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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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092040-surfaceink.jpg


The New York Times reports that Apple has parted ways with engineering design firm SurfaceInk, severing a nearly decade-long relationship that saw SurfaceInk assist with the development of several Apple products. The move comes as SurfaceInk has increased the availability of its "Turn-key" services that see it design and build entire products for sale to other companies.
It was that latest part of SurfaceInk's business, which the company began about five years ago, that apparently unsettled Apple. While SurfaceInk had gotten clients mostly through word of mouth, in June it publicized a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.

The device was meant to showcase SurfaceInk's design capabilities to potential clients, Mr. Bauswell said. He said that Apple viewed those capabilities as a potential competitive threat.
It is unknown exactly what products SurfaceInk assisted Apple with, but it is clear that SurfaceInk's willingness to design and build competitors to the iPad hasn't sat well with Apple. SurfaceInk founder and CEO Eric Bauswell declined to offer additional information on the relationship between the two companies.

Article Link: Apple Parts Ways With Engineering Consulting Firm Over Tablet Prototype
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
6,532
3,639
Georgia
I wonder why Apple didn't just buy them and integrate the designers into Apple. It must be that SurfaceInk was to insignificant to even bother with that.
 

jamesnajera

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2003
426
144
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.

I think the difference here is that this company has a CEO named Eric. Apple does not like companies with CEOs named Eric. :)
 

Moe

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2003
138
0
The SurfaceInk website has that Flash-crap that tells my iPad, "You need to upgrade your Flash Player." Guess they want to tie their future to the race to the bottom.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
this is silly, everyone knows that Apple designs every tiny detail of their products

how could they design a tablet if it had been SJ's dream for decades and the iPad existed before the iPhone
 

sciwizam

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2010
181
0
SurfaceInk, a company founded in 1999, has done engineering design work in the past for clients — and Apple competitors — like Palm and Hewlett-Packard. The company, which has about 50 employees, also has a so-called turnkey business, which creates products and licenses them to other companies.

It was that latest part of SurfaceInk’s business, which the company began about five years ago, that apparently unsettled Apple. While SurfaceInk had gotten clients mostly through word of mouth, in June it publicized a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.

The device was meant to showcase SurfaceInk’s design capabilities to potential clients, Mr. Bauswell said. He said that Apple viewed those capabilities as a potential competitive threat.

So, even though they worked with competitors before, only now does Apple cut it's ties. If Apple feels that it had to end it's relationship now, hmm, I wonder how good that prototype design is. Probably the best pitch for SurfaceInk.
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,409
667
unfortunately this is done everywhere in business (not saying that it's necessary right or wrong).... usually when you establish close relationships with business partners ... especially one that is bigger and provides you alot of business, you try not to compete or upset them. It's called don't bite the hand that feeds you.

A lot of companies make it's consulting partners agree to ironclad non-compete contracts. And even when there's no contract signed (or not covered in contract), it's usually an unwritten rule that you make the company handing you business happy.


P.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,947
1,334
Washington DC
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.


If I hire someone to mow my lawn for 10 years and then, for whatever reason, decide to stop hiring him, that's totally my choice. It doesn't mean I "don't play well with others." Give me a break.

I suppose you'd also claim I was trying to squash him? It's my money, I can spend it how I like.
 

Žalgiris

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2010
934
0
Lithuania
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.

That's what winni would do. Good to know Apple is not winni in any way.
 

carmenodie

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2008
775
0
regardless of this business decision on Apple's part the ipad is selling like a mother*****! I have the 16 gig wifi with 3g.
Besides, no on has the Apple ecosystem or an iwork like productivity suite that is 100% fingerable.
Anyway I bet Apple was concerned about secrets getting out since everyone wants to cash in on what Apple is doing or should I say how Apple does their thing.
 

davisjw

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2006
128
0
Richmond, Va
Maybe Apple got all the trade secrets they needed out of them :D

In all actuality, although they've been dealing with competitors for 5 years, Apple has in all probability been working on designs with them that have exceeded that time frame.

The iPad was developed over years. It's not hard to assume that other projects are currently in the design/prototype phase that have involved the consultants. So it wouldn't make sense to just drop them until contracts were over/the designs finished.

And it goes both ways: The consultant company would never be as big as it is without Apple partnering with them. Apple got what they wanted, they got the exposure to go after more big boys.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,558
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.

Information content in bits = minus log 2 (probability).

In your case, Winni, the probability that what you post is blaming Apple for doing something wrong is 100%. The information content of your posts is therefore exactly zero.
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,383
0
Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.

And just when was Apple actually joined together with Microsoft? But I guess you forgot when Microsoft tried to copy Apple's Mac OS Apple took them to court? :p
 

eastercat

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
7
PDX
I'm curious about the tablet Surface Ink debuted. Was it too similar to the iPad for Apple's taste? The article reads as though that demo was the straw that broke the camel's back.
 

G5isAlive

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2003
1,399
2,195
Why should Apple fund competitors?

Well, I guess that Apple once more lives up to its reputation of being a company that doesn't play well with others. Especially when its a smaller company that can easily be squashed - Apple never "parted ways" with Microsoft who compete with them on so many levels that it's not even funny anymore.

you might want to do some research before ranting about big bad apple..

http://besttabletreview.com/surfaceink-12-1-inch-linux-ubuntu-tablet-pc/

this is the prototype that SurfaceInk was promoting, claiming they are going to be big in the market with their own product. Just why SHOULD Apple fund them?

Apple's creates a market and SurfaceInk made a decision to jump in. They are big boys, clearly they knew the risk and decided the tablet market potential justified it. And the specs on their prototype sound an awful lot like what people are saying for next year's ipad... except that surfaceink's will be running android.

Yeah big bad apple squashed the little guys for absolutely no reason at all (rolls eyes)
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A400 Safari/6531.22.7)

It's a shame we don't know what products they worked on with Apple. I wonder how big a loss it is?
 
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