AMITIAE - Saturday 1 February 2014
Cassandra: End of Week Review - Things Fall into Place; Innovations (again); Patents and Future Products
By Graham K. Rogers
So let me continue on that theme with the news from Jordan Kahn of 9to5 Mac that once again, in the US market, Apple has the lead over Samsung. Remember, only a few days ago many commentators were wringing their hands over Apple's smaller share (while omitting to mention that the cake is a lot bigger these days) and here we are with some statistics from CIRP: 48% to 31%. In the area of the OS, it is Apple 48% to Android 46% with the rest all playing catch up (or fall down). Yup, Apple is sure doomed again.
There was an interesting analysis on The Street, by John Martellaro (who usually writes in The MacObserver). The last paragraph, commenting on the demand often heard that Apple should lower prices, is a gem:
. . . globally, where carrier subsidies are less common, the iPhone would be thrown into a price war with competitors. Demand would surge and Apple would risk not being able to meet demand for a product whose legacy had been quality but is seen to be deteriorating. That's long-term damage. Not being able to meet demand (in the short term) for a degraded product brand (in the long term) is a recipe for disaster. All too quickly, unit share would decline instead of rising.
The Macalope begins by taking a writer named Bernard O'Leary to pieces over comments on the gaudy-Phone which rely on other sources not known for accuracy when examining Apple. Bit by bit he dissects each of the points including the incredible idea that low sales of the iPhone 5c (not proven because Apple does not break down the figures) could be responsible for the removal of Tim Cook as CEO. This is neatly disposed of with, "the Macalope is not exactly sure how this works, but it would seem that Tim Cook is responsible for the supposed poor sales of the 5c but not responsible for the high sales of the more expensive 5s."
As a note, as I mentioned earlier in the week, Carl Icahn added another $500 million of Apple shares to his portfolio. He is (he says) a student of stupidity. Adding to this is Wil Shipley who has a good history in software development for the Mac (Omni, NeXTSTEP, Delicious Library) who Tweeted about his purchase of Apple shares: "Just picked up more AAPL stock at a big discount. Thanks, idiot pundits and corrupt investment banks!"
So in the few days that followed the doom-laden financial report, a few things fell into place:
It also means that the laser itself has to be somewhat special with the power that will be needed to make the cuts. The page has a lot more information and a link to the patent filing itself. Trust me, Jack Purcher gives a good enough explanation to make anyone (except perhaps Samsung technicians) understand.
And then, hot on the heels of that filing was news from a number of sources that suggest Apple is pushing to have that Arizona factory come on line really soon. Mark Gurman on 9to5 Mac for example writes about the Apple factory run with GT Advanced Technologies in Mesa, AZ, and the information that Apple has an "aggressive" plan to take the facility live, and provide a description of how the sapphire will be used in future Apple products. . . starting February.
There is a copy of a letter from an Apple exec in the article (in PDF form) and a further extract that states, "This high-tech manufacturing process will create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products to be used in the manufacture of the consumer electronics that will be imported and then sold globally."
The article also mentions other components and processes that are to be used but there is speculation on the types of devices that this may be intended for. February, eh? . . .
An example of the use is given by Steve Sande on TUAW who outlines the installation of the iBeacon devices at the Tulip Land theme park in Holland. As visitors move around the park, information is displayed on their devices. Lots more to come here, including payment technology.
A later report from AppleInsider has the information that MLB (that is Major League baseball for the Brits like me who don't know) will have "thousands of iBeacons in 20 ballparks across the U.S. next week," something that will make consumers increasingly aware of these devices and the uses that they can be put to.
There has been a decision about this unprofessional behaviour and rather than Samsung taking the blame, their lawyers are to be sanctioned for it, Electronista tells us. The penalty is to be a reimbursement of any losses that Nokia or Apple incurred and not a devastating penalty. As the article notes, Samsung will no doubt pick up the bill for that.
A little less than impressed with the judge's penalty is Philip Elmer-DeWitt who writes on Fortune, "To the judge, in his courtroom, a public finding of wrongdoing probably seems like a big deal. Outside the court, where most people live, his admonishment is likely to get lost."
At the end of the article he posts 13 exploits that Samsung has been guilty of in the last few years, including interference, price-fixing (several times), bribery, destroying evidence, hiring people to falsify reports about HTC phones and falsifying benchmarks of its own phones.
Samsung's lawyers are wriggling over a possible sales ban that Apple has asked for and Judge Koh originally declined. Except the Court of Appeals said that this had to be done and sent the case back to Lucy Koh. The newest argument is that, if the injunction is granted, Apple might come back and ask for more injunctions on newer products, the report on Reuters tells us. I guess the simple answer would be for Samsung not to copy Apple patents.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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