I'd say that the variation in smart phones is no better or worse than the flips. I know that motorola had jillions of design patents in the early microtac days. But eventually, they all pretty much were aggregating to a similar size and formfactor. If we compare a samsung epic 4g to an iphone, they are really quite different. I"m not sure why that one and other keyboard slider phones are specifically named. It is certainly true that one flip phone looked like another and from five feet, you had zero chance of differentiating a sanyo from a samsung from a motorola. They generally all looked the same with rounded edges. The phones came in different colors but then again, the backs of the iphone looks quite different from most Android phones. I do look forward to what Apple will do next. Will their iphone 5 look like an Samsung S3? I know that all of the current iphone owners that I know hope so!
On the contrary Bert, before smartphones, we saw all manner of cell phones in a huge variety of very creative sizes, styles, colors and features. Some flipped open vertically, some flipped open horizontally, some swiveled open and some didn't open at all. Screen sizes varied widely, keypads and/or keyboards too, some phones had interior & exterior screens, and every teenager had to express themselves with their choice of a colorful, sometimes bejeweled and often artistic "skin" for their phone.
Back then, a cell phone truly was a fashion statement and almost no two looked alike.
But something changed in the smartphone era, and a big part of that "something" is that every phone must be a boring rectangle and come in either black or white.
In many ways, I miss those old days when phones were colorful and crazy and every manufacturer had different designs and different ideas about how the thing should look and work.
Good article, (because?) I concur.
I'd like to know this: can anyone easily tell apart any number of cell phones that aren't strictly "smart phones"? Before smart phones became the must-have fashion statement, didn't we see all manner of silver or black, flip or no-flip phones around? That only the most diehard fanatic could tell apart from, say, six feet away?
Yet I don't remember any lawsuits that caused anywhere close to the media feeding frenzy this one has created.
There's a point at which form has to follow function. Imagine if these cell phone companies had previously gone ballistic when another company "copied" the button shape or the layout of the keypad.
As 2G cell phones evolved into smart phones, I find it hard to believe that the smart phone solutions wouldn't follow the same design path as every other innovation has done for all time. Pretty much everyone converges on the new form. It has always been thus. Just because the "Apple" name is involved now, it turns into some sort of religious war. Come now.
Reguardless of being right, Apple has now brought attention to itself as trying to enforce a smart phone monopoly. There are all kinds of lawyers just salivating over the chance to bring charges against Apple for preditory business practices.
In the end, I think Apple will have wished that they lost this one. They are already losing the free market war and bringing attention to their destruction of US centric jobs.
Once you get on top, everyone wants to knock you off. Apple is now public enemy No. 1.
Just my opinion.
the current IP ponzi scheme has many proponents, like the jury foreman and Rick. that doesn't mean it's not blatantly immoral and due for revolution-level reform. patents are supposed to promote progress: that means putting better products in consumer hands.
it's merely insulting to claim that Apple has been deprived of profits they deserve.
A great perspective as usual Bolaji. I'm not sure that I fully agree that this might come back to bit Apple (no pun intended). But I do agree that some consumers have come to view Apple as a bully for this case and other issues. However, members of the Apple cult are still waving the flag. Apple's diehard fanbase will continue to sustain it, even if others have changed their opinion of the company.
It will be interesting to see what effect the verdict has on Apple and Samsung sales. IMO, a "cool" company doesn't need to sue anyone. After all, who cares if someone copies last year's model when this year's model will make it obsolete? That, of course, assumes that Apple has a bunch of "cool" ideas in the pipeline that will make the current models obsolete. IMO the most important Apple advance lately has been the "retina display" made by... Samsung and LG, both Android phone makers.
Samsung is well known for its TVs and leads Apple world-wide in smart phone shipments. This verdict probably increases Samsung name recognition, which could end up being a good thing provided that Apple is not able get injunctions on all Samsung phones.
KVRR, Thanks for catching that error. It's not Apple or Samsung that "could adopt Microsoft's" Windows operating system but rivals who currently use Google Android, including HTC. Of course, Samsung could too but I believe the company either already has Windows OS devices or is getting ready to launch them.
"Apple could also adopt the Windows mobile operating system, as Microsoft marketing executive Bill Cox tweeted after the Apple-Samsung verdict was announced."
Shouldn't it be SAMSUNG that might adopt Windows mobile operating system and NOT Apple?
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.