My thoughts regarding Apple's patents on design of the iPhone UI.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gladoscc, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. gladoscc macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2011
    Let's say we're in a world where the ice cream cone isn't invented yet. People buy ice cream in cups. A company then decides, "Why don't we sell ice cream in cones?"

    Meanwhile, their competitors sees that, and starts selling ice cream in cones too. The company that invented it then patents it, and after a few years, the patent is granted. They sue competitors in the most patent plaintiff-friendly court, and then gets the sale of ice cream in cones banned, except if they made it.

    They refuse to license out the patent because they want a monopoly on ice cream.

    Now, let's take a look at Apple doing the same thing.

    Xerox PARC could have stopped Apple's Macintosh and Microsoft's Windows because they own the patents for graphical user interfaces and mouses. But they don't - they license the patent out, they get a fair licensing fee to recoup R&D costs and make some profit, and everyone benefits. Competition increases, innovation increases, and the end result is better than a customer.

    You can't deny that competition benefits you. Why doesn't apple release a 5th Gen iPod Touch with a faster processor? Because there's virtually no competition and they don't need to.

    If there were no Android, your iPhone 4S won't be a dual core 1GHz. It won't have Siri, it won't have 3G, it won't have an app store. Because Apple doesn't need to spend money adding those features that drives up the cost of the device if you have no choice but you have to get an iPhone if you want a smartphone.

    Apple wants that. Apple doesn't want competitors. Nobody wants them, and that doesn't make Apple evil. But Apple is unethically using the patent system to hinder innovation and competition. And you suffer.
  2. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    If only one company could sell ice cream in a cone, other companies would use a different shape.

    Xerox is not in the personal computing market. If they were things would likely be completely different than they are and, because they're not, they license.

    If Apple released an updated iPod Touch, they'd be competing against themselves and would rather sell more iPhone 3GSs.

    Even non-smartphones were beginning to catch up to the original iPhone. To say that any company, especially a tech one, wouldn't upgrade unless they had to is ludicrous. Even without competition, the consumers would force it to happen.
  3. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    It wouldn't have 3G, or an App Store? Both things that were added to the iPhone BEFORE android?
  4. djrod macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2008
    Madrid - Spain
    First of all, Apple paid Xerox, and developing a device like the iPhone takes years and millions of dollars, is not exactly an ice cream cone.
  5. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    All true.

    If I patent the ice cream cone, then my competitors better learn to use the ice cream cube, or ice cream platter, or ice cream mug, and then make their design more enticing to the consumer and out sell my design in free market competition.

    Stealing my cone design and slapping their name on it is not competition. It's just stealing, and bet your ass I would sue for damages...


    Defending your patent stirs up far more innovation and competition than allowing your IP to be stolen, and your tech copied and sold under a competitors label.
  6. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    I think the analogy you really wanted to use was ice cream sandwich......
  7. mlmwalt macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2010
    Philadelphia, Pa, USA
    Intellectual property is intellectual property. You wouldn't be singing this song if you worked for the patent holding company.
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Android Inc - 2003
    Purchased by Google - 2005

    Nokia using 3G - 2004

    What your saying is like saying Apple was using LTE before X brand....

    The topic is Apples legal actions. Not Apple vs Android. Obviously Apple sues the biggest threat which is reasonable ....
  9. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    Meh, Apple stole/rehashed the initial design that Sony had come up with. There are examples of company emails etc stating this. Also without Samsung's patent for device to tower communication etc (apologies if I dont have the exact wording here, it's early), Apple's iPhone would never have gotten off the ground.

    Samsung had some touch screen phone models as did some other companies at the time. Granted they were crappy touch screens but they were there. Also there is supposedly email evidence or schematics that Samsung had a few prototype models which looked similar to the iPhone before it was released.

    Should be interesting to see how the battle goes in the upcoming months....
  10. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    His quote was to the OP were its said " If there were no Android your iPhone 4S won't be a dual core 1GHz. It won't have Siri, it won't have 3G, it won't have an app store"

    The iPhone 3G had 3G and a App store before any Android phones came out.
  11. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    the implication from the post I quoted was that without android, the iPhone would never have had 3G or an App obviously existed before the iPhone 3G, but it wasn't RELEASED until after it. Apple wasn't the first to have 3G, but they implemented it before android was released, meaning android wasn't the influence for adding 3G (or an appstore)
  12. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I am on board with a lot of what you said, but not really any of this...

    Dual Core - Why did we need Android to have a dual core? It was a pretty logical evolution I would say. We started with a single core processor. So did Macs and PCs. We evolved to a dual core processor. So did Macs and PCs. Android had little, if anything, to do with the fact that the iPhone currently has a dual core processor.

    Siri - I can probably give you this, maybe. Although there were other speach to text software, and perhaps even speech query software (don't quote me on this last part) before Android had anything of the sort.

    3G - Android wasn't the first phone to adopt a 3G radio. Again, I don't see the connection here. We have 3G radios in our iPhones because they were the next logical step (much like processors I mentioned above), not because Android had them.

    App Store - This, I can say with absolute certainty, has no truth to it. First of all, the first "app store", as we know it, was "Installer", which was made for jailbroken iPhones. It predates Apple's stores, and Google's stores. Furthermore, I do believe Apple's appstore launched before Google's option. If anything, maybe we have Blackberry to thank for third party app stores, but even that is a stretch. Personally, I thank the people at Installer.
  13. hchung macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2008
    You make no sense.

    First off, refusal to license out a patent on "sale of ice cream in a conical format" does not help anybody gain a monopoly on ice cream. Why? Because you can and have been selling it in other formats.

    Secondly, while Xerox started GUI development first, it wasn't anything like the GUI that we take for granted. Apple paid them for the rights, and then built on top of it things such as: drag and drop, drop down menus, overlapping windows, dialog boxes. If you think this isn't an innovation, try to imagine a GUI without them. These were important enough that Xerox implemented them later back into the Alto.

    This is how patents are supposed to be used. A develops something and patents it. B makes something that improves A's widget, and then patents that. Cross-licensing occurs if A and B both think each other's developments are truly innovative. (win-win)

    If A decides not to license to B, then B just needs to work around the patent. This also typically makes it so that A can't use B's innovation without licensing. (B wins, A would then need to work around B's patent.)

    If A and B continually leapfrog each other, then consumers win because they're both inspiring each other to improve their products. In the ideal case, failure to grant a patent also filters out bad ideas too.

    If A licenses to B, but B doesn't do anything but simply uses it. Does it help consumers? No, because you just have more of the same.

    What you said makes no sense because of the following:
    1) You ignore that patents are supposed to drive innovation by either increasing the number of ways something can be done, or by continually refining an invention.
    2) You ignore that bringing a product to market involves more than simply nice ideas. A newer product has to be physically viable for it to be logical to sell. What does this mean? Even if you ignore money entirely, does a 5th gen ipod touch with a faster processor make any sense right now? Is it okay, given current tech, to make an ipod touch thicker in a new generation to compensate for increase battery draw? Likewise, if the iPhone 4S were to have LTE, would you be okay with the same form factor, but half the battery life?
    3) You also ignore that Apple & Samsung & *insert phone maker here* doesn't make everything themselves and that the tech industry depends on a number of other companies who have less spotlight presence. 3G? LTE? Apple would have gotten that anyways. Why? Because 2G-only chipsets would have been phased out by baseband chipmakers anyway. The statement "If there were no Android, your iPhone 4S won't be a dual core 1GHz." makes no sense because Android doesn't affect CPU/SoC core designs. ARM does. Ever wonder about why new Exynos, Tegra, A5, OMAP chips all come out at about the same time? It's because the core that they run gets released from ARM at about the same time, and it's up to Samsung, Apple, TI, and nVidia to then integrate parts to make an SoC. Guess what? Doing the same job to roughly the same script takes roughly the same time.
    4) Finally, you ignore that Apple's a company who obviously doesn't sit around and waits for competition while feeding on their existing products. The iPhone defined new markets and audience. The iPad defined new markets and audience. The Lisa/Mac defined new markets and audience. Heck, LocalTalk and the LaserWriter (codesigned with Canon and Adobe) defined new markets and audience. The iPod nano was launched by killing off a product that they could have leeched another year's worth of customers out of.
  14. pdutta2000 macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    There's no competition in the mp3 player market because Apple built a brand new way to buy music. You might have heard of's called iTunes. iTunes is what killed off the competition. Everyone had an mp3 one else had itunes. Apple changed the whole music experience and created a new market. it's not their fault that no one else wanted to play. Any company could have tried to negotiate contracts with the music labels and built an online store to buy music and built a new interface to store and manage music and built a player to play the music. Those companies just didn't want to. And Apple doesn't make a newer iPod touch because their whole business has shifted and iPod sales have been declining since 2007. Everyone buys iPhones so why would Apple spend money on an End of Life product?

    You spent a lot of time writing a post to proudly display your ignorance.
  15. Applejuiced, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    If only was as simple as an ice cream cone :D
    What Samsung pretty much says IMO is yes we copied the iphone but Apple copied Sony so its ok.

    This man above knows his stuff.
    Well said bro.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    To be slightly more accurate Apple didn't "build" iTunes. They bought the Mac program SoundJam, tweaked it a bit (kept same dev) renamed it iTunes. They did have a good vision though!!! :)

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