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iPad teardown reveals a 'gorgeous,' symmetrical interior

post #1 of 65
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Soon after its release on Saturday, iFixit began their teardown of Apple's new iPad, and discovered a hidden symmetry inside that the solutions provider said is "there for aesthetics alone." The peek inside also revealed that both the NAND flash and custom Apple A4 processor were manufactured by Samsung.

Calling the machine "gorgeous" when disassembled, iFixit said the device uses more epoxy to secure chips to the board than they've ever seen before.

"This indicates that it is designed to be even more rugged than their laptops," they said. The company noted that taking off the display of the iPad may break off some tabs.

As was revealed in photos release by the FCC on Friday, a majority of the inside of the iPad is taken up by its lithium-ion battery. The battery isn't soldered onto the motherboard, which means replacement is possible if a battery goes bad.

But in a change from the FCC photos, Toshiba does not provide the flash memory for the production units. The model obtained by iFixit has its NAND flash from Samsung.



Also "markedly" different, they said, is the logic board, which reveals that Apple's A4 processor is likely being manufactured by Samsung. The DRAM was created in January while the processor die was created in the first week of February.



The teardown found that the display assembly and rear case each weigh 350 grams, giving the device 50-50 weight distribution. The display includes a marking referencing a patent from Honeywell.

The logic board was made by AT&S, which is noteworthy because the company said they haven't seen Apple's printed circuit board manufacturers brand their boards. Also unique, the main board is secured with T3 Torx screws with a bit smaller than Apple has ever used.



The teardown also found that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth card, which is the same as is found in the third-generation iPod touch, is integrated into the dock connector cable. The iPad also has a speaker assembly that was found to be larger than expected.

For more details and photos, see the full step-by-step teardown at iFixit.
post #2 of 65
In yesterdays comments re: A4 chip indicates that Apple can design chips but they do not manufacture them. If they want to make processors for the Mac line they will have to either buy a fab plant or team up with someone like AMD.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...processor.html

Question: How much RAM--some people wanted to know.
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post #3 of 65
Pretty sad if you need to make news about symmetry in the logic board... Average Joe never sees it. Would be better if iPad ran flash even with a non symmetric mother board...
post #4 of 65
Remove all that 'black' processor guts stuff and you're left with the same glass rippled party tray I have in my pantry!

Wait a minute, let me look in my pantry to make sure it is still there!

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post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The peek inside also revealed that both the NAND flash and custom Apple A4 processor were manufactured by Samsung.

Question is of course, how long will it be before we see Samsung iPad knockoffs?


Quote:
Calling the machine "gorgeous" when disassembled, iFixit said the device uses more epoxy to secure chips to the board than they've ever seen before.

Likely because Apple does not want to be fixing these at all if it can help it.

Must be hard to open the case without damage, that's why I want to know how to do straight off!


Quote:
"This indicates that it is designed to be even more rugged than their laptops," they said. The company noted that taking off the display of the iPad may break off some tabs.


Yikes!

Quote:
As was revealed in photos release by the FCC on Friday, a majority of the inside of the iPad is taken up by its lithium-ion battery. The battery isn't soldered onto the motherboard, which means replacement is possible if a battery goes bad.

Good thing to hear.

Quote:
Also unique, the main board is secured with T3 Torx screws with a bit smaller than Apple has ever used.

T3? Yea that is tiny! If I remember right, my MBP uses T6
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

In yesterdays comments re: A4 chip indicates that Apple can design chips but they do not manufacture them. If they want to make processors for the Mac line they will have to either buy a fab plant or team up with someone like AMD.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...processor.html

Question: How much RAM--some people wanted to know.

Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) also does the design and outsources the manufacturing of their chips and other hardware. Not uncommon....
post #7 of 65
Does a larger than expected speaker assembly equate in any way to louder speaker volume? On my old PowerBook, I couldn't hear if I was watching a movie while watching dishes. I had to connect the laptop to my television's speakers which was annoying. Same for when I was spinning on my bike...
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post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

In yesterdays comments re: A4 chip indicates that Apple can design chips but they do not manufacture them. If they want to make processors for the Mac line they will have to either buy a fab plant or team up with someone like AMD.

I think it's better we stop mentioning the A4 and Mac together. I don't think there has been any credible rumors much less announcements that this is a direction that Apple wants to go. In the meantime it seems to be causing many people all kinds of anxiety which is unrelated to the topic of the iPad at hand.

In terms of the RAM, K4X2G643GE if I'm not mistaken in Samsung nomenclature means a 2Gb chip, which translates into 256MB per chip. Assuming only 1 DRAM chip in the A4, then I guess we are still at 256MB of DRAM which is kind of disappointing if multitasking really is coming with iPhone OS 4.

Edit: For reference the iPhone 3GS also used a 2Gb chip on package to achieve 256MB of RAM according to iSuppli. It only costs $8.50 too.
post #9 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Does a larger than expected speaker assembly equate in any way to louder speaker volume? On my old PowerBook, I couldn't hear if I was watching a movie while watching dishes. I had to connect the laptop to my television's speakers which was annoying. Same for when I was spinning on my bike...

Well, let's not forget that watching dishes is a very noisy thing to do. They start screaming as soon as they feel like they're being watched.
post #10 of 65
Quote:
I think it's better we stop mentioning the A4 and Mac together. I don't think there has been any credible rumors much less announcements that this is a direction that Apple wants to go. In the meantime it seems to be causing many people all kinds of anxiety which is unrelated to the topic of the iPad at hand.


I agree and I'm the one who brought up the subject.


The connotations that occurred with the mention of "A4" with the iPad announcement, as well as Apple's comments on the matter, and the purchase of PA Semi, and the lack of MacBook updates, led to wild speculation that Apple was going to produce its own processors. First starting in the iPad and then later in their Mac line. This came about because the iPad takes a lot of features from ordinary computers.

It's clear now, with the revelation that the processors are just special order from Samsung, that Apple intends to continue its practice of using other companies processors and mainly Intel's for their high volume, low prices and widest use, keping Apple's hardware relevant in the market place.

Although a of ordinary Apple users likely don't give a rats *ss what the processors in their machines are, a lot of the more technical types and enterprise markets do care. Apple still wants to enjoy sales from outside its consumer based market.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Question is of course, how long will it be before we see Samsung iPad knockoffs?

Samsung is only acting as chip fab for Apple... Apple owns the A4 chip design and nobody else can use it without their permission and unlike a shady 'software vendor' in Taiwan, Samsung isn't gonna just start knocking off their own supply on a whim.

As for Samsung doing a tablet 'knockoff' sure they could... but as with all Apple products, the design (as elegant as it is) is only part of the equation...
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post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post

Pretty sad if you need to make news about symmetry in the logic board... Average Joe never sees it. Would be better if iPad ran flash even with a non symmetric mother board...

I think the symmetry of the components is to help in balance besides making it look good. Example "The teardown found that the display assembly and rear case each weigh 350 grams, giving the device 50-50 weight distribution. "

A cheapo PC maker won't care and make the device uncomfortable to hold.
My Mac Pro is beautiful inside as well, Mac Pros were one of the first PCs to be super neat inside, with latch open panels and sliding carriages for drives. But the aesthetics are also practical making repairs, changes to memory, drives, cleaning easier.
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Likely because Apple does not want to be fixing these at all if it can help it.

Gotta love the posters that jump to the most absurd answer. Occam's Razor, anyone?
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post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

In yesterdays comments re: A4 chip indicates that Apple can design chips but they do not manufacture them. If they want to make processors for the Mac line they will have to either buy a fab plant or team up with someone like AMD.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...processor.html

Question: How much RAM--some people wanted to know.

To be more precise, team up with Global Foundries.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davewrite View Post

I think the symmetry of the components is to help in balance besides making it look good. Example "The teardown found that the display assembly and rear case each weigh 350 grams, giving the device 50-50 weight distribution. "

A cheapo PC maker won't care and make the device uncomfortable to hold.
My Mac Pro is beautiful inside as well, Mac Pros were one of the first PCs to be super neat inside, with latch open panels and sliding carriages for drives. But the aesthetics are also practical making repairs, changes to memory, drives, cleaning easier.

I thought it was clear that the symmetry was for weighted balance.
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post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

. . . a hidden symmetry inside that the solutions provider said is "there for aesthetics alone." . . .

Really, "there for aesthetics alone." Funny. I've never heard or read that from Apple or iFixit (its unclear who you are quoting.) I see many expressions of both symmetry and aesthetics that are readily apparent in the iPad. But as a product designer I see nothing that is "there for aesthetics alone."
I suspect this is a bit of "creative reporting."
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotApple View Post

Pretty sad if you need to make news about symmetry in the logic board... Average Joe never sees it. Would be better if iPad ran flash even with a non symmetric mother board...

When I was a kid, I was painting a cabinet for the living room, and asked my Dad if I really needed to paint the back, since it would be against the wall and no one would ever see it.
He told me that quality applies to everything, even if you're the only one who knows its there.
Kinda stuck with me.
Sort of like the thing about integrity being the thing you do even if no one is watching.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

T3? Yea that is tiny! If I remember right, my MBP uses T6

Indeed. I thought I had a "full" set of Torx drivers but they only go down to T5. I didn't even fathom there was a T3 until reading this article.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

When I was a kid, I was painting a cabinet for the living room, and asked my Dad if I really needed to paint the back, since it would be against the wall and no one would ever see it.

Not only that, but if you only paint one side of a panel, its much more likely to warp with changes in humidity and temperature because of differential swelling (learned that from experience.) Similarly, attention to detail in product design (yes, even/especially on the inside) engenders quality beyond esthetics or surface appearance.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I thought it was clear that the symmetry was for weighted balance.

Not to the guy whom I was replying to who said "Pretty sad if you need to make news about symmetry in the logic board... Average Joe never sees it. Would be better if iPad ran flash even with a non symmetric mother board..."

he said it would be 'better' to have non symmetry and flash.
I'm not discussing the flash stuff but I'm pointing out weighted balance makes it better to hold.
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

When I was a kid, I was painting a cabinet for the living room, and asked my Dad if I really needed to paint the back, since it would be against the wall and no one would ever see it.
He told me that quality applies to everything, even if you're the only one who knows its there.
Kinda stuck with me.
Sort of like the thing about integrity being the thing you do even if no one is watching.

Very nicely put!
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davewrite View Post

Not to the guy whom I was replying to who said "Pretty sad if you need to make news about symmetry in the logic board... Average Joe never sees it. Would be better if iPad ran flash even with a non symmetric mother board..."

he said it would be 'better' to have non symmetry and flash.
I'm not discussing the flash stuff but I'm pointing out weighted balance makes it better to hold.

Proof again that Apple is the Ferrari of the tech world. That is what you are paying for when you buy an Apple product. Unparalleled attention to detail.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davewrite View Post

Not to the guy whom I was replying to...

I was agreeing with you. I guess I should have started my post with "Right?!" to imply that I think their comment was baffling, not your explanation.
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post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Proof again that Apple is the Ferrari of the tech world. That is what you are paying for when you buy an Apple product. Unparalleled attention to detail.

Is Ferrari really the best example here? How about Rolls Royce or Bentley?
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post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism;

Is Ferrari really the best example here? How about Rolls Royce or Bentley?

Ferrari is the perfect comparison. It's said that they sell cars just so they can afford to race. Apple and Ferrari both put passion first. Lol, even the weight distribution is funny because Ferraris' V8s are known to have a perfect 50/50 weight distribution (at least for the past 10 years).
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

I think it's better we stop mentioning the A4 and Mac together. I don't think there has been any credible rumors much less announcements that this is a direction that Apple wants to go. In the meantime it seems to be causing many people all kinds of anxiety which is unrelated to the topic of the iPad at hand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

I agree and I'm the one who brought up the subject.
The connotations that occurred with the mention of "A4" with the iPad announcement, as well as Apple's comments on the matter, and the purchase of PA Semi, and the lack of MacBook updates, led to wild speculation that Apple was going to produce it's own processors.

The rumor monger is diverting attention away from himself/herself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The peek inside also revealed that both the NAND flash and custom Apple A4 processor were manufactured by Samsung.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Question is of course, how long will it be before we see Samsung iPad knockoffs?

There is nothing in the article mentions Samsung knockoffsis there. Samsung has been a supplier to Apple for some time and Apple just inked a $240M deal to provide screens for the iPad @ http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._displays.html
Samsung is not going to risk business with Apple with knockoffs. So why create wild speculation and rumors???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

What's got me horrified and a lot of other people too, is that Apple is going to drop Intel processors for these A4's and we will no longer have the ability to use other operating systems and the like with our Mac's.

Worst off if they decide to lock their machines down to the App Store, restrict our freedom with our machines and force us use the iPad UI instead of windows UI.

Apple hasn't released the MacBook Pro updates in quite some time, which leads me to believe they intend to create pent up demand in that market and force people to switch to something very radical.

@ http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...hreadid=108330 read #8, this is the post that started the rumor.

Before you accuse me of spreading rumors, I think you should reconsider your assessment and look at the comments in this post. As I see from reviewing the previous thread, you provided some insights and you should have been aware of SpotOn's comments that spurred the uncertainty you question see ##11-19 & 36 @ http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...hreadid=108330

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowededwookie View Post

???
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

What's got me horrified and a lot of other people too, is that Apple is going to drop Intel processors for these A4's and we will no longer have the ability to use other operating systems and the like with our Mac's.

Worst off if they decide to lock their machines down to the App Store, restrict our freedom with our machines and force us use the iPad UI instead of windows UI.

Apple hasn't released the MacBook Pro updates in quite some time, which leads me to believe they intend to create pent up demand in that market and force people to switch to something very radical.

Apple has NEVER used Intel processors in their iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod, iPad only in their desktops.

There's no way Apple would use ARMs in their desktop and laptop products because they are too under powered.

That being said there's nothing to stop Apple building their own Intel based processors and showing the computing world how it should be done. Apple would simply only need to create its own drivers for their own chipsets which is does in BootCamp anyway so backwards compatibility isn't really san issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Presently Apple does not have the capability to manufacture their own chips. PA Semi Conductor was a design company. Apple could team with AMD to design and produce "Intel" based processor, but watch out for patents. But why would Apple want to leave Intel?

Responding to a comment I mentioned that Apple did not have the capability to manufacture its own chips. This should not preclude them from doing so in the future if their relationship with Intel is no longer workable. Apple switch chip manufacturers before and nothing prevents them from doing so in the future if it is to their advantage. Having survived that switch to Intel, it is something hard to endure, but glad that Apple made the decision.
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post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Gotta love the posters that jump to the most absurd answer. Occam's Razor, anyone?

He/She's such a Rumor Monger
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post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

The rumor monger is diverting attention away from himself/herself.
[...]
Responding to a comment I mentioned that Apple did not have the capability to manufacture its own chips. This should not preclude them from doing so in the future if their relationship with Intel is no longer workable. Apple switch chip manufacturers before and nothing prevents them from doing so in the future if it is to their advantage. Having survived that switch to Intel, it is something hard to endure, but glad that Apple made the decision.

I'm glad I am not the only one who has rational arguments with the irrational. Might be best for both of us (and the board) not to respond to SpotOn anymore.
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post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm glad I am not the only one who has rational arguments with the irrational. Might be best for both of us (and the board) not to respond to SpotOn anymore.

Yeh, another one for my IL (and that's not the USPO state code for Illinois)
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post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Gotta love the posters that jump to the most absurd answer. Occam's Razor, anyone?


I hear Schrödinger is looking for a new, cool cat.
post #31 of 65
re: "were manufactured by Samsung"

and

"which reveals that Apple's A4 processor is likely being manufactured by Samsung"

Which is it? One is a statement of fact - the other speculation.
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post

re: "were manufactured by Samsung"

and

"which reveals that Apple's A4 processor is likely being manufactured by Samsung"

Which is it? One is a statement of fact - the other speculation.

One is talking about the flash memory chips, which were manufactured by Samsung.

The other is talking about the A4 processor, which according to markings, appears to have been manufactured by Samsung.

Why is that so hard to understand?
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

The rumor monger is diverting attention away from himself/herself.

No, I was changing my theroy based upon the revelation of new information.

Before it was Apple was making their own processors and now it's Apple is designing their own processors, but using another companies fabrication facilities.

It demonstrates that Apple is still relying upon other companies economies of scale, thus still will be using Intel processors for their main computers.


Quote:
Samsung has been a supplier to Apple for some time and Apple just inked a $240M deal to provide screens for the iPad..Samsung is not going to risk business with Apple with knockoffs.

Well because in Asia nearly everything is copied, duplicated or cloned in some manner.

The Asian market is quite considerable, $240 million might seem like peanuts to Samsung if they can make Billion$ with a iPad clone of some sort.

They did make Mp3 players there for some time, thus my statement.


Quote:
So why create wild speculation and rumors???

Why do you think that what some guy says on a web site is going to change anything?


Quote:
Responding to a comment I mentioned that Apple did not have the capability to manufacture its own chips. This should not preclude them from doing so in the future if their relationship with Intel is no longer workable. Apple switch chip manufacturers before and nothing prevents them from doing so in the future if it is to their advantage. Having survived that switch to Intel, it is something hard to endure, but glad that Apple made the decision.

It's likely cheaper for Apple to use others fabs than build their own, they gain from the economy of scale, like all the local newspapers using the same press facilities in town.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

Ferrari is the perfect comparison. It's said that they sell cars just so they can afford to race. Apple and Ferrari both put passion first. Lol, even the weight distribution is funny because Ferraris' V8s are known to have a perfect 50/50 weight distribution (at least for the past 10 years).

Yep. you got it.

Rolls and Bentley are perhaps the worst analogy to draw. While they are obviously high quality products, they are full of superfluous bells and whistles. Heavier than an M1 tank (yes, not all of them, but this was for analogical comparisons)
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

Ferrari is the perfect comparison. It's said that they sell cars just so they can afford to race. Apple and Ferrari both put passion first. Lol, even the weight distribution is funny because Ferraris' V8s are known to have a perfect 50/50 weight distribution (at least for the past 10 years).

Only exception is that the iPad doesn't come in red. Ferrari's have to be red--that's their racing color.
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post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

One is talking about the flash memory chips, which were manufactured by Samsung.

The other is talking about the A4 processor, which according to markings, appears to have been manufactured by Samsung.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Because here's the whole paragraph

"Soon after its release on Saturday, iFixit began their teardown of Apple's new iPad, and discovered a hidden symmetry inside that the solutions provider said is "there for aesthetics alone." The peek inside also revealed that both the NAND flash and custom Apple A4 processor were manufactured by Samsung."

Hmmm do I see them saying BOTH are manufactured by Samsung? Yes - yes I do - but you didn't. One refers to a PROCESSOR as fact, the other refers to a PROCESSOR as speculation.

Why is that so hard to understand?
post #37 of 65
A couple people have commented on how certain Apple designed components are likely being manufactured by competitors. Not only is this not uncommon AT ALL, it's smart business.

If something you invent is really that groundbreaking, a competitor who is also a manufacturer may bid to build it. They know they can't produce products derivative of the technology, they'd get their a$$es sued off. However, they make money on the manufacturing contracts.

Additionally, factories with the capacity to manufacture often do so for almost all companies in a market. For example, every condom made in America is produced in one of three factories in either China or Malaysia. Each company has their own mold, formulation for the latex, and formulation for the lubricant, but none own the capacity to manufacture. It's cheaper that way.

Finally, when you are a thought leader, having your opponent's "steal" from you isn't a bad thing. I'd be willing to bet that Apple waited until HTC products went on sale before filing their patent violation claim for their multi-touch technology.

Once the products are on the market, Apple has tremendous leverage when the two parties eventually settle. The rival will either suspend all sales and support of the product in question, or pay a settlement and license the technology from Apple. After that, Apple will make money on every HTC phone that uses Apple's multi-touch technology. Smart business. Intellectual property law is where it's at!
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by acrobratt View Post

A couple people have commented on how certain Apple designed components are likely being manufactured by competitors. Not only is this not uncommon AT ALL, it's smart business.

If something you invent is really that groundbreaking, a competitor who is also a manufacturer may bid to build it. They know they can't produce products derivative of the technology, they'd get their a$$es sued off. However, they make money on the manufacturing contracts.

Additionally, factories with the capacity to manufacture often do so for almost all companies in a market. For example, every condom made in America is produced in one of three factories in either China or Malaysia. Each company has their own mold, formulation for the latex, and formulation for the lubricant, but none own the capacity to manufacture. It's cheaper that way.

Finally, when you are a thought leader, having your opponent's "steal" from you isn't a bad thing. I'd be willing to bet that Apple waited until HTC products went on sale before filing their patent violation claim for their multi-touch technology.

Once the products are on the market, Apple has tremendous leverage when the two parties eventually settle. The rival will either suspend all sales and support of the product in question, or pay a settlement and license the technology from Apple. After that, Apple will make money on every HTC phone that uses Apple's multi-touch technology. Smart business. Intellectual property law is where it's at!

thanks, that explains alot
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post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

Ferrari is the perfect comparison. It's said that they sell cars just so they can afford to race. Apple and Ferrari both put passion first. Lol, even the weight distribution is funny because Ferraris' V8s are known to have a perfect 50/50 weight distribution (at least for the past 10 years).


Had a Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 a long time ago, nice car, like sitting in a jet.

Everyone wanted to race me all the time though.

Certainly not a 50/50, it was *ss heavy for traction, ate a lot of rubber of the rears.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2293/...c0d7d46de5.jpg
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Had a Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 a long time ago, nice car, like sitting in a jet.

Everyone wanted to race me all the time though.

Certainly not a 50/50, it was *ss heavy for traction, ate a lot of rubber of the rears.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2293/...c0d7d46de5.jpg

Beautiful car. Great thing about Ferraris is that they age like fine wine.
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