iPhone assembly rumored begun; Apple faces touchscreen lawsuit

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Two separate rumors have Apple ramping up production of its 2009 iPhones, including possible new hardware details. However, the company may have hit a snag as a Taiwanese firm has sued it for allegedly violating a patent for touchscreen input.



2009 iPhone production underway?



If two reports are accurate, Apple is on the verge of producing its updated iPhone range that most anticipate will show at June's Worldwide Developers' Conference.



Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper on Wednesday cited "component suppliers" who said that local companies have started shipping parts needed to assemble new iPhones. While the publication didn't say what these parts were, its assertion quickly follows a report from DigiTimes which indicated that an American firm, OmniVision, had won an order to ship 3.2-megapixel cameras to Apple for the handsets, indicating that production partly hinges on other countries as well.



Strangely, the sources also claimed that as many as 3 million "old and new" iPhones would ship in the quarter after the new cell phone's introduction. Apple typically ceases production of old models of any product when it starts up new production and usually has enough goods in the supply channel to continue sales until a new model is released.



A different analyst report, however, paints a different picture. Kaufman Bros. researcher Shaw Wu claimed the same day to have heard that Apple will build between 5 million and 6 million all-new iPhones during the summer, or a significant step up from spring estimates.



He also purported to have details of the new models themselves, and suggested that two will exist: one would supposedly have a longer-lived battery and a faster processor, while another would be a basic iPhone meant to appeal on cost. Additionally, he maintained that AT&T is considering tiered data plans that would let customers scale back their service to bring down the minimum subscription from its current $70 per month.



While these production numbers are more consistent with Apple's recent sales performance, recent analyst reports from Wu have had a very mixed track record. Earlier this year, one investors' note inaccurately posited that Apple would introduce both dual- and quad-core iMacs with its next update, though he has occasionally proved more accurate than others in some instances.



Apple slapped with lawsuit over touchscreen tech



Whatever Apple's production plans, the company will have to clear a legal hurdle from Taiwan semiconductor firm Elan Microelectronics. The latter is suing Apple for allegedly infringing on touchscreen patents.



The iPhone, iPod touch and even the MacBook line are using finger positioning technology that Elan had already developed, according to the complaint. The southeast Asian company has already won a related lawsuit against Synaptics, which is best-known for making trackpads as well as earlier forms of the conventional iPod's scroll wheel.



No specific damage claims have been specified in the lawsuit. Likewise, it's also unknown whether Apple can resort to the prior art of earlier trackpads or its existing touchscreen patents to support its case.



Neither of the involved parties has offered to comment.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    Hm, this company seems to be a bit confused: http://www.emc.com.tw/eng/news_1_1.asp?id=70 says the technologies are different, now they are not?



    I see Apple continuing the current 3G model at a lower price point, it still beats everything else on the market and selling it for maybe 99 bucks with a reasonable, tiered data plan would make it a pretty hot item and put the competition under severe pressure. This would also be good news for the new model ? if it is good enough to be positioned against the 3G at a lower price, then it must be a hell of an update
  • Reply 2 of 30
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    I see Apple continuing the current 3G model ....and selling it for maybe 99 bucks



    WOW, I can't wait 'til June!!! I wonder what else is in store.. OH YES: SNOW LEOPARD!!
  • Reply 3 of 30
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    If you look at what Apple did with the iPod - releasing a second model (the mini) and then eventually expanding it to four models - I can see them following this same pattern with the iPhone, given the similarities. Heck, the iPhone even has a biracial brother - the iPod touch.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CU10 View Post


    WOW, I can't wait 'til June!!! I wonder what else is in store.. OH YES: SNOW LEOPARD!!



    Is there any evidence to suggest that the next iPhone OS X will be Snow Leopard-based? I would have thought that would be the case, but I've read nothing about the Betas being as such.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    If you look at what Apple did with the iPod - releasing a second model (the mini) and then eventually expanding it to four models - I can see them following this same pattern with the iPhone, given the similarities. Heck, the iPhone even has a biracial brother - the iPod touch.



    Except the iPod UI scales pretty readily to smaller displays, whereas the iPhone UI doesn't, so I would expect cheaper models to keep the same form factor and just be somewhat less capable.



    I could see Apple marketing more or less the existing iPhone at $99, maybe in colors for the "fun and cheap" factor, hopefully offered with a cheaper data plan from AT&T.



    That would be a potent market share driver, when a phone as good as the current iPhone (running the new OS) becomes your "commodity" offering and you're free to offer better models, at the current price points.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    doroteadorotea Posts: 323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Apple slapped with lawsuit over touchscreen tech



    Whatever Apple's production plans, the company will have to clear a legal hurdle from Taiwan semiconductor firm Elan Microelectronics. The latter is suing Apple for allegedly infringing on touchscreen patents.



    This article is unclear. Why does Apple have to clear a legal hurdle? Do they have to clear the hurdle before a new iPhone/iPod touch goes into production? Please clarify.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    perhaps Apple will take the minimalist approach and create an iPhone shuffle, with one controler on the end of the earpods.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post


    This article is unclear. Why does Apple have to clear a legal hurdle? Do they have to clear the hurdle before a new iPhone/iPod touch goes into production? Please clarify.



    I think they're just sort of throwing several recent news items into proximity, and making it sound like one hinges on the other.



    There's no chance in hell that this lawsuit is going to delay the release of the new iPhone.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    fabricefabrice Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post


    perhaps Apple will take the minimalist approach and create an iPhone shuffle, with one controler on the end of the earpods.



    Yeah, I see what you mean... One wich called a random number from your address book... :P
  • Reply 10 of 30
    goochergoocher Posts: 92member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I think they're just sort of throwing several recent news items into proximity, and making it sound like one hinges on the other.



    There's no chance in hell that this lawsuit is going to delay the release of the new iPhone.



    Agreed. They won't stop production.



    ("There is panic in the streets as yet another plaintiff sues Apple over somesuch technology!" I don't think so.)
  • Reply 11 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    OK, mark your calendars. Every time Shaw Wu makes a claim, I want it noted and tracked to expose him as the huckster he has shown himself to be.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    OK, mark your calendars. Every time Shaw Wu makes a claim, I want it noted and tracked to expose him as the huckster he has shown himself to be.



    I second this motion! Shaw Wu is a joke.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    jcatma61jcatma61 Posts: 37member
    YES. New product class. Watch this follow the iPod's product plans.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    I am not sure that the Taiwanese company "won" against Synaptics. According to the New York Times today:



    "Elan said it won a preliminary court injunction against a U.S.-based rival, Synaptics, in a dispute over one of the patents mentioned in the Apple lawsuit, after a suit was filed in 2006 by a unit that was a subsidiary at the time. Synaptics countersued.



    Both actions were dismissed last year after the two companies reached a cross-licensing agreement, according to a statement on Elan?s Web site."




    Perhaps a lawyer in the audience can deconstruct this for us?
  • Reply 15 of 30
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    I can see current iPhone 3G being changed slightly (perhaps different colors) and remain with same price points, while the new iPhone Pro or HD or video, will be little bit more.



    I just can't see iPhone cheaper than iPod Nano, just not happening.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I think they're just sort of throwing several recent news items into proximity, and making it sound like one hinges on the other.



    There's no chance in hell that this lawsuit is going to delay the release of the new iPhone.



    I see no dependence either.



    The lawsuit does look legitimate though. I'm not saying the claim is valid or not (I have no idea), but it's definitely not spurious like most of the crap we've been seeing.



    They didn't file in Texas, for one thing. Also, this is a real company that makes real products, not some lawyer's IP shop.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    Hm, this company seems to be a bit confused: http://www.emc.com.tw/eng/news_1_1.asp?id=70 says the technologies are different, now they are not?



    Thanks for pointing this out. Reading the article makes me think that ELAN might be suing as a way to get a cross-licensing agreement with Apple. ELAN is so defensive in its press release that it makes me think they might be worried. Of course it's totally just a guess on my part.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    jonnybjonnyb Posts: 64member
    'iPhone assembly rumored begun'?



    'English grammar rumored mangled'
  • Reply 19 of 30
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    @ Solipsism



    Most of the changes in Snow Leopard are multi-core focused, eg. blocks, Grand Central. They are focused not on features that the iPhone would benefit from.



    Thus Apple didn't add any Snow Leopard features in.



    You speak of OS's like they are worlds apart, and must be treated differently. In OS development, however, Apple can pick and choose any features to bring across, and any features it doesn't want to.



    In this case Apple brought nothing from Snow Leopard at this time. When multi-cored ARM processors arrive, however, they might.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post


    Yeah, I see what you mean... One wich called a random number from your address book... :P



    One click to select the menu

    Two clicks plus a long hold to get hte ipod to read out all contacts, and then press the button three times to dial

    You will have to use the button to recreate a version of Macarena to tell it to hang up
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