It's not really a subsidy, since they get it all back in the contract. It's just a kind of payment plan. It can be replaced by more transparent payment plans, without any change in overall cost. Should make no difference.
The patent system has a practical viewpoint on what is obvious. If there's a real problem that's been around for awhile, and no one else has come up with your solution, then it isn't obvious. BTW, a lot of people at Apple deserve credit for coming up with good ideas, not just Steve Jobs.
There have been some amazing new products in the past two years. As for vaporware, the only things I can remember Apple ever pre-announcing were the original iPhone and the new Mac Pro. Seem pretty real to me.
Exactly right! The transition to "smartphones" is something that carriers are doing and is happening very quickly. Consumer choice is happening much more slowly. Growth in the mobile-phone market is much more meaningful, because you don't have these two different effects mixed together: growth in the overall mobile phone market is slow, so you can see Apple's share there growing steadily. Wolf is also making the usual mistake in saying there's nothing that will allow...