Tag Archives: Apple

patent

A settlement between Apple and Samsung may be on the horizon

The long and drawn out battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over the ownership of various intellectual properties may be coming to a close.

According to The Korea Times Samsung and Apple have resumed discussion of settling their patent disputes. Recent developments such as Apple’s deal with Google show that times may be changing on how these types of disputes are handled. There is a different air surrounding these discussions compared to the countless court battles and negotiations that preceded.

With Apple dropping its disputes with Motorola and Google this new settlement with Samsung is looking like a final settling. Samsung as part of the Google Android Alliance will most likely get a similar deal.

Whether Apple is trying to negate the negative publicity of being a patent troll or saving time and money, the optimistic view is that if negotiations go well this may be the beginning of the end of the patent wars that plague the IT world.

Sources: TalkAndroid, The Korea Times

mobile_theft

Apple, Google, Samsung announce commitment to anti-theft technology

Anti-theft technology can be a boon for cellphone users. Taking this a step ahead, the wireless industry has announced on Tuesday, their voluntary commitment to include new anti-theft technology on phones from next year.

The list flaunts top five US cellular carriers and key smartphone players like Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung. Having signed the pledge, these companies agree that the devices that go on sale after July 2015 will have the capability to remotely wipe data and turn the device inoperable, if it is reactivated without permission.

Devices that are lost or stolen devices can be later restored if found. Carriers have also agreed that they will offer these services.

There are some players who have already put a mechanism in place like Apple’s iOS 7 update has a feature dubbed Activation Lock prevents a device from being reactivated once lost.

While many state and local lawmakers applauded the agreement, it was panned as inadequate by California state Sen, reported Recode.net. Infact, it was Mark Leno who proposed a mandatory kill-switch law. He said in a statement, “The wireless industry today has taken an incremental yet inadequate step to address the epidemic of smartphone theft. Only weeks ago, they claimed that the approach they are taking today was infeasible and counterproductive. While I am encouraged they are moving off of that position so quickly, today’s ‘opt-in’ proposal misses the mark if the ultimate goal is to combat street crime and violent thefts involving smartphones and tablets.”

Editor’s Note: One concerning issue around this mechanism is that suddenly the government and companies have a kill switch to brick all cell phones. So if there is a revolution like Occupy Wall Street, the government will be able to crush it by bricking all phone of activists or protestors.

Source: Recode.net

android

Android (Linux) is creating more jobs than iPhone

A new analysis for online jobs done by Freelancer reveals that the number of jobs for Android developers is growing at a faster rate than the number of iPhone developers. According to the report, In Q2 of 2013, the number of Android jobs (7,073 jobs) overtook iPhone (6,989 jobs) for the first time; now in Q1 2014, Android is continuing its reign with a 33.9% increase to 11,141 jobs versus iPhone’s 32.0% to 10,207 jobs. In Q1 2014, over 270,000 jobs were analyzed by Freelancer to provide a snapshot of the global business ecosystem.

According to IDC in 2013, Android  the clear leader in the smartphone operating system race with  Samsung as a commanding 39.5% share of shipments for the year, where iOS posted the lowest positive growth for both the quarter (6.7%) and for the year (12.9%), under performing the overall market in both instances.

Even after lowering the cost of iPhone 5C’s it’s been a flop in market, CEO Tim Cook announced that, “Sales of the 5C had been less than anticipated”. Its very clear that Android is giving them a huge (VERY HUGE) fight. Android is growing like wildfire in the developing world.

Freelancer.com Chief Executive Matt Barrie said: “The Freelancer Fast 50 data is the leading forward indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products and companies”.

Other findings include:

  • A rise in 3D printing and design work drove a large increase in 3D jobs — Q1 2014 saw a dramatic leap in all things three-dimensional. 3D rendering leapt by 43.9% to 2,784 jobs, 3D animation increased by 35.7% to 3,183 jobs and 3D modelling saw an increase of 34.5% to 3,230 jobs.
  • Graphic design work rose to 51,389 jobs, illustration jobs were up by 32.7% to 3,308 jobs and animation jobs were up by 21.3% to 2,755.
  • Mobile phone jobs were up by 35.3% to 13,340 positions.

Triple Webby Award winning Freelancer.co.uk is the world’s largest freelancing and crowd-sourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. Over 10.7 million registered users have posted 5.7 million projects and contests to date in over 600 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copy-writing, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN.

Resource: Recruiter.co.uk

Apple

Samsung’s Next Big Thing Ad Campaign got Apple’s Phil Schiller obsessed

Samsung and Apple’s war is nothing new. In fact, Samsung’s advertising campaign dubbed Next Big Thing, which made fun of people standing outside Apple stores for launches irked Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller. This claim was made by Samsung, which is in the process of unearthing piles of internal Apple documents for its lawsuit with the company. For the uninitiated, the lawsuit started this week itself in a California court.

John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan law firm, who is representing Samsung in the trial told the jury, “We will show you internal Apple documents, documents that haven’t been made public before, and showed how Apple was really concerned about competition from Android, and in particular Samsung. This new, edgy marketing strategy … it drove Apple crazy.”

Quinn presented an internal email from Schiller to his teammates highlighting a Wall Street Journal story titled ‘Has Apple lost its cool to Samsung?’ Schiller’s reply to the email was, “We have a lot of work to do to turn this around.”

Quinn claimed that Schiller got “obsessed” with the campaign, suggesting Tim Cook to look for another ad agency instead of its mainstay TBWA\CHIAT\DAY. The issue was discussed in a board meeting too.

The trial is expected to run the whole month. Apple is reportedly asking for $2 billion in damages and Samsung’s asking for more than $6.9 million.

Source: The Verge

Apple TV

Apple in talks with Comcast for priority services for its set-top box

We recently reported Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings talk about the essence of net neutrality saying that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast should not restrict, influence, or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make. If reports are to be believed, Apple is talking to Comcast to get priority services for its set-top box that will bypass any congestion created by internet traffic.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the cable provider, the US’ largest, would offer Apple’s traffic special treatment over the “last mile” of cabling between an exchange and customers’ homes.

The report, however, says that the two are nowhere close to a settlement yet. To make this reality, Comcast will have to fuel its technology by investing heavily. Moreover, they are still not in sync on who would have the ownership of customer information. Another bone of contention is if Apple will be getting a share of Comcast’s monthly customer subscription fees.

Apple was said to be in talks with Time Warner Cable before it was acquired by Comcast for $45 billion. Now if this deal goes through, Apple will be offering a faster and more stable service than its TV streaming peers, clearly giving it a winning edge.

Editor’s note: That’s what would destroy net neutrality in the US. Companies with deep pockets will pay to prioritize their services making other services slower. US government should make ‘Internet’ a utility like water and electricity so that Internet remains as free as it was in the beginning.

Source: The Verge

itunes-android

Apple may bring iTunes to Android, and it makes sense

Apple broke the monopoly of record labels, which forced users to buy entire album even if a user wanted just one song. It made music affordable, which brought down ‘piracy’. Apple actually shook the entire music industry with its iTunes, the way it changed the mobile industry with iPhone.

Till now, or to be precise under the leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple has been busy nuking Android, let alone bringing its services to the platform. Things seem to be changing now. Apple is reportedly considering iTunes for Android.

That could be a game changer.

Online music sales is declining

While there is no doubt hardware is where Apple makes most money, iOS market is declining and so are the services that are sold through the platform. Billboard reported in January this year, “Overall for the full year 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units while digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.”

Declining sales of online music can be serious concern for Apple as the industry may start to shift towards that player which dominates the sales and that player is Google/Android. One way for Apple to increase the sales of iTunes music could be by taking the iTunes store to the next most popular platform.

There are Mac-Android users

There is another interesting chemistry going on there. Windows sales is declining thanks to an OS no one can use. More and more users are either moving to Chromebooks or Mac. So while Macs do have advantages over Windows PCs, the case of iPhone is different. iDevices just fail to compete with Android at many levels – whether it be features like multi-tasking or diverse and better hardware. So the obvious choice for power users has become a Mac PC and an Android smartphone.

By offering iTunes to Android users, Apple will turn all those millions of Mac+Android users into Apple users.

Apple is also trying to enter the on-demand music streaming market and Android will offer Apple the market that it needs to drive traffic.

Personally I am quite tired of vendor locks. The movies that I buy on Amazon can’t be played on my Android devices even if Amazon uses Android as the base of its own Kindle. Same is the case with Apple. There is no way for me to play any of the contents that I buy from iTunes on my Android devices so I just don’t buy anything from iTunes any more. There may be a lot of Mac users who are not buying stuff because of this reason.

It’s a win-win situation for Apple.

But what has changed suddenly?

Tim Cook.

Steve Jobs, despite Apple’s own history of borrowing ideas from others, couldn’t tolerate Android and was determined to destroy it. All the battles between Android players and Apple go back to Jobs era. Once Cook took control of Apple, he is being wiser than Jobs and instead of using ’rounded corners’ to beat competitors is rather focusing on refining the products.

Steve Jobs was quite clear about not porting iTunes to Android. He had once said, “We thought about whether we should do a music client for Android. We put iTunes on Windows in order to sell more iPods. But I don’t see an advantage of putting our own music app on Android, except to make Android users happy. And I don’t want to make Android users happy.”

That’s not the case anymore. Google has mastered the art of partnerships and its Play Music is quite rich. It’s not Android users who are missing anything or unhappy with the lack of iTunes, it’s Apple or Mac users who are unhappy and it is affecting sales.

Apple co-founder Steve Woznaik, who is known for being outspoken, is in favour of bringing iTunes to Android, “Let’s look at Apple. Apple’s real rise from the small market-share Macintosh company to the iProducts of today began with iTunes and the iPod. This turned out to be a 2nd huge business which roughly doubled Apple’s ‘size’. If you remember, we ported iTunes to Windows. We now addressed 100% of the world’s market with this integrated system (iPod/iTunes) and it began the era of Apple that we are now in. So why don’t we port iTunes to Android? Did something get closed up? I love Apple products and iTunes and wish it were on my Android products too.”

So what does the current Apple boss think? When asked about bringing iOS apps and services to Android, Cook said: “We have no religious issue with doing that. If we thought it made sense for us to do that, we would do that.”

As an Android user, would you use iTunes and other Apple services? Personally I am in favour of it. I am in favour of using my content on any platform or my choice. I just don’t like vendor locks.

Christian Bale

Director David Fincher wants Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in his next

If Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs failed to impress you, you can look forward to Walter Isaacson’s bestselling authorized biography of tech superhero, Steve Jobs. However, the project could be jeopardized if director David Flincher does not get Hollywood actor, Christian Bale to play the lead.

The film has been written by Aaron Sorkin for Sony. According to The Wrap, Flincher recently met Sony’s Amy Pascal and told her that he will take up the project only if they get Bale to play Jobs.

It is believed that Bale has not yet been approached for the role since he is on a break to spend quality time with his family.

Reportedly, the film will enter production in early 2015. It is noteworthy to add that 2010’s successful The Social Network was also jointly worked upon by Sorkin and Pascal. So if all goes well, we could be looking at another exceptional Hollywood flick on the man who bought the Apple revolution.

Tim Cook blasts latest Apple-bashing book as ‘nonsense’

It’s not unusual for Apple CEO Tim Cook to blast anything that is not pro Apple. As a result, few were surprised when Tim Cook labeled Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” as “nonsense.” Iwatani Kane claims that Apple is no longer the company they were under Jobs, and that we have already seen the best that they have to offer.

Yukari Iwatani Kane is a former Wall Street Journal Apple reporter. She is a veteran journalist with nearly fifteen years of tech writing experience. While at the Wall Street Journal, she covered Apple’s dealings exclusively; including a Steve Jobs liver transplant  and the release of key Apple products like the iPad and the Verizon iPhone. Iwatani Kane is no stranger to Apple and their dealings, and maybe this is why her book has garnered such great attention.

Kane’s position of advantage has enabled her to closely compare the Apple of Steve Jobs’ latter days with that of Tim Cook. It goes without saying that she is not fully impressed, something that the stock market has also reflected. Tim’s displeasure was not to be stifled though — he made the following statement to CNBC in an interview.

This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple. It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company. Apple has over 85,000 employees that come to work each day to do their best work, to create the world’s best products, to put their mark in the universe and leave it better than they found it. This has been the heart of Apple from day one and will remain at the heart for decades to come. I am very confident about our future. We’ve always had many doubters in our history. They only make us stronger.

The book really seemed to disturb Tim Cook; enough to make him offer a response as comprehensive as this. On the bright side, Cook’s response pleased Kane. She said, “For Tim Cook to have such strong feelings about the book, it must have touched a nerve. Even I was surprised by my conclusions, so I understand the sentiment. I’m happy to speak with him or anyone at Apple in public or private.”

Something tells me that we have not heard the end of this, but it’s nice to see the CEO of such a mighty company get his feathers ruffled so easily. It shows that behind the tough acting company lies a bunch of sensitive and vulnerable men. Well done Iwatani Kane, well done.

Sources: CNBC

johny-ive

Copying is theft of hours and hours of struggle, says Apple’s Jony Ive

In contrast to the ideology of the open world, Apple’s senior vice president of design, Jony Ive has some very strong views about copying (getting inspired from) work.

In a detailed interview with the Sunday Times, he said, “Copying is theft … what’s copied isn’t just a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle. It’s only when you’ve achieved what you set out to do that you can say, ‘This was worth pursuing.’ It takes years of investment, years of pain.” The sharp views on copying followed when he was indirectly asked about its competitor (read: Samsung) mimicking the work of his team.

Ive feels that Apple’s success proves that people care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made. “We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things. Our success is a victory for purity, integrity — for giving a damn,” he told the paper.

Editor’s Note: While Sir Ive talks about ‘purity’, Apple is one of the champions of ‘stealing’ or ‘borrowing’ ideas and technologies from others and incorporating into their own products. Apple might be busy suing Android players, but the company itself has copied core Android features and incorporated in the latest releases of iOS. If ‘purity’ was that important, why is Apple copying Android instead of staying ‘pure’?

Android

Android beats iOS, becomes top tablet OS: Linux rules

Linux is on the roll and even soon to be acquired Nokia is adoption Linux-based Android. After conquering the smartphone space, Android is now dominating the tablet space. According to a new study by Gartner, “the tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market.”

Gartner also noticed a worrying trend for Apple as iOS’s shared declined to 36 percent in 2013. That said, the sales of iOS tablets grew in the 4th quarter of 2013. Which it could mean is that while Apple continued to sell more iOS devices there are now more users who are switching from PCs to tablets and these users are going to Android. So while Apple continues to sell more iOS device as the market is growing its share is shrinking.

“In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins.”

Microsoft continues to lose both PC as well as mobile markets. Garnter found that “in 2013, Microsoft’s tablet volumes improved but share remained small. Despite Microsoft now acting more rapidly to evolve Windows 8.1, its ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers’ interest on tablets.”

So now Linux dominates the smartphone space, the tablet space and is also increasing footprints in ‘desktop’ space with ChromeOS.

Jim Zemlin, 2014 is the year of Linux.