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T-Mobile sides with Samsung in Apple patent infringement case

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
On the heels of Verizon coming out in support of Samsung in Apple's patent lawsuit against the South Korean electronics maker, T-Mobile has submitted a brief opposing a proposed preliminary injunction against the company's smartphones and tablets.

The wireless carrier submitted an amicus curiae, "friend of the court," brief in defense of Samsung on Wednesday, along with a request to be admitted as a third party and a motion to shorten time to ensure that the request is considered ahead of an Oct. 13 hearing on Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports.

The filing closely resembles the arguments that Verizon Wireless made in its own filing last Friday, even noting that "to the extent applicable, T-Mobile incorporates the arguments of [Verizon's brief]." The nation's largest wireless carrier had argued in its brief that an preliminary injunction on Samsung's devices was detrimental to public interest because it could slow deployment of next-generation networks, possibly affecting "first responders and public safety officials."

Unlike Verizon, however, T-Mobile extends its public interest arguments to apply to all of Apple's asserted patents, not just the single software patent. Verizon's motion had excluded three of Apple's design patents from its brief, instead focusing on the lone software patent asserted against the devices.

T-Mobile's request to shorten time is meant to preempt an expected objection from Apple over the late filing of the motion. The iPhone maker on Tuesday opposed Verizon's request to file a brief in support of Samsung, arguing that the filing was "untimely." Mueller notes that the submission fails to mention why T-Mobile waited more than two months to file its motion, given that Apple asked for a preliminary injunction on four devices -- the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1, on July 1.

Apple does not currently offer the iPhone on the T-Mobile network. The carrier's chief marketing officer said earlier this week that "the ball is in Apple's court" for a potential partnership between the two companies. But, T-Mobile's decision to side with Samsung in its dispute with Apple does not help its cause.

T-Mobile has bet heavily on Android, with 90 percent of its smartphone sales coming from devices powered by Google's mobile operating system. The carrier could vicariously sell the iPhone if rival AT&T completes its proposed acquisition of the carrier, but the deal faces opposition from the U.S. Justice Department, which has sued to block the transaction. In the meantime, T-Mobile continues to operate independently of AT&T.

Apple and Samsung began their legal dispute in April, but the electronics maker's legal woes have ramped up in recent weeks. Samsung has agreed to continue delaying the launch of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia while awaiting a ruling from the judge presiding over the case. Justice Annabelle Bennett has said she expects to decide by next week whether to impose an injunction. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has also been blocked from being sold in Germany.
post #2 of 35
1) Since when did it become standard practice for carriers to weigh in on CE companies butting head?

2) Who doesn't think this is about anything more than carriers trying to keep the control from shifting to the CE companies.
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post #3 of 35
Right or wrong has no meaning - it's all about the politics of making money. So it is for Apple but being innovators they hold the moral high ground for what it's worth.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Since when did it become standard practice for carriers to weigh in on CE companies butting head?

2) Who doesn't think this is about anything more than carriers trying to keep the control from shifting to the CE companies.

I can almost understand T-Mobile piling on (lack of iPhone) but I do not get VZW weighing in. While this is certainly not suicide for VZW or T-Mobile, it doesn't make a lot of friends at Apple. I would not be happy with the filings if I were Apple.

I think your second point nails the reasoning behind this.
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post #5 of 35
Well I guess cry babies side with cry babies
post #6 of 35
Don't bite the hand that feeds you, or piss off the person holding the light at the end of the tunnel.
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

Don't bite the hand that feeds you, or piss off the person holding the light at the end of the tunnel.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I can almost understand T-Mobile piling on (lack of iPhone) but I do not get VZW weighing in. While this is certainly not suicide for VZW or T-Mobile, it doesn't make a lot of friends at Apple. I would not be happy with the filings if I were Apple.

I think your second point nails the reasoning behind this.

The real issue here is simple: If this dissolves into a patent war and Samsung etc lose, there will be less actual "iPhone-like" phones on the market.

With less iPhone-like phones, the prices on the devices won't have as much pressure to drop. For the phone companies, the lower the price on the handset, the lower the "buy-in" price, and the better it works for them.

It is a similar world in the PC business currently. All the OEMs are designing essentially identical items and then trying to differentiate in very minor ways. This creates very little chance for differentiation, and thus very little chance to make much profit. This is the way Microsoft wants it. They don't want the OEMs making the money - they want Microsoft making the money.

The same thing applies here. If mobile devices become commoditized, the phone market profit share will actually lie squarely with the mobile companies. Its the way that its been before, and every cell network provider at the moment is clawing to try and get the market back to that way. They're scared.
post #9 of 35
Effin' incredible...

"...preliminary injunction on Samsung's devices was detrimental to public interest because it could slow deployment of next-generation networks, possibly affecting "first responders and public safety officials.""

Barring Samsung's devices would prevent them from deploying next-gen networks? What are we now, living in Dipstickville?

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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

Don't bite the hand that feeds you, or piss off the person holding the light at the end of the tunnel.

The funny thing is the company holding the light at the end of the tunnel isn't Apple. It's Deutsche Telekom. After all, they are official iPhone carriers in about a dozen European markets.

T-Mobile USA -- already the underperforming black sheep of the conglomerate -- risks increasing the separation between it and the corporate parent.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Barring Samsung's devices would prevent them from deploying next-gen networks? What are we now, living in Dipstickville?

Oh I love this quote!
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Barring Samsung's devices would prevent them from deploying next-gen networks? What are we now, living in Dipstickville?

it is more of a political move than a meritorious claim.

lawyers are not that dumb. they usually know whether their claims are likely to prevail or not.
when they make such frivolous claims nonetheless they are doing so not to win the case
but to receive some media attention and to express their concerns to the opposing party.

they took this motion as an opportunity to officially show their position to Apple.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post


With less iPhone-like phones, the prices on the devices won't have as much pressure to drop. For the phone companies, the lower the price on the handset, the lower the "buy-in" price, and the better it works for them.

I don't think that is really the issue. I think it is more about simply having devices to sell. T-mobile doesn't have the iPhone and likely never will unless they merge with ATT etc or when LTE is the only needed service. They may have thought the merge would be cake and didn't try to convince Apple to make a t-mobile 3G iPhone. By the time they found out the plan wasn't going to go as they thought it was too late for this year.

So if they lose the Samsung lineup there is a risk of folks jumping ship because there is nothing close to the iPhone for them to at least try.

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post #14 of 35
T-Mobile must be extremely careful here. If you really sooooo desire for offer iPhone officially, you just don't do that kind of stuff to Apple.
post #15 of 35
How is it detrimental to the public interest to uphold intellectual property laws?
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Since when did it become standard practice for carriers to weigh in on CE companies butting head?

2) Who doesn't think this is about anything more than carriers trying to keep the control from shifting to the CE companies.

I think spam sandwich's dipstickville theory fits your first point
As to your second point, to be fair apple has been actively taking control from the carriers (thank jebus) for a while. I guess a little blow back from the dumb pipes should be expected. But yes I think your right, the carriers can see the future and it ain't great for them. Hopefully they'll be denied here.
post #17 of 35
Looks like the wagons are circling.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Effin' incredible...

"...preliminary injunction on Samsung's devices was detrimental to public interest because it could slow deployment of next-generation networks, possibly affecting "first responders and public safety officials.""

Barring Samsung's devices would prevent them from deploying next-gen networks? What are we now, living in Dipstickville?

Western Wireless-> Voicestream -> T-Mobile has always been a slimy corporation. I know from the inside/out.

When it was Voicestream they swung almost entirely from Nokia's sack. Then with T-Mobile they expanded and became famous for their creative billing and lawsuits filed against them.

Like Verizon they both have a reputation for being douche bags.
post #19 of 35
I wonder when HTC and other Android manufacturers will chime in, first Verizon and now T-Mobile have now implied that as an alternative to Samsung their devices are unreliable crap.
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post #20 of 35
t mobile apparently does not want the iPhone.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

It is a similar world in the PC business currently. All the OEMs are designing essentially identical items and then trying to differentiate in very minor ways. This creates very little chance for differentiation, and thus very little chance to make much profit. This is the way Microsoft wants it. They don't want the OEMs making the money - they want Microsoft making the money.

The same thing applies here. If mobile devices become commoditized, the phone market profit share will actually lie squarely with the mobile companies. Its the way that its been before, and every cell network provider at the moment is clawing to try and get the market back to that way. They're scared.


Microsoft wants undifferentiated junk on the market? How does that help them again? Step by step?

And the same thing with the telcos and the OEMs?

Keep in mind that the more boxes that get sold, the more M$ makes.

Keep in mind that M$ sells TO the OEMs, and the telcos buy FROM the OEMs.

And please explain how undifferentiated junk hardware helps either M$ or the telcos. I absolutely don't understand how it would help either one of them, or how M$ and the telcos are in the same camp.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

How is it detrimental to the public interest to uphold intellectual property laws?

You seem to be begging the question, and the wrong question at that.

The issue is a preliminary injunction. You've gone all the way to the ultimate verdict, and made assumptions about what it will be.

Not only that, but you've put words in TM's mouth. They never said it would be detrimental to the public interest to do that. Such a statement makes no sense, which is likely why they never said it.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hewsthat View Post

t mobile apparently does not want the iPhone.

Seems that way!
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Microsoft wants undifferentiated junk on the market? How does that help them again? Step by step?

And the same thing with the telcos and the OEMs?

Keep in mind that the more boxes that get sold, the more M$ makes.

Keep in mind that M$ sells TO the OEMs, and the telcos buy FROM the OEMs.

And please explain how undifferentiated junk hardware helps either M$ or the telcos. I absolutely don't understand how it would help either one of them, or how M$ and the telcos are in the same camp.

If Microsoft end up with undifferentiated PC OEMS, the prices drop as the OEMs have nothing to differentiate their product except price. And that pushes more computers, and thus more Windows copies, out into the market. The lower the prices drop due to a lack of differentiation, the better it is for microsoft. It turns a PC into a commoditized piece of hardware where no one is really making any money except the one company that won't budge on its prices: Microsoft. Microsoft wins when more computers are on the market, full stop, and the way for them to make that happen is to make them all compete with each other till the prices drop.

Telcos too also want the prices to drop on these devices. If the phones cost less they have more money to spend on calling. If phones cost less they have more money to make when they sell you a bundled plan: "Get this phone for $25 on a 2 year plan with us" - if the phone costs 25 dollars, the plan is pure profit to the phone company. If the phone costs $200, $175 of that plan will end up being lost of the phone. If the phone costs less, it also makes it more tempting to buy into the lock-in plan.

Lots of undifferentiated junk is best for anyone who stands to gain as a result of the MANY devices being sold, except the company making it (the company making them makes almost nothing because the only differentiation will be price, and so they'll go to the floor with their device to try and get them out the door)

Verizon and T-Mobile have a lot to gain by commoditizing these devices. If they can make the cost of the devices lower, they can make their profits off them higher, and they can get more phones out the door and onto the market, with more lock in contracts.

Its irrelevant whether its the software provider, or the end telco. The real issue is: Who stands to gain by devices costing nothing? And that is everyone, except the device makers.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

The real issue is: Who stands to gain by devices costing nothing? And that is everyone, except the device makers.

If the devices cost nothing, how can the telcos differentiate themselves other than lowering the price on their service plans?
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Microsoft wants undifferentiated junk on the market? How does that help them again? Step by step?

That has been their business model all along. Where have you been? Microsoft makes all the money while the cloners race to the bottom in pricing with their undifferentiated junk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

And please explain how undifferentiated junk hardware helps either M$ or the telcos. I absolutely don't understand how it would help either one of them, or how M$ and the telcos are in the same camp.

The telcos are in the same cloner market with Android and Windows Phone as the cloner PC makers are with Window OS. There is nothing to differentiate themselves with. Just a race to the bottom in pricing. The telcos can at least make some money with their excessive call plans and rip off text messaging, so they are in better shape than the cloner PC makers. In either case, Microsoft gets their hefty tax money and the "partners" are left with crumbs. Back to the first sentence: "That has been their business model all along"
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If the devices cost nothing, how can the telcos differentiate themselves other than lowering the price on their service plans?

They don't need to differentiate themselves. They're already in a cartel, they're charging much higher monthly fees than other countries with actual competition.

In this situation, it's best for them if the smartphone industry is in 'perfect competition' and basically have 0 profit, because that would maximize the profit of the upstream cartel. Simple Econ 101 really.
post #28 of 35
I wonder how Apple will respond to this move by Verizon and T-mobile?

If Steve Jobs were still in charge, I'd expect a righteous smackdown to come in the near future. But now with Tim Cook at the helm, that's not so certain.

VZ and T-mob seem to not understand that Apple has feelings. Unlike most corporations--who only care about the bottom line--Apple can be very spiteful when they've been crossed.
post #29 of 35
Samsung makes part of the LTE and HSDPA networks for these carriers. So they have a VESTED interest in making the sales of Samsung's handsets.

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post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I wonder how Apple will respond to this move by Verizon and T-mobile?

If Steve Jobs were still in charge, I'd expect a righteous smackdown to come in the near future. But now with Tim Cook at the helm, that's not so certain.

VZ and T-mob seem to not understand that Apple has feelings. Unlike most corporations--who only care about the bottom line--Apple can be very spiteful when they've been crossed.

T-mobile has nothing to lose, they're not getting the iPhone now and will either get it after the merger or if the merger fails, never get the iPhone, which are outcomes independent of whether they go against Apple or not. As for VZ, they already signed long-term daels with Apple, neither side can back out of it now, in the next few years (until they negotiate the new deal), also nothing to lose.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I wonder how Apple will respond to this move by Verizon and T-mobile?

If Steve Jobs were still in charge, I'd expect a righteous smackdown to come in the near future. But now with Tim Cook at the helm, that's not so certain.

VZ and T-mob seem to not understand that Apple has feelings. Unlike most corporations--who only care about the bottom line--Apple can be very spiteful when they've been crossed.

Right, Steve would turn away millions of potential customers of those carriers because of two amicus curae briefs.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG4G View Post

...more money to make when they sell you a bundled plan: "Get this phone for $25 on a 2 year plan with us" - if the phone costs 25 dollars, the plan is pure profit to the phone company...

Apart from maintaining and upgrading the network, electricity to run the network people to run the network and other associated costs.

Your view is way too simplistic.
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

maintaining

Peanuts.

Quote:
upgrading

They don't really do that, anyway.

Texting is pure profit. How much else could be, then?

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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I wonder how Apple will respond to this move by Verizon and T-mobile?

If Steve Jobs were still in charge, I'd expect a righteous smackdown to come in the near future. But now with Tim Cook at the helm, that's not so certain.

VZ and T-mob seem to not understand that Apple has feelings. Unlike most corporations--who only care about the bottom line--Apple can be very spiteful when they've been crossed.

Apple has taken "revenge" on manufacturing partners and suppliers. These are companies that actually enable iphone sales because said phones must run on some network. Turning away from Verizon especially would anger a lot of shareholders. They've been a significant help in iphone growth, and they provide a much needed alternative to AT&T (I've always hated them). I expect the iphone will eventually reach T-mobile if they are not taken over. Having over a million phones on an unsupported network is just incredible. There has to be more sales potential there.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by am8449 View Post

I wonder how Apple will respond to this move by Verizon and T-mobile?

If Steve Jobs were still in charge, I'd expect a righteous smackdown to come in the near future. But now with Tim Cook at the helm, that's not so certain.

VZ and T-mob seem to not understand that Apple has feelings. Unlike most corporations--who only care about the bottom line--Apple can be very spiteful when they've been crossed.

Tim Cook has all the leeway in the world to dictate terms for Apple. I see no reason for him to not continue with the Jobs legacy of smackdown-ism.

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