.

Whatever happened to competition and anti-monopoly laws?

I really like the iPad but refuse to buy one because of the way Apple behave, and also the over bearing need for them to have complete control of every aspect of their products. Not just the design of their hardware and os, but also enforcing what they allow their users to actually do with them.

And yes, it is mad that Apple can patent something like touchscreen control. They never invented multi-touch. They bought out a small company that had developed it. And also companies like Microsoft were using touchscreen technologies long before Apple. Look at Windows CE on the HP IPaq. I was using one of those in 2001 long before the iPhone existed. It wasn't a phone, but had pretty much everything else a smartphone can do.

28th August 2012, 09:43
Everytime i listen to those wars with Apple, i remember that Commodore was very very close in late 70s to aquire Apple.

28th August 2012, 18:36
Really? I didn't know that. If they had, would we have seen the Mac at all? And I doubt either would still exist as the bad management way Commodore would still have bankrupted the company.

Thinking about it, it's such a shame they didn't! ;-)

31st August 2012, 04:34
It seems a shame that patent law is being used to stifle innovation, and that it's always a matter of who can afford the bigger lawyers. I read a nice article about this in a newspaper, but I can't remember where and am not really knowledgeable enough to disseminate the info accurately :rolleyes:

31st August 2012, 10:36
Really? I didn't know that. If they had, would we have seen the Mac at all? And I doubt either would still exist as the bad management way Commodore would still have bankrupted the company.

Thinking about it, it's such a shame they didn't! ;-)

Yes, it's all on the book "Rise and Fall of Commodore". Back in the 70s, when Chuck Peddle created the 6502 Chip and MOS was such a big step for Commdoore, he try to put the chip everywhere, and they saw Apple I and Apple II prototype, from Steve, Commodore did think on buying Apple.
Very interesting story. Remember that before 77, before PET and Apple II, Commodore was much solid then Apple, Commodore came from calculators, they had a solid background, even with all the problems with those cheap calculators from japan, and texas instruments good products, commodore was better then Apple. But in the end it didn't happend, but it was very close.
Of course nobody talks about this, specially Apple.
You must read this book, it's so good. I had to read it again (3rd time), to do an article about the C64 for my magazine.

There is spectacular parts. One of my favorite is from the C64 era, Bill Herd said that Jack Tramiel back in 1983 did a special move, he offer
100 dollars to anyone that bring a computer to Commodore to buy a C64 (like a discount). So a lot of people bought Sinclairs for prices from 50 to 90 dolares, to take it to Commodore to have the discount on the C64. Sinclair sold much more computers, but they went to Commodore HQ.
Bill Herd said that there were so many Sinclairs that they used them on the floor as a door stops.

31st August 2012, 12:53
I've got the second edition of the book, but haven't had chance to read it all yet. Really much find the time.

Back to Apple vs the world... the thing that really annoys me about the company is how they keep claiming they invented every piece of technology in their products. They invent hardly anything. They take existing technologies, often developing them further, and repackage them into new products. But then suddenly claim they invented it and no one else is allowed to use it.

It becomes a sad state of affairs when a company starts attacking other companies for using a "slide to unlock" feature. Haven't they heard of a door bolt? It's where the idea originated. Next they will be saying that copied the iPhone unlock feature too.

16th September 2012, 20:52
There at it again - this time they have forced Google Android powered Motorola device from selling its product in Germany.

Seriously, if this kind of patent practice existed 20-30 years ago imagine how boring the computer scene would have been? No one would have dared produce anything, with us all missing out on the rich number of devices we had popping up in the shape of consoles and computers which lets admit, all pretty much copied off one another.

This kind of practice has to be brought under control and competition left to flourish. Apple has been so successful through brand awareness and appealing to the youth of today - all I see this doing, in conjuction with their high prices, is causing damage to their reputation. If they manage to patent everyone out of the market, where will it be left? Facing monopoly investigations?

You can't patent a touch screen GUI - just like you can't patent a OS GUI, keyboard and mouse. It has to work in a certain way, it really needs to stop and just let the market open up.

16th September 2012, 23:05
Apple are the biggest hypocrites of them all with their famous stealing the WIMP concept from Xerox.

And like you say, a touch screen device can only work in so many ways, as can a keyboard and mouse interface. I remember when Microsoft first released Windows Apple attacked them and forced them to alter how Windows worked (was it drop down menus or something?)

Being able to patent how to unlock a phone or multi-touch and pinch to zoom in and out of an image is just stupid. And the whole iPad vs Tab case is just stupid. Every tablet ever made is going to resemble an oblong slab of plastic with a screen as most of the front. Apple definitely didn't invent that form factor... and in fact the recent death of the inventor of the laptop form factor made me think that someone really should play Apple at their own game and sue them over that!

I think we can definitely blame Steve Jobs for the majority of attacks Apple are making on other companies. He famously said he would fight Google to the end, calling Android a stolen product. And this is something I've been confused about since the beginning of the Apple vs Android device law suits. Why are they going after the makers of hardware running Android? and not Google themselves for developing and making the OS itself?

Could Microsoft and the imminent Windows 8 be able to avoid Apple and its lawyers? Windows 8 definitely works in quite a different way to existing OSs, continuing to persue their tile UI concept. This is now seen on Windows Media Centre, Xbox 360 UI, Windows Mobile 7 and 8, and now their main Windows 8 OS. It is now becoming a unified UI across all their OS range and is quite different to iOS and Android. Is it better? Not really sure yet... I definitely like the fresh new direction, especially for touch devices because icons really haven't ever been perfect for small screen or tablet device interaction. Tiles definitely seem an interesting different direction to explore as they can allow application launching, but at the same time be used to display feed information for its represented application without needing to actually launch it. A bit like Android widgets, but without the bulking way of working.

And with the launch if the iPhone 5 people are actually questioning Apple and what direction they can take next as iOS has been very much the same since version 1. Compare that with Android and you can clearly see the evolution of the product since its first release through to the current 4.1. It has matured hugely over the years. Although you could argue that it took them a lot of version of Android before they were on a par with iOS. I would say Android really wasn't there until 2.3. And Android really wasn't great until it reached version 4, and polished a lot with the newest 4.1 which feels very slick, smooth and responsive on the Nexus 7.