Opinion

Regarding Values and Hypocrisy

Mr. Javed Anwer, writing for The Times of India blog

No Apple, it’s not about values 

When the verdict in the first Apple vs Samsung case was announced a few weeks ago, many people said Samsung deserved it. Some felt the punishment was too harsh but the consensus was that Samsung took the “inspiration” thing too far. Essentially, it copied some of the stuff Apple had put in iPhone 3GS. 

LOL. 

Saying Samsung copied some of the stuff from Apple is like saying Pritam copied some of the song ‘Ya Ghali’ for his ‘Ya Ali’. 

Coming from a company that has followed Android’s lead after introducing iPhone in 2007, it is a bit rich.

LOL again. Saying that Apple followed Android’s lead is even more rich. Especially considering Android started life as a something else and then Google made a U-turn when they saw the iPhone and launched something else entirely

Since 2007, the iOS user-interface has remained more or less same. 

And for good reason. Apple pretty much nailed the UI at launch, which is why they did not make any radical changes over the years. Android looked like shit at launch; even the most hardened Android fanboy would admit that. The UI changes in Android were brought about by necessity rather than any urge to innovate.

Check out Google’s homepage, for example. How much has it really changed since launch? I mean, big, important changes, like the ones you see on Android? None. That’s because Google nailed the simple and effective UI right off the bat and hence they did not bother changing what was already great. Which is not something you can say about the original Android UI. 

Apple also knows the importance of not making major changes to something that people are used to, a decision only those who really understand design can make. 

Many of the big features have come only after Android added them. Take the example of multitasking. Or over-the-air updates. Or the notification bar, which was ripped off by Apple from its competitor. Or advanced voice controls. 

Multitasking has existed on Symbian and Windows Mobile even before Android was invented. If you follow Mr. Anwer’s logic, it means Android copied multitasking from these two platforms. As for OTA updates, other devices had that before as well. Did Android copy that too? 

The notification system is the only thing Apple really took from Android. Apple made enough changes to make theirs look different, such as having the option to close each item individually (which Android took in ICS), individually disable notifications for every app (which Android took in Jelly Bean), ability to invoke the notification tray in any app, including fullscreen ones and have apps like Weather and Stocks to display content in the notification area. But at its basis it still uses the same drop down tray, so for that it shall forever remain a copy, no matter how many changes Apple makes to it. 

As for voice control, Android had them before and then were completely blown away when Siri came along. If you think Siri is not a big enough deal then you got to wonder what made Google release a competitor in the form of the Google Now so quickly. Also, even if Apple had acquired Siri, it’s still their property, just the way all the patents that Google is now hoarding courtesy of Motorola are Google’s property. 

Next, iPhone is expected to have a bigger screen, clearly inspired by Android phones and LTE connectivity, something that Android phones have for over a year now. The list is long.

Yes, because no one had big screen phones before Android. Oh, wait.

If Android phones invented big displays then Apple invented touchscreens. 

As for LTE, seriously? Are we now attributing technologies created by third party to Android? Again, by that logic, Android copied Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from a million devices that came before it. 

Motorola virtually created a mobile phone. 

Which remains their biggest achievement since. 

Samsung is the world’s most prolific manufacturer when it comes to core parts in computing devices. The company makes RAM, displays, hard disks and is among a handful of firms to own and operate a chip-fabrication plant successfully. It is the same plant where Apple bakes the processors that power iPhones and iPads

This is somehow related to how innovative Samsung is in the mobile space. 

HTC began selling touchscreen smartphones at a time when Apple was only toying with the idea of iPhone in its labs.

This is what HTC phones looked like before the iPhone and this one immediately after the iPhone was announced. 

Apple’s patent suits are all about business.

You don’t say. 

Samsung is Apple’s chief competitor. HTC is a strong competitor. Motorola is a competitor as well. These are the companies Apple is targeting. Apple is not going after Sony, which implements an eerily similar ‘slide-to-unlock’ in its products. It is not going after LG. It is not going after Huawei or ZTE. Not at the moment.

Is it a fight over values? Hell no!

Apple is going after the companies that threaten it in the market.

You can say Apple is going after Samsung because it is the most successful. You can also say that Apple is going after Samsung because they have been the most blatant of all in terms of copying Apple’s IP. Ever wondered why Apple did not sue HTC or Motorola or Nokia for copying Apple’s trade dress? All lawsuits against these other companies were usually for other patents, mostly relating to software features. Apple went after Samsung hardest because they have also been copying Apple the hardest.

I can even make the argument that Samsung’s success has been because they copied Apple. I mean let’s face it, how many people bought Samsung phones before they made the Galaxy S? 

To me, Apple’s decision to go after Samsung was not just because they copied or because they were successful but a combination of both. It seems that the only way to be successful now is be like Apple and Samsung knew this and Apple hated them for that. Others such as HTC and Motorola were more careful in what they lifted off Apple and went their own way. They are not doing so well right now. 

Across the world, use of Android is surging. 

The classic “Android is winning” argument. Let’s continue to compare three handsets from one company, all high-end and sold in limited markets to millions of Android devices from dozens of companies at every price point in every market. Yup, makes a lot of sense. 

Except when it comes to making profit off by selling those phones, Apple still leads the pack despite the aforementioned disadvantages. Funny how that works out. 

Many people just don’t see any value in iOS and iPhone.

Except for, you know, the millions and millions who still buy the phone and break sales records with the launch of every new version. Nope, people just don’t see the value. 

Yes, Apple is trying to compete through litigation…

Yeah. It’s not like they have any real products in the market that people would want to buy. 

…asking courts to slow down its competitors.

The competitors are doing that on their own. 

That’s it for tonight folks. Tune in next week same time, same day for more expert analysis on expert analysis. 

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