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Why is Apple suing HTC but not suing Samsung?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Samsung has just released a new line of Android phones. They are coming across all four major U.S. carriers and while each carrier and phone is a variation of a theme, they are collectively called the Galaxy S series.

I became aware of them because as a T-mobile customer, like most carriers, they send you email offers always trying to hook you in again. The T-mobile version of this series is called the Vibrant, has a 4 inch screen and looks ridiculously and suspiciously like a slightly upgraded iPhone 3GS in many ways. (Again there are four or five of them and a few don't look like this but the T-mobile version does)



If you have watched video of it working, you will see it is running a custom skin from Samsung that makes interacting with the applications approximate an iPhone experience. (Also go to almost the very end (last 10 secs) to see how much the form factor approximates the iPhone 3GS)

Apple clearly sued Nokia and also HTC. They declared they had patented all manner of items related to the iPhone and would vigorously defend them in court. Now it appears they aren't doing this. Another slip up on their part related to that strategy (in my opinion) was allowing themselves to get outbid on the purchase of Palm. If there is one company out there that was Apple-ish at one time and failed to recover from initial failures, it is Palm and the their patent portfolio and examples of prior work could seriously undermine Apple patents.

Apple was supposed to defend the iPhone from all the iClones. Now it is feeling freakishly like we are going to watch it happen all over again only instead of Mac vs. Windows it will be iPhone vs. Android with plenty of people willing to 'skin' Android to close the gap that Google has not closed.

Given how blatant the copying clearly is here, why do you think Apple has not taken more action?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 13
Because half the hardware inside the iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch's is manufactured by Samsung. Don't bite the hand that feeds
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix29 View Post

Because half the hardware inside the iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch's is manufactured by Samsung. Don't bite the hand that feeds

So Apple can't find another subcontractor for parts that doesn't steal it's work outright?

This is an article from Phonedog about the phone.


Like the myTouch 3G Slide, icons in the menu are in box format, with the ability to scroll sideways versus down (think iPhone versus vanilla Android).

WIRED notes it rips off the iPhone design.


The Vibrant’s industrial design is shockingly similar to the iPhone 3G: The rounded curves at the corners, the candybar shape, the glossy, black finish and the chrome-colored metallic border around the display. The Vibrant even has its volume and ringer buttons in almost the same spot as the iPhone 3G.

Samsung’s skin for the Android is clean and easy to use. But the square icons are, again, very similar in their looks to the iPhone 3G’s.

It ends with a pic of them side by side.



This is about more than protecting similar innovation. People could obviously mistake this for an iPhone. Much like how clueless people think all MP3 players are iPods, for many of them all smartphones are iPhones. This work is too similar and should be fought against.

Fortune magazine notes the same thing as well.


The Vibrant looks like a thinner, lighter -- but also bigger -- iPhone 3GS

Multiple sources all saying it looks like an iPhone.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #4 of 13
Apple is desperate. HTC is gaining momentum and is quite popular. I myself have an HTC HERO and I love it. It has its problems but the 2.1 update should fix the problems if we ever get it.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix29 View Post

Because half the hardware inside the iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch's is manufactured by Samsung. Don't bite the hand that feeds

Hmm, I'm not sure Samsung think that way as evidenced by the above
post #6 of 13
Samsung provides hardware for a good amount of Apple products. If they're going to target somebody, it doesn't make sense for them to pick out a company they work with frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alairellis23 View Post

Apple is desperate. HTC is gaining momentum and is quite popular. I myself have an HTC HERO and I love it. It has its problems but the 2.1 update should fix the problems if we ever get it.

No they're not, and I'm not sure what your experience with the HTC HERO adds to your point. Apple is simply defending its IP and chose to target a big fish in order to do that (better idea than targeting the entire cellular industry). It could have been to actually drive a change, but more likely it was to temporarily hinder or slow the rate at which their interface and ideas are being copied, or something along those lines.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Of course it might be beating a dead horse, but Samsung and their Galaxy-S series, which skins Android so that it approximates the iPhone interface in several ways, has just raised their estimates for smartphone sales from 17 million to 25 million a year.

As the article also notes, Samsung sold 6 million smartphones all of last year. It is also 5 million more smartphones than Apple sold in all of 2009. While I bet Apple will sell around 32-36 million iPhones this year, these types of numbers are coming from one company, selling an Android-based iClone and they are serious and massive numbers.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

So Apple can't find another subcontractor for parts that doesn't steal it's work outright.

Do you honestly think it's as easy as calling up another manufacturer to produce their parts? Apple most likely signed a production contract with Samsung for X amount of units or years.

The other thing is that the majority of the big, quality component manufacturers are also creating their own Android phones. It'd be hard to find another manufacturer as high-quality as Samsung that also isn't creating a device competing against an iDevice.
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Do you honestly think it's as easy as calling up another manufacturer to produce their parts? Apple most likely signed a production contract with Samsung for X amount of units or years.

The other thing is that the majority of the big, quality component manufacturers are also creating their own Android phones. It'd be hard to find another manufacturer as high-quality as Samsung that also isn't creating a device competing against an iDevice.

Since when does honoring a contract involve forgoing the right to copyright and patent protection?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #10 of 13
Its probably a typo but what you wrote says Apple only sold 1 million phones last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

As the article also notes, Samsung sold 6 million smartphones all of last year. It is also 5 million more smartphones than Apple sold in all of 2009.
post #11 of 13
Because its a strategic move. More than likely Apple is making an example of HTC for the entire industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Since when does honoring a contract involve forgoing the right to copyright and patent protection?
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Since when does honoring a contract involve forgoing the right to copyright and patent protection?

It doesn't. I'm just answering your question as to why they couldn't find someone else to build their parts. Like everyone else says, it does make it much harder to bring on a lawsuit since they're a contracted producer.

From the tone of your posts, it seems like you would love to see a crippling blow to Android, but you have to realize that lots of time and money is involved in these patent lawsuits. It's no easy decision to just go and sue another large company.

When the Apple v. HTC lawsuit started, everyone was posting information here about Apple's high-class lawyers and how HTC will soon be doomed. Yet HTC is posting more and more profit and shows no signs of slowing down.

My point is that to these large companies, patent/copyright lawsuits are generally a bump in the road for them when they do happen. They usually end up with settlements of some amount and then both companies continue on.
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Maybe it's just me but I think the guy that started this thread should be sent a nice little gift from Apple.

 

Can I call it or can I call it?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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