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MacBook Air shipments strong; Apple eyes InterDigital; Patent group sues again

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Shipments of Apple's just-released MacBook Air will "remain strong" throughout this summer, possibly topping 1.5 million units, according to industry sources. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly weighing a bid to purchase InterDigital for its wireless technology patents. Also, a patent licensing group that won $8 million from Apple is now suing for additional royalties, this time from the iPhone and iPad.

MacBook Airs

Taiwan-based industry publication DigTimes said shipment volume for Apple's third-generation MacBook Air "is expected to remain strong" through the end of August, citing upstream supply chain sources on Thursday. According to the report, suppliers shipped 400,000-500,000 units in June, roughly in-line with numbers AppleInsider reported last month.

The sources went on to estimate that Apple will sell 13-14 million portables in 2011 and could reach as high as 15 million units. They also noted that Apple is the only vendor to provide full shipment forecasts for the first quarter of 2012, as the rest of the IT industry is reportedly being "rather conservative" about demand in the second half of 2011.

Apple released the highly-anticipated refresh to its thin-and-light notebooks on Wednesday, adding Thunderbolt ports, backlit keyboards, and Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors.



Though Apple announced a blowout June quarter earlier this week, the company's Mac sales of 3.95 million fell slightly below Wall Street expectations. In spite of the miss, Apple's growth rate of 14 percent year over year was more than four times that of the overall PC market, according to recent data from IDC.

InterDigital

Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the situation, both Apple and Google are "weighing possible bids" for mobile phone technology designer InterDigital Inc.

The company is said to have 1,300 patents related to wireless device technologies that would be of prime interest to the two rivals. InterDigital said in a statement this week that it had hired bankers to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives that may include a sale.

William Merritt, CEO for the company, claimed in April that InterDigital's patent's are "deeper and stronger" than Canadian telecommunications equipment maker Nortel's collection.

Apple and a group of companies including Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony, purchased Nortel's 6,000 patents in an auction late last month for $4.5 billion. Google had teamed up with Intel to bid for the patents, but found itself outgunned by its rivals.

Patent portfolios have become increasingly important among technology companies, with legal experts comparing Nortel's trove to a "nuclear arsenal."

Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission made an initial ruling that HTC's handsets had infringed on two of Apple's patents. The decision caused a stir when it was discovered that the patents in question may affect "every Android device" on the market.

Some Chinese Android vendors have reportedly turned toward Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 over concerns that the ITC ruling could result in hefty royalty fees for Google's mobile OS.

Last March, Google promised to "stand behind" its Android partners as they faced legal challenges from Apple. Analysts were correct in predicting at the time that the dispute between Apple and HTC would be a "long and bloody battle."

On Tuesday, Google executive Eric Schmidt reiterated his company's support for HTC, vowing to "make sure" that the handset maker did not lose the patent infringement suit. Schmidt also criticized Android's competitors for "responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations."

Personal Audio

Not content with $8 million in damages from Apple over its iPod products, patent licensing company Personal Audio filed a second suit against Apple on Wednesday, accusing "the iPod Nano Generation 6, iPod Shuffle Generation 4, iPod Touch Generation 4, iPhone 4, and iPad 2" of infringing on its downloadable playlists patents, Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

The company maintains that Apple had agreed to stipulations to reserve products not covered in the original suit for a second lawsuit. "The parties specifically agreed that 'Personal Audio may initiate a separate lawsuit accusing the New Products of infringement of the Patents,'" court documents reveal.

The patent in question is 6,199,076, "Audio program player including a dynamic program selection controller." According to Mueller, damages in this second case could be substantially greater, partly because the plaintiff may be able to claim willful infringement.

Earlier in July, Apple was ordered by a federal jury to pay damages to Personal Audio. The plaintiff had originally asked for $84 million in damages and included several other companies on the suit, but the other defendants besides Apple had settled last year.

Personal Audio has been accused of being a "patent troll" because it is a non-practicing entity and chose to file its suit in East Texas, a district known both for its speed and for its favorable rulings for patent holders.
post #2 of 12
Eric Schmidt, trying to be a comedian with a moronic comment when he criticized Android's competitors for "responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations."? Seriously Eric, you are a scumbag and making your company look awfully foolish. You are the new evil.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Shipments of Apple's just-released MacBook Air will "remain strong" throughout this summer, possibly topping 1.5 million units, according to industry sources.

With the ability to extend ports (FireWire, Ethernet) that the MBA doesn't natively have through the new Thunderbolt Cinema Displays, the only thing that could constrain MBA sales will be how fast Apple can build them.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Eric Schmidt, trying to be a comedian with a moronic comment when he criticized Android's competitors for "responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations."? Seriously Eric, you are a scumbag and making your company look awfully foolish. You are the new evil.

I was thinking the same thing. He accuses competitors of not innovating, but clearly they are since HTC/Google are being accused of using innovation from Apple.
post #5 of 12
I wonder how much profit Google actually makes off of Android in a year. Surely it has to be quite a bit less than $1 billion at this point, since the only revenue they get from it is ad revenue. Meanwhile, Apple makes multiple billions in profit off of the iPhone every year. Clearly Apple has a far greater incentive to spend money on these patent buys than Google has. Consequently, I suspect we will see Apple consistently out-bidding Google on anything related to mobile devices.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I wonder how much profit Google actually makes off of Android in a year. Surely it has to be quite a bit less than $1 billion at this point, since the only revenue they get from it is ad revenue. Meanwhile, Apple makes multiple billions in profit off of the iPhone every year. Clearly Apple has a far greater incentive to spend money on these patent buys than Google has. Consequently, I suspect we will see Apple consistently out-bidding Google on anything related to mobile devices.

Google makes more than just the direct mobile Ad revenue from Android. They also make additional search revenue, and help drive users to their other offerings such as GMail and now Google+.

There's no doubt that they make less from it than Apple makes from iOS though.
post #7 of 12
I wonder how Eric Schmidt would react to someone "innovating" with Google's search and indexing algorithms...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I wonder how much profit Google actually makes off of Android in a year. Surely it has to be quite a bit less than $1 billion at this point, since the only revenue they get from it is ad revenue.

Everything, and by that I mean everything that Google provides "for free" is designed to increase lock in to their search engine and, by extension, their ad revenues.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply
post #8 of 12
I think the new MBA is ridiculous value for money. If you compare the 13" MBP with the 13" MBA it is hard to justify buying the Pro.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Last March, Google promised to "stand behind" its Android partners as they faced legal challenges from Apple.

The only thing Google is standing behind is its partners. Literally. As they keep getting lawsuits, Google gets none of the blame and therefore does not dirty its hands in helping them
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Google makes more than just the direct mobile Ad revenue from Android. They also make additional search revenue, and help drive users to their other offerings such as GMail and now Google+.

There's no doubt that they make less from it than Apple makes from iOS though.

Except in the case of Admob, where Apple decided it had enough of the bidding war.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

I wonder how Eric Schmidt would react to someone "innovating" with Google's search and indexing algorithms...


Everything, and by that I mean everything that Google provides "for free" is designed to increase lock in to their search engine and, by extension, their ad revenues.

yes... but the question still remains: how much money do they actually make off of Android?
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

yes... but the question still remains: how much money do they actually make off of Android?

That's just it. I don't think even Google knows the extent of the indirect revenues from Android. Yeah, mobile web search and ads is pretty easy to calculate. But Google has a lot more than that; they have detailed information about Android phone users' email, phone, texting, location and location habits, etc. which means they have a far more complete targeted profile to sell advertisers for Android users than the profile they can generate from other mobile platforms such as iOS, WebOS, BlackberryOS, etc.

From Eric Schmidt's interview with the Atlantic, circa Oct. 2010:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Schmidt

With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches ... We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about.

Android lets Google spy on their users to sell vastly improved profiles to advertisers for a fairly large subset of mobile users. How can that be quantified? Android would be worth 10 times what Google is spending on it if they never made a dime of revenue from it.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply
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