Today Apple announced the iPhone 4S instead of a highly rumored iPhone 5. Apple has tauted itself as an innovator, but it’s clear they are now playing catch up. When comparing the brand new iPhone 4S, which is the greatest iPhone ever, to the 6 month old Samsung Galaxy S II, it doesn’t appear there’s any competition. When you look at things like thickness, weight, and screen size the iPhone 4S loses hands down, but there’s plenty more.
Even if you could argue that the iPhone 4S is equal to the Galaxy S II, it would still be a disappointment. Now with the already announced Galaxy S II LTE and Galaxy S II LTE HD, along with next week’s Nexus Prime announcement, I am not sure where Apple goes from here. Luckily for Apple there’s a lot of misinformed consumers, so sales won’t suffer too much.
Full comparison after the break
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was interviewed by Bloomberg Television over the weekend and the hot topic was the Motorola Mobility acquisition and how it will affect Android in general.
“The Android ecosystem is the No. 1 priority, and that we won’t do anything with Motorola, or anybody else by the way, that would screw up the dynamics of that industry,” Schmidt said. “We need strong, hard competition among all the Android players. We won’t play favorites in the way people are concerned about.”
The other hot topic is patents and Schmidt said the 17,000 patents that Google is receiving from the deal will “bulk up” intellectual property and will eventually end legal battles with the likes of Apple and Microsoft.
The patent war between Apple and…well….everyone else, drags on. We had previously written how HTC was using the patents that Google had supplied as tools to counter Apple’s persistent attacks. With United States International Trade Commission officially jumping into the situation, it’ll be Apple’s turn to go on the defensive. Thanks to Google’s patent contribution, HTC has turned the tables on the House of Cook, and the ITC could be investigating Apple for a change. Click in after the break for the ITC’s official statement.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain electronic devices with communication capabilities, components thereof, and related software. The products at issue in this investigation are computers, tablet computers, and smartphones.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by HTC Corporation of Taiwan on August 16, 2011 and amended on September 7, 2011. Supplements were filed on September 2 and 19, 2011. The amended complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain electronic devices with communication capabilities, components thereof, and related software that infringe patents asserted by HTC. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order.
The USITC has identified Apple, Inc. a/k/a Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, CA, as the respondent in this investigation.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-808), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s four administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
T-Mobile USA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Cole Brodman posted a letter in the company’s Issues and Insights Blog this week that addressed the absence of the iPhone from its line-up, explaining their desire instead, to go with “no-compromise” devices from Android. If, in the unlikely case that Apple makes a major swing in that direction, Brodman suggests that T-Mobile would be open to carrying iPhones in the future, even acknowledging “over a million” customer using their network with unlocked iPhones.
Quickly turning his message towards the free-market Android OS, the CMO mentions his recent presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC Amaze at the recent Mobilize event held in San Francisco. With enthusiasm he adds, “We’re very confident that these Android smartphones rival or beat any smartphone out there in terms of functionality, speed, overall expnerience and features – including the iPhone” and champions Android’s “freedom of choice” for their customers in customization options and benefits from open source innovation.
An International Trade Commission (ITC) hearing is scheduled for October 13th, which could result in a preliminary injunction of four Samsung Android smartphones in the U.S. The largest mobile carrier in the U.S., Verizon Wireless, has requested permission to file a brief in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California on the part of Samsung ahead of this court hearing. They even went as far as proposing that President Obama should exercise his presidential veto right against possible ITC import bans against Apple as well as Android devices.
The phones in question are the Infuse 4G, DROID Charge, Galaxy S 4G, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Verizon is arguing that there is potential for grave harm to the public interest if the court grants an injunction. As a result of having less 4G LTE phones, it would hurt consumer choices and reduce the availability of high-speed wireless broadband to Americans.
Verizon is additionally concerned that if Apple is granted the preliminary injunction, it is likely Samsung will step up its game which could eventually block Apple products. It is a no win situation, but the consumer is guaranteed to lose, and Verizon would like the courts to consider the public interest when making its decision.
Verizon isn’t making the strongest argument, but they are making some noise by speaking out in favor of Samsung which can’t hurt.
Samsung and Apple have been in a heated battle across the entire continent for a while now. All you have to do is search “Samsung Apple” in our search bar, and you will find numerous stories from Korea, Australia, Europe, and the U.S. It has mostly been Apple on the attack, but anonymous sources, “close to the matter” are claiming that Samsung is getting ready to block sales of the iPhone 5 in Europe.
There is no question that a block of the iPhone 5 will be difficult, but they could cause a lot of problems for Apple which would be a nice reversal of fortune. We’re also not clear on what Samsung’s complaints will be, but if you remember, they asked to see the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, but the request was denied.
News came out last week that Samsung plans on blocking the iPhone 5 in Korea. If Samsung has any success in Korea, it is a lock they will take the battle to Europe.
So what do you guys think? Apple started this mess, so it would be refreshing to finally see Apple getting attacked.
Samsung has been getting hit pretty hard by Apple as of late; most recently through the delayed launch of their Galaxy Tab 10.1 following an Apple Lawsuit. Samsung is keeping their head up though. Nearly a month later, Australian Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett declared, “Unless Apple puts on evidence showing the impact in the U.S. or U.K., I can’t draw any positive assumptions.“ Quick on the heels of that remark, Samsung is now counter-suing Apple in Australia on grounds that the iPhone and iPad 2 violate Samsung patents. Samsung claims that both iPhone and iPad 2 “violate a number of wireless technology patents held by Samsung.” The suit is being filed ahead of the pending decision on whether or not to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Samsung is also appealing the ruling in Germany.
International Data Corporation (IDC) just released worldwide data for tablet market share for the 2nd quarter 2011. In their last report overall tablet sales were lower than expected, but for the 2nd quarter, the performance was so strong, it has lead IDC to increase its outlook for the 2nd half of the year to 62.4 million units, up from the previous projection of 53.5 million units.
That is the good news. The bad news is that Android’s market share dropped to 26.8%, down from 34.0%. This is surprising to me as a lot of Android tablets were released in the 2nd quarter. During the 1st quarter of 2011, only the 3G version of the XOOM and the Galaxy Tab was available, and Android was able to grab a 34% market share. I doesn’t make sense. Either last quarter’s figures were wrong or this quarter’s is. RIM’s PlayBook grabbed 4.9%, and Apple rose to 68.3% from 65.7%.
Unfortunately IDC sees Android’s share continuing to drop to 23% and finishing the year at 25.9%. I am not in the business of analyzing data, but I find it difficult that Android’s tablet share won’t improve dramatically with all the tablets that are currently available, not to mention the upcoming Amazon tablet.
Full press release after the break:
Google has confirmed via spokesman Jim Prosser that the internet search giant purchased 1,023 patents from IBM on August 17th, a strategy aimed at fostering their defense in the long-fought patent war with Apple and Microsoft. This newest group of acquired patents will add to the 1,030 purchased from IBM back in July and over 17,000 patents that will come with the $12.5 billion deal that bought Motorola.
Prosser made no mention of the exact financial details or terms for the new patents and IBM had no comment at all, however Google’s remains quite exact and straightforward with their plan to fight the “hostile, organized campaign” against the free, open-source Android OS. Samsung, HTC and Motorola have each been engaged in patent-infringement lawsuits with Apple and Microsoft; to assist in the on-going battle, Google transferred nine patents to HTC just last month.
Phone Story has become a hot topic at the moment following its recent removal from the Apple App Store. Apple contacted the developer of the game explaining that they violated four rules for iOS app creation; its depictions of child abuse (code 15.2), objectionable or crude content (16.1) and promises to turn over a portion of the money to charity (21.1 and 21.2). Not to mention the fact that they probably felt the “Story” hit too close to home.
The game depicts a dark look at smartphone production, starting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the mineral coltan is mined by children and prisoners of war. The app then follows the production process to a Chinese factory where workers are subjected to abuse, discrimination, inhumane conditions, and forced overtime, ultimately leading to suicides. Next the story presents us with the hordes of oblivious consumers bombarding what is no doubt meant to portray an Apple store. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate that. Finally the story ends up in Ghana, Japan, & China where obsolete “recycled” phones have ended up to be salvaged using methods harmful to people and our environment, and from there the cycle repeats itself.