Fear & Envy Drive iPad Competitors

| Editorial

This is a crucial time during which Apple’s competitors are seeking to carve out the legal territory so they can seize a piece of Apple’s iPad action. The future of personal computing is at stake, and Apple is determined to learn from the lessons of the past.

If there were any questions about the importance of the Apple iPad in the future of, dare I use the term, personal computing, they’ve long since been put to rest. Apple figured out what the PC industry refused to admit because they were mired in Windows. Namely, no mere mortal needs 40 millions lines of code, print drivers, DVD burning software, APIs to support every known Windows app and business network interfaces in order to send a tweet or browse the Internet.

It has been just like the early days of what we call personal computing. Everyone who could develop software was coming out of the woodwork in the 1980s, trying to carve out a niche. And then, one day, it dawned on Microsoft: the key software items were the spreadsheet (first seen as VisiCalc on the Apple II), the word processor, one of the very first apps to ever appear on PCs of the 1970s, and the business presentation software, implemented as Powerpoint. Once this triumvirate crystalized in the minds of PC users, the need for and the direction of the PC was cast for the next 25 years.

Over time, however, the classic PC and Windows became bloated. The architecture, never designed to deal with massive Internet threats, started to collapse, and ordinary customers began to grow weary of viruses and the mind-numbing prospects of updating to a major new version of Windows — something far better handled by corporate IT departments. Unfortunately, everything we saw as wrong with Windows could not be dealt with by Apple’s Mac OS X. As Steve Jobs said, the GUI wars were over, Microsoft won, time to move on to the next big thing. (But no one heeded Mr. Jobs’s statement of direction.) It would require a whole new way of life and a keen focus on just exactly what people really do with their computers. Apple found it first because no one else was looking.

head in the sand

Windows forever!

Stunned by the development of the iPad, the competition is now realizing that Apple is the new Microsoft, but there’s no room for them at the table. Apple owns the hardware, and it’s great hardware, and it isn’t licensing out iOS. The fear is that the very future of computing for the next 20 years stands before us, and no one else can play.

The only recourse is to litigate. Right here, right now, the stage is being set every day in the courts. Who owns what patents? Can necessary patents be purchased? Can critical patents be shown to be invalid? How far can competitors go in their quest to mimic Apple? There’s fear and envy that Apple is carving out the future for hundreds of millions of customers, maybe a few billion, and the competition has been left flatfooted, believing that Windows would live and dominate forever.

I suggest that the watching the coverage of these patent wars, independent of what you think about the wisdom of software patents, is critical. Apple lost a big time lawsuit against Microsoft in the 1990s, and that’s how Microsoft gained its foothold in the GUI wars. If Apple had prevailed back then, Microosft customers would still be using DOS version 21 — or something else. So Apple, this time around, is going to defend its creative work with every tool it has at its disposal. That’s only fit and proper.

Truth be told, before the iPhone, the best anyone could do was a Motorola RAZR or a Sidekick. Before the iPad, the best anyone could do was a classic, thickish notebook with a twisty top display, a gazillion ugly ports, Windows XP and a stylus. Driven by the envy of Apple’s different approach to success, everything that we see today in the tablet world is a copy of Apple’s intellectual property, as I see it.  The competitions’ TV ads tell the tale.

And lest we forget, when Apple first introduced the iMac in 1998, lookalikes sprouted up then as well. Eventually, Apple brought a stop to all that. It never ends.

I wish Apple all the best in these patent wars. Despite the fuss, despite those who dislike Apple, despite patent shenanigans, and despite those who want to stand on the shoulders of Apple’s work, the company deserves to benefit, and solely benefit, from its groundbreaking work.

___________

Image credit: iStockphoto

Comments

Nemo

John:  Well said.  The only thing that assuages the fear and envy of Apple’s competitors in the markets for smartphones, tablet computers, and future smart devices is a healthy dose of infringing on Apple’s IP with impunity.  But Apple isn’t having that:  There will be no unpunished infringement of Apple’s IP, for Apple will avail itself of every remedy that is available at law and in equity to stop the theft and unlicensed use of its intellectual property.

And so will other companies, evidence the vigorous IP enforcement actions of Oracle and Microsoft.

Google and its minions shall receive their just deserts for being evil.

geoduck

I find it funny is that while the other hardware companies have realized that the future belongs to mobile and tablets, Microsoft believes the way to take over the market is to export all the drawbacks and problems of Windows onto tablets, e.g. Windows 8.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Great article John. It reminds me of your strong sentiments about IP when Apple went on for months shipping its wildly popular iPhones and iPads without licensing Nokia’s 3G patents.

RonMacGuy

Wow, that picture really reminds me of someone…

mhikl

Yup. What traffic Apple has left for others at the Apple table is the nefarious scramble to the patent courts and I hope Apple is well protected such that any bite at them Apples will have the intended effect recorded in an appropriate fairy tale.  And that eMachine, no need for a second look at that ugly sister, with her storm trooper boots. No one went looking for who lost that slipper.

Now I agree. Apple has invented and developed the pad line so well, that this game is behind locked glass doors. (Ye can peek but do not grab and steal.) However, if your and my dreams come true . . .

The pad form is a no-no, John, but the riff-raff still has a chance at properly designing a tablet. Bill Gates says he invented the tablet, and has taken ownership so I suspect it is still open to all. He?s a very fair dude, I?m sure. But if not, Google would let not one sorry scruple get in its way to designing the guts to a tablet.

So what is a MicroSoft or Google Tablet and what do we have to look forwards to from these delightful temptresses?

The Bargain Bin Tablet would include some or probably all of the following:

1. A full fledged computer Windows OS (or Android OS)
2. Full fledged MicroSoft Office suite (or Chrome suite)
3. Stylus and Voice input
4. A retractible keyboard
5. Four inches thick
6. Weighted in pounds
7. Oodles of input and output opportunities
8. R/W DVD player, possibly a cassette player
9. Brief case style handle
10. Beige coloured.
11. Removable batteries
12. A retractible thirty food extension cord
13. A self-feeding laser printer drawer
14. A phone handle
15. A six-thumb mouse

Entry level price, $498.

Try and beat that, Apple.

Remember, ignore trolls.

Nemo

Bosco:  You are giving a misleading view of the dispute between Nokia and Apple.  The dispute arose when Nokia insisted, as a condition for Apple’s licensing of its FRAND patents, which are patents that Nokia was and is obliged to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, that Apple either cross-license its critical mobile IP or pay a prohibitively and definitely discriminatory royalty for those FRAND patents.  Apple would not accept those unreasonable, unfair, and discriminatory demands; Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement, later adding certain non-FRAND patents to that suit; and the parties eventually settled that suit in a confidential settlement, the terms of which no one beyond certain of the parties’ lawyers and certain of the parties’ senior executives know.

However, there were some subsequent reports, based on who knows what, that Nokia have achieve some great victory by obtaining cross-licensing of Apple’s critical IP and a huge payment.  Apple immediately respond in a public statement that it had not cross-licensed any IP to Nokia that gave its any of its iOS-based devices or any of its devices their competitive advantage.  As for the financial terms of the settlement, whatever they are, there is nothing to suggest that Apple paid any more that what it would have paid had Nokia property offered FRAND terms for its FRAND patents.

All that we know for certain about the settlement is the parties’ join statement that they agreed to not to further sue on the circumstances, occurrences and IP that gave rise to and that were at issue in the lawsuit; that there was some cross-licensing of IP; and that there was a settlement payment of an undisclosed amount from Apple to Nokia, and Apple’s statement that it did not cross-license to Nokia any of its IP that gives its devices their competitive advantage in the market.

I think that the foregoing is what you meant to say, Bosco.

mhikl

Be strong, Ron. Be strong.

geoduck

Nemo:
FWIW I sent you a TMO private message.

mhikl

I sent prayers, geoduck.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If Apple and its supporters really believed in the primacy of IP, they would have sued Nokia over the right to FRAND terms and settled the disagreement before shipping products containing Nokia IP. I think it’s just fine to root for Apple in these legal scuffles because you like Apple or for business reasons or whatever. But the self-righteousness is laughable.

And goeduck sent you a TMO private message about not replying to me. One ideology. No dissent.

daemon

All that we know for certain about the settlement is the parties? join statement that they agreed to not to further sue on the circumstances, occurrences and IP that gave rise to and that were at issue in the lawsuit; that there was some cross-licensing of IP; and that there was a settlement payment of an undisclosed amount from Apple to Nokia, and Apple?s statement that it did not cross-license any its IP that gives its devices their competitive advantage in the market.

Yes…. yet Apple still lost:

http://technologizer.com/2009/12/11/apple-sues-nokia-whos-next/

Remember when all this was going down? Man good times.

Nemo

Bosco:  The law didn’t require Apple to sue first, so why Apple’s responding to Nokia’s suit evidences some disrespect for IP rights escapes me.  Apple was obliged by neither law or morality to seek a settlement with Nokia prior to launching its devices, when it was allegedly Nokia that failed to offer FRAND terms for its FRAND patents. 

Under the principles of the law of contract, the party that first engages in a material breach of the contract, which is what Nokia did by not offering FRAND terms, relieves the other party of its obligation to perform under the contract, that is, Nokia’s breach relieved Apple’s of its obligation to pay any royalties whatsoever.  Had Apple and Nokia not settled the suit, Nokia might well have received no payment at all, if the court found that it had failed to offer FRAND terms.  So, if Apple payments to Nokia amounted to nothing more that back payment for licensing according to FRAND terms, Nokia may have received more than it was entitled to, which it only got because Apple wanted to get this sideshow out of the way as it moved to enforce its IP against the Android OEMs.  But we will probably never know, because the settlement was confidential.

mhikl

There is no god.

Nemo

Dear daemon:  You comment is even more confusing, having read your citation, I don’t understand how it even argues, much less establishes, that Apple suffered any loss.  Apple and Nokia settled, and Apple is not defending its IP rights against certain Android OEMs, which Apple alleges have infringed its IP.

So how is any of that a loss for Apple?

webjprgm

Some patents should be cross-licensed, like the misc technology patents in the Apple-v-Nokia dispute that has been covered quite well in the above comments.  The bigger question is: should Apple have sole ownership of pad/tablet market or should there be competition?

Competition is good for the market. It drives down prices for the consumer, and it forces continued innovation.  That’s +1 for allowing copies.  But copying innovation removes the benefit from innovating, destroying the effectiveness of using innovation to compete.  That’s -1 for allowing copies.  Theoretically, competitors should do one of two things: 1) innovate to create a competing product that is not a copy, or 2) license the necessary technologies so that the innovator benefits but there is still competition.

Microsoft is taking approach #1. Their Windows phone is not a direct copy of iOS, and their Windows 8 operating system is an extension of Windows that adds in their own ideas for a tablet form factor. (Whether this is a good plan or not remains to be seen, but most at TMO seam to think it will fail horribly.)

Samsung, however, is doing #2, except that they are currently battling to not pay the licensing fees.  This might be in part because Apple is unwilling to license certain iOS technologies that give them a competitive advantage.  I think Samsung should be forced to pay, but does that mean Apple should also be forced to license? Or is Apple fully willing to license and Samsung unwilling to pay? Or is Samsung fully willing to pay and Apple fully willing to license, but Samsung wants to see how much it can get away with first to pay the least possible amount on the fewest possible patents?

skipaq

Once again John, you have got it right. The realization of what is taking place has just begun to sink in. Things are a changin and the wind driving that change is coming out of Cupertino.

By the way, has not anyone taken note of the change made to patent law? This had the backing of Google, Apple, Microsoft? First filing by date? IP properties are likely to become more important and more numerous.

mhikl

Microsoft is taking approach #1. Their Windows phone is not a direct copy of iOS, and their Windows 8 operating system is an extension of Windows that adds in their own ideas for a tablet form factor. (Whether this is a good plan or not remains to be seen, but most at TMO seam to think it will fail horribly.)

webjprgm, from what I can remember from this site, there has been none or at least very few negatives about Microsofts forays into this phone of theirs. I can remember some congratulating MS. I, as one, wish them goodwill.

I may love my apples, but I respect fair play and that is what MS is showing. And the fair play of most TMO members is why I respect this site so.

John Martellaro

mihkl:  Microsoft’s share of the mobile phone business is on a serious decline:

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple_google_samsung_all_show_gains_in_u.s._mobile_market/

skipaq

John, do you expect that to continue? More to the point though is the future of tablet OS decisions. Without HP and webOS, unless someone buys this technology; could not Microsoft make gains by default? Or is Microsoft forever trapped in their two decades old technology and thinking?

Microsoft has been making IP patent deals with Android OEMs. Is that the sum total of their plan? Cripes! Die now and get it over with.

It just seems that in mobile computing (which is going to have dramatic implications on the desktop) Apple will be a strong player. Google will be a strong player (with or without all its’ current OEMs) if it stops tripping over its’s own feet. I’m still hoping for a third.

John Martellaro

skipaq: my bet was on HP. But they’re not the company I thought they were. If HP can’t compete with the iPad, then it’s left for Amazon to pick up the crumbs with a buy-it/read-it tablet. Bryan Chaffin thinks Microsoft will get it together in 2012.  I think that’s too late.

It’s slowly sinking in that Apple will dominate the tablet market for 20 years, and everyone else is, basically, helpless to compete.

mhikl

Microsoft?s share of the mobile phone business is on a serious decline:

I know, and I should probably rejoice.* But they are working on something and you never know what might turn up, even against the odds. Apple beat the odds and that should give any enterprise some thread of hope.+ And that something is not just to copy another. My old granny used to say, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

* I remember how our school’s Mac lab, the best in the northern half of BC, was torn down by a M$ blind visionary.
+ Well, yes. There should be some reasoning going on at the old enterprise and we haven’t seen much evidence at that ranch for many moons.

And just to point out so it is understood, I believe that Apple will succeed as well in the iPad dept as it did with iPods. I just don’t like to kick an old horse when its down.

RonMacGuy

Be strong, Ron. Be strong.

My strength has failed of late. I have gotten sucked in once again to the chaos. Oh well, I can’t resist a good debate!!

But, the picture is perfect, as I once used that exact analogy when all the quarterly good news about Apple’s financial performance was being announced and certain someones were in hiding, waiting for the “bad news” to arise again.

N8nnc

Best photo of the week!

I think Apple is poised to be the AT&T, Standard Oil, Railroad barons, etc. all rolled into one for the 21st century (but global, not just USA)

Nemo

Re-Edit: Not Your Nemo noted below that he wasn’t trying to spoof member-Nemo’s identity, which had been my assumption. This is the first time an unregistered user has chosen an existing member’s name when it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to spoof or mock that member, and the upside is that we’re going to put in a check to keep this from happening in the future.

In the meanwhile, I had kept the original post tucked away and re-added it in the quote below.

My apologies to Not Your Nemo for the series of conditions that led me to assume his post was nefarious in nature (same name as an outspoken member, markedly different opinion being expressed).

Bryan

I think John’s comments are interesting but I sense a lost point. Intellectual property law does not protect the look and feel of a computer. In other words, Xerox invented the mouse and GUI, Apple and Microsoft borrowed from Xerox’s direction. No infringement.

So, others today borrow from Apple’s iPad which Apple borrowed from others such as IBM and who know whom. Again, no ingringement.

Mhikl’s description of a possible example of a Microsoft machine is humour, of course, but don’t believe that had the state of knowledge been as Mhikl describes, everyone, too, would be seeking to make their own version.

To believe, in law, one is stealing because one’s output looks the same as another, is not correct. The question is how that output is created. There is more than one way to skin an apple.

mhikl

My strength has failed of late.

Ron, please join B Anonymous. I am a chartered member. When the urge of the bottle heads becomes too annoying, I’ll be there. There is help. There is hope. We number in digits but we are strong.

Lee Dronick

Ron, please join B Anonymous. I am a chartered member. When the urge of the bottle heads becomes too annoying, I?ll be there. There is help. There is hope. We number in digits but we are strong.

Do you have to believe in a “hire” power?

I am not sure that it is envy that drives the competition, but that they want a piece of the pie. Well fear could enter that if they think that they will not be getting any pie. A smart competitor would be thinking of and devloping the next great thing instead skating to where puck was.

wab95

John:

Very well argued, and summarised.

I would extend that argument further to say that it was not only that Apple got there first because no one else was looking, rather it was all there for everyone to see, but only Apple had the imagination to understand its significance and the vision to create what no one else could conceive - a new data management architecture and the tools to make it work. The iPad works so well not merely because of its brilliance in form and function, but because it is not a stand-alone device.

Apple, like a chess grand master, built up the centre of the board with all the components of that system, including music management, a device to play it on and an online store, an iOS built from OS X, a smartphone, and an app store; such that when it introduced the iPad, it was an unstoppable force.

If the iPad were simply a tablet with first-mover advantage, it would be a curiosity, a fascinoma, a must-have toy, and in all probability, a short-lived dominant player to be overtaken by the competition in an all-out spec war (which was attempted). Instead, the iPad is the lynchpin to a new paradigm of personal computing and digital management. Stand-alone devices, however spec’d, stand no real chance because they represent little more than an expensive new toy in a bad economy. They take the consumer nowhere.

Apple’s ecosystem makes the case for the iPad; hence it sells beyond all expectations, because it is not just the sale of a device, but the mass migration of people to a new computing paradigm.

A note of caution, however, is warranted. The masses of humanity, 90% of whom do not reside in the US or Europe, still reside in the PC era. Their leaders of thought and trend still adhere to a Window-centric universe, and therefore act as a powerful buffer, if not a brake, against change. One of two things can happen:

1) The masses can be drawn into the PC-centric universe as they gradually acquire wealth, in which case it remains the dominant computing paradigm, or

2) As with the mobile phone vs landlines, the masses leap-frog an entire era and go from pencils to iPads (tablets) in a single step; and contribute to runaway migration into the post-PC era.

I further argue that which of these two choices are made depends largely on what happens in the smartphone space, and that this is why Apple are so keen to maximise exposure to the iOS in emerging markets. It is not simply about the profits; it is about the future of computing.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If the iPad were simply a tablet with first-mover advantage, it would be a curiosity, a fascinoma, a must-have toy, and in all probability, a short-lived dominant player to be overtaken by the competition in an all-out spec war (which was attempted). Instead, the iPad is the lynchpin to a new paradigm of personal computing and digital management. Stand-alone devices, however spec?d, stand no real chance because they represent little more than an expensive new toy in a bad economy. They take the consumer nowhere.

It seems to me that if this is true, then there is no need for Apple to sue everyone. The whole widget model will simply trump everything else and make all competing efforts fruitless (no pun intended). However, take music. Probably the biggest surprise to me when I switched from iPhone to Android was that I didn’t actually need iTunes to manage my music collection or podcasts. The phone as that stand-alone device does just fine, especially when paired with a 32 GB uSD card. Lately, I’ve discovered that Amazon cloud is really convenient for new purchases.

I suspect that because things aren’t totally integrated into a whole widget vacuum cleaner attached to my debit card on the Android side, there will be a lot more incremental innovation on all the key features coming from a variety of parties. As someone who regularly dropped over $100/month at iTunes Store, I like what’s available to me now much better.

Paul Goodwin

If Apple stays focused and innovative, they will dominate as long as they have more cash to pay the lawyers than the other guys. And this will work as long as Apple’s management pushes the lawyers to be successful. The competition will come from someone with very deep pockets, that is obsessed with winning, and that is willing to run at a loss with a just-good-enough product for as long as it takes to displace other competitors with better products but don’t have the cash to fight an extended battle. I don’t know who that is. It wasn’t HP. What consortium of partners is going to sacrifice their stock performance bonuses and take the risk???

skipaq

Having a choice is a good thing. This has been said many times over by many people on these forums. Having a choice within a platform, Android, is also a good thing for many. Having a choice of platforms is a good thing. Apple offers somethings that many consumers, including me, like and prefer. This isn’t a zero sum game.

The other thing is that choice is good for Apple and Google as well as any others seeking to offer solutions to consumers. It would be a disaster for Apple should they ever become the only one left standing. The same would be true for Google. Running the risk of the anti-trust laws breaking up a company could destroy it. That danger is probably greater for Apple because they make the whole widget and sell content.

What would happen to Apple if they were forced to separate their software division from the hardware? No, Apple needs Android and even better a third competitor. It keeps them at the bleeding edge of development. It keeps the government away from regulating them. It allows the market to provide the choices we have and enjoy.

One more thing it provides. We get to spout off as to why our choice is better and their choice is dung. I tried Amazon’s music offerings this year and it is a kludge of a system at best.

wab95

It seems to me that if this is true, then there is no need for Apple to sue everyone. The whole widget model will simply trump everything else and make all competing efforts fruitless (no pun intended).


Bosco, you raise an important point and, in so doing, you’ve put your finger squarely on the flash-point (sorry, no pun intended - congratulations BTW on flash coming to the iPad - but back to topic) of this pending IP firefight.

John argues above, and I have argued previously, that Apple, who were so thoroughly pummelled and left for dead during the PC wars, have learnt their lessons. That thrashing occurred at the hands of MS using Apple’s own IP. It is one thing to be beaten fairly and squarely by the competition, and yet another when the competition beats you using your own work, even if it is a cheaper knock-off. 

Furthermore, thanks to the Mac Clone Wars, Apple knows the impact on its bottom line and income for R&D when it loses market share, however small. If someone else provides your product or a derivation of your product, their gains are at your expense, and inevitably, there is a limit as to how long you can sustain such loss. The effect on your R&D, in a tightly competitive field, is likely to felt very early on.

John is right to point out, above, that had Apple better prepared itself to protect its IP back in 80s, PCs would still be doing the DOS boot. While we cannot say with certainty what that alternative universe would look like, it is safe to say, based on observed consumer behaviour, that it would look differently than the world of today, and MS would likely never have had the outsized market share in both the enterprise and consumer spaces that it now has.

Apple have said, ‘never again’, and they mean it. This is not the same company of the 1980s, but one that is battle-hardened and bristling with the motivation, the means and the money to defend its IP to the ends of the earth and on multiple fronts.

I for one, want to see competition, but healthy competition, which I define as the clash of originality. Let Samsung either find its own voice, or get out of the game.

Anyway, duty calls; I’ve been sufficiently interrupted that coherence in my train of thought is probably compromised, but hopefully not so much that you fail to get my point.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

John argues above, and I have argued previously, that Apple, who were so thoroughly pummelled and left for dead during the PC wars, have learnt their lessons. That thrashing occurred at the hands of MS using Apple?s own IP.

They learned and are applying one lesson. But, in retrospect, the courts said that Apple didn’t actually have the look and feel IP they claimed grin.

The lesson that perhaps Apple will learn this time is that the dictatorial, whole widget model leaves lots of room for disorganized, loosely knit competition to come in and sweep up customers who just want some choice. See, that’s what made me abandon Apple mobile products, look elsewhere, and find something I like a lot better. I don’t do all my B&M shopping at Costco. I don’t want to buy all my movies, music, and software through Apple. It’s really that simple.

As for your experience with Amazon MP3, I assume it wasn’t on your iPhone. Apple restricts what Amazon can do there. On an Android phone, you get Amazon MP3 from the Android Market (Google has no problem with it, even from a company that everyone thinks is “forking” Android). Music gets downloaded and is instantly available to play in Google’s Music player, without any extra importing or syncing drama, without having to go through a PC, and most importantly, without having to pay Apple.

Apple has made its own enemy again this time, in a very predictable image. It could very easily have provided all the openness within the confines of the OS that Android provides, and then really only had to deal with a competitor that licensed its OS (like Microsoft). These IP skirmishes have no moral component, save for a marketing angle. They are just the venue Apple is using to try to defend a model that the broader mobile market (consumers, carriers, developers, handset makers etc.) does not like and will not accept as more than a niche.

wab95

Probably the biggest surprise to me when I switched from iPhone to Android was that I didn?t actually need iTunes to manage my music collection or podcasts. The phone as that stand-alone device does just fine, especially when paired with a 32 GB uSD card. Lately, I?ve discovered that Amazon cloud is really convenient for new purchases.


I meant to comment on this point as well, Bosco, but as I mentioned above, I am a bit distracted.

Your quote illustrates something of note that I want to highlight. You are obviously an intelligent fellow, and more tech-savvy than the average tech consumer, as are most of the people who post here at TMO (the fact that they take time to post and comment sets them apart). It is therefore not surprising at all that you should be able to thread your way through the tech world and, eclectically cobble together solutions that work for you. Most people cannot, nor is that the target audience for final product role out for most companies, but especially Apple. Not now.

You, and others here, represent a minority of the user community; an influential minority to a point, but a minority nonetheless and thus by definition, not the primary target of this new generation of mobile products. These companies want the early adopters to both see, and more importantly, communicate the appeal of their products, but they want those products to user ready and distinguishable (if they are innovators) from the chaff in the backdrop.

The relevance here is that the objective of these IP showdowns, at least in my view, is to ensure not only property protection, but also distinction, for that less tech-savvy majority who might otherwise not be able to distinguish the merits of superficially similar appearing products.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

You, and others here, represent a minority of the user community; an influential minority to a point, but a minority nonetheless and thus by definition, not the primary target of this new generation of mobile products.

I disagree with that. Most of my friends and family are not tech-nerds. Even the ones who think they are really aren’t. It takes effort and time to go deep into this tech crap and really get a feel for what’s up. Many of my friends are perpetual novices when it comes to computing and technology. Two, in fact, just bought Android phones (Incredible 2), their first smart phones. I would not have disowned them for getting iPhones, just gave them my recommendation knowing they were perpetual novices and knowing that I’d be responsible for the recommendation. I am watching them discover and learn and enjoy the process and feel competent. I am sharing a few cool things at a time. It’s fun to watch. It looks fun for them to learn. So, you know, I just don’t believe that Apple knows best or has a monopoly on ease of use or discoverable interfaces. If Apple offered choice just within its ecosystem where it denies it, I would have no trouble recommending iPhone. But if my sister had balls, she’d be unstoppable.

mhikl

If Apple stays focused. . . . The competition . . . very deep pockets . . .  obsessed with winning . . .  It wasn?t HP. What consortium of partners is going to sacrifice their stock performance bonuses and take the risk???

Paul, I have though long and hard on this. Everything change. Everything dies. At this point, however, Apple is so strong it cannot be brought down by any devious competitor or group of competitors unless Apple slips on the banana peel of its own making. With some $70B in cash and enviable Market Capitalisation, a slim line product structure that is the envy of the competition, respect of the industry and its customers, it will be difficult to be brought down by any means other than its own miss step.

I rephrased your question to, What Makes an Enterprise Succeed. I am not an economist but I like to read about the subject. These are just ramblings from all the information I have picket up from TMO and other discussions on anything Apple and lesser beasts. So here goes.

Six relevances are needed to be strong in any enterprise?s success into the future: Each relevance is equally important for long-term growth. If even one element is missing or poorly managed, the company?s future growth and relevance is not assured.

??public interest ? positive
??products ? quality, variety, differentiation
??decision making ? a clear form throughout the whole organisation, a system for final decision making
??infrastructures ? manufacturing, advertising, distribution, product supports
??capital ? short-term and longterm assets
??plan, design and innovaiton ? A clear long-term-plan and purpose of intent, constantly being reinvigorated

I decided upon these 6 points by looking at Apple and comparing this company to other companies. I decided the order of my points based upon an Apple that was in difficulty. I looked at the company in its 45 days to insolvency. What did Apple have in those 45 days that saved it from going under. Capital was difficult to place. Yes, without it, Apple would have been dead. However, all the capital in the world could only prolong the decline if any one of the other five points was not in place. So, Apple did have enough capital to keep them going 45 days and they made it. I placed public interest at the top for, in the short time, without it, no manner of dance from Steve would have saved the day. Microsoft , arguably, at one point built a better pod media player than Apple, yet without public awareness and interest, the game was over.

If Apple keeps these six relevances healthy, strong and renewed, the company is unassailable. However, that doesn?t mean that another Apple-like company can?t join in Apple-like success by understanding these relevances.

mhikl

It would be a disaster for Apple should they ever become the only one left standing.

Skipaq, I should agree with you because when competitors thrive they keep each other on their toes. But in the case of Apple, there is a difference that has taken place.

The competition would be doing no better financially had Apple never existed. There would just be more of them sharing the pie turning out competitive, disposable junk and making the same loot competing to get to the bottom first. Cheap would be king in a world without Apple. We would grumble but the dowdy ones get the attention when they’re the only game in town. (Do you remember the CD player world?) We’d buy, re-buy and buy again. But that wouldn’t be so bad because competition would drive prices down dragging quality with it. There would be more consumer cost over the longer term, but no body would understand what longer term meant without an Apple around.

Apple doesn’t need competition to do better. It is Apple’s drive to do best. Some guys are like this. Others just want to get the job done.

The world and today’s competition is better because of Apple. The competition makes less money than Apple but no less than they would in a parallel non-Apple world but at least they have learned to make products somewhat better.

The King player has changed our world more than credit is being given. There is a book in there for you to write, too, John.
—————-
This has been a waste of time, except it helps me cement my ideas.

Once the Troll and his nancies take over a good column, normal people get bored, leave and don’t come back to further discussion.

Paul Goodwin

mhiki.  I agree with all of it. I think Apple has everything it needs for quite a while. The guy with the deep pockets (capital) would have to at least mediocre in the other 5 bullets you mention. I don’t think that Wall St will have the patience to put up with the long term loss to get market share plan I was describing above. Apple may lose a percentage of market share over time, but in a growth industry that’s not necessarily bad. Sales volume and profit margin win. A nine year old nephew once blurted out to me: “Buy more. Make more. Sell more. “. Apple sure is good at it.

mhikl

mhiki.? I agree with all of it.

Namaste Paul, I don’t write to try to get anyone to agree with me but only to further discussion on further topics. I saw a lot of good in what you wrote but thought, after mulling it over, I would add me 2? worth. Anyway, I will continue this line to you on the TMO mail.
Cheers

Not your Nemo

Hello, Bryan,

I am the “Nemo” who posted the comment on your site on 9th Sept 2011 at 6:25 p.m. which you re moved. Let me explain.

A long-time member of your group asked that I read his comment about John Martellaro’s editorial on “iPad envy”. I then decided to post a comment in response to John’s editorial, which editorial is made to the public and not just your members. The options were “post a comment” and “Log-In”. As I had no account, I merely clicked on “Post a comment”. I made my comment, albeit with a grammatical error.

When posting my comments, I identified myself using a name I have used elsewhere, “Nemo”. I did not use a real email address as I do not know how secure your server is, nor did I think there was a legitimate reason to provide it.  I clicked on “Send comment”. The comment was then posted as automatically.

On 10th Sept 2011 at 7:29 p.m. you deleted my comment and wrote:

The original comment was not made by the real Nemo. We will not tolerate spoofing of people?s TMO identities.

Accordingly, I?ve made this idiot.

Bryan

I assume you meant to say that you deleted the comment.

I have never before, in my recollection, visited your site. I do not know you, or your Nemo, or any, but one, of your other members. There was never any intent to pass myself off as anyone else. I have never “spoofed” another person nor would I.

Nothing in my comments were directed at passing myself off (ironically, passing-off is a theme in John’s article) as one of your members. Indeed, you made no comment about the substance of my comments, so clearly they were not offensive in any way. The comments I posted were my own, from a lawyer’s perspective, which I am, and not in any way written to appear as your Nemo’s views.

I admit that I happened to use the same name which you now inform me is used by one of your members. “Nemo”, which is Latin for “no one”, has been used in literature for centuries. Neither you nor your Nemo have exclusive rights to that name. If you wish to adopt restrictions, as other sites have, to prevent multiple use of usernames, I invite and welcome you to do so. However, until that time, I suggest that calling someone an idiot in these circumstances is heavy handed, not to mention rude.

You have my guarantee I will never again consciously visit your web site, invited or otherwise.

Yours respectfully,

Not your Nemo.

daemon

None the less, bad form “Not your Nemo”.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

daemon, I have to disagree. Dude had no way to know posting using his regular name was “bad form”. It’s an interface shortcoming of this web site that even brings his post and identity into question. For shame.

Looking back through the email notifications, Other Nemo’s post was really damned thoughtful. So I’ll quote it here:

I think John’s comments are interesting but I sense a lost point.
Intellectual property law does not protect the look and feel of a computer. In other words, Xerox invented the mouse and GUI, Apple and Microsoft borrowed from Xerox’s direction. No infringement.

So, others today borrow from Apple’s iPad which Apple borrowed from others such as IBM and who know whom. Again, no ingringement.

Mhikl’s description of a possible example of a Microsoft machine is humour, of course, but don’t believe that had the state of knowledge been as Mhikl describes, everyone, too, would be seeking to make their own version.

To believe, in law, one is stealing because one’s output looks the same as another, is not correct. The question is how that output is created. There is more than one way to skin an apple.

Nemo

Bosco:  Now, the counterfeit “Nemo” knows that at least on the website the username Nemo is taken.  However, he might have surmised that fact by simply noting that the first comment, my comment, used that username.  But I don’t believe that spurious Nemo’s use of my username was innocent.  I doubt that counterfeit Nemo just happened to also use my username elsewhere, so he decided to use it here as well.  I find it to be too convenient a story and too much of a coincidence.  My view is that it is much more likely that counterfeit Nemo is a liar, who intentionally used my username in an effort confuse our interlocutors, borrow and diminish my credibility, and confuse and diminish my message.

What I find even more curious is that you, Bosco, have a verbatim copy of the counterfeit Nemo’s comment.  I only sometimes keep a record of my own comments, but don’t believe that I have ever keep a record of another user’s comment, though I suppose that you could have innocently done so.  However, I am suspicious of your involvement in this matter.  Are you the member who invited the counterfeit Nemo, who is allegedly a lawyer, to comment on John’s instant editorial?  Did you know that the counterfeit Nemo was using my username to post his comment, when, as I suspect, most of us know that it wasn’t necessary for him to do so to post his comment?  You needn’t answer Bosco.  I wouldn’t believe your answers in any event.

However, if you did invite the counterfeit Nemo to comment on John’s article and if he or other such invitees will comment here in the future, have them borrow your username instead of mine, as their comments and knowledge of the law are more likely to be consistent with your views on matters relating to Apple and, as is true of counterfeit Nemo’s comment, supra, will most likely reflect your thorough, if not utter, ignorance of the law. 

That last point is especially salient, because my law school, as one of the world’s great law schools, graduates lawyers who are aware that it is possible for an inventor to get a design patent for inventing the original ornamental design of an article of manufacture (See 35 U.S.C. ? 171) or, if they are not so aware, have enough competence and regard for the duty of their office to keep their mouths shut on legal topics beyond their competence and to refer such matters to a lawyer who can give competent advice.

From the real Nemo, who is also a real lawyer.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo: you’re almost funny when you’re riled up, making up alleged facts, and concluding complete bullsh*t. Almost. Have a nice drink and get some sleep. Talk to you another day.

Bryan Chaffin

And now that the identity issue has been addressed, I can respond to Nor Your Nemo’s actual post.

I think John?s comments are interesting but I sense a lost point. Intellectual property law does not protect the look and feel of a computer. In other words, Xerox invented the mouse and GUI, Apple and Microsoft borrowed from Xerox?s direction. No infringement.

The difference is that Apple reached an agreement with Xerox before Steve Jobs took his team down to the PARC (the negotiation was that he got to come and look at what they were doing, take those ideas back to Apple, and in return Xerox was allowed to make an investment in Apple. Sweet deal!).

That alone makes such a comparison to today’s infringement accusations a poor one.

Also, Microsoft had no such agreement with Xerox.  Microsoft did have a look-and-feel license with Apple for the Mac. If I remember, Apple had that look and feel copyrighted, not patented. If anyone can remember those details better than me, please chime in.

I’m also fuzzy on these details, but in return Microsoft promised X-amount of software development for the Mac, and maybe continued support of BASIC for the Apple II platform, which was still very, very important to Apple at that time.

In any event, Apple thought that the license for the look and feel of the Mac covered one iteration of “Windows,” while Microsoft successfully argued in court that said license had been granted in perpetuity.

Bryan Chaffin

Bryan Chaffin thinks Microsoft will get it together in 2012.? I think that?s too late.


Ummm…I never said any such thing, John! I did say that it looked like Microsoft might make a serious run at a touchscreen tablet in 2012 (this was said long before Windows 8 was announced), but that’s a far cry from thinking they will actually “get it together.”

Separately, I’ve argued that Microsoft has assets that would allow them to offer a media tablet ecosystem/experience to users that no one else has, and that’s the company’s foothold in the living room via the Xbox. Sadly, and as I feared, they are eschewing that angle and are instead trying to shoehorn Windows into a touchscreen as a strategy for competing with iPad.

Paul Goodwin

There were a few comments on here about how great it is to move away from Apple’s iTunes to either Amazon mp3 or Google Music. Get real.?

If you want the best organizational tools, own your music, have your library integrated across your different players or share your libraries, have good sound quality, have the widest selection, and have the easiest most satisfying experience with your software, hardware (including most cars) and music, nothing is even close to Apple’s integrated music system. Not even close. ?

Putting 20,000 songs on a drive isn’t managing music.?Everything but Apple’s music ecosystem is a disjointed mess.?

And by the way, if you just want to download music to an iPhone or an iPad, you don’t need a computer, there’s no syncing, an no drama. You hit the “Buy” button, it downloads, and will play. When you hook up to your computer, it will ask you if you want to transfer purchased music to the computer (Apple or other).?

Goggle’s Music may not even be legal - we’ll see about that. They launched it with no agreements with the record labels. Status of that?? ?

If you want REAL music, Amazon’s mp3 isn’t it. It’s lossy and for portable players with cheap headphones.?

Clouds will be great for fairly large mobile music libraries, but anyone serious about lossless good sounding music and a large library will likely stick with local storage - and why not, as cheap as it is.?

Advising anyone to not go with or stick withApple’s iTunes, iTunes Store and hardware platforms for a digital music system is just irresponsible and does a disservice to that person.

Like I said earlier, if you just want to load up a flash drive or cheap player, by all means, use anything. You can scroll through a few songs without any organization. Or if you just want to stream music, do it however you like. But ?don’t try to tell me it’s anywhere near the experience you can have using Apple’s system if you’re even a little bit serious about music. ?It’s not even close. Apple is an order?of magnitude better. Go Google ” ITunes vs Amazon mp3” or “iTunes vs Google Music” and read about it. I’m not about to start pasting facts here. The facts are out there for the interested.?

If you want the best, go with Apple’s system. Everything else is disjointed mediocrity. But in my experience, that’s what the non-Apple world is. Lots of people that have products they were told were great, but aren’t, and never know what experience they could have had. They’re sometimes happy, oft times frustrated, and don’t know there’s a vastly superior product. And they still think Apple’s stuff is expensive. BLONEY

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Paul, some facts about Amazon MP3 vs. iTunes Store. I look forward to your next essay on why Notre Dame has the best football team in college football.

Paul Goodwin

LOL Bosco. Keep poking. That was the lamest response ever. I saw that web page before I did any real research and my first though was that it shouldn’t even be allowed to be called a comparison; it’s pathetic in scope. 30-40 responders out of millions of users (Apple at least). I don’t think it quite makes the statistically relevant threshold. That little table doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story and you know it. I’ll give you this, you sure know how to stir it up.

Now like my Dad used to say, go to your room and do your homework, and report back why I’m wrong.

And Notre Dame - they lead all schools in sympathy.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Paul, perhaps you should look at the technical information on that page. You know, bit rates, compatibility, and stuff. It contradicts many of your premises.

skipaq

Paul, I think Bosco was responding to me. As I said I have tried Amazon for music. My opinion is that their service is a kludge and doesn’t even interest me in the least. I tried it when they sent me a promo offer. Just to make sure it wasn’t a problem with the promo offer; I went and tried buying a song as one would regularly. I did this from my Mac.

I never buy music from my phone. My collection is small (about 1500 songs) and varied. I want all songs in my main library and backed up. I download what I want to my phone. My wife downloads what she wants to hers. It is easy, affordable and convenient using iTunes.

Bosco can have his Amazon. I’ll stick with iTunes.

Paul Goodwin

Like the rest of that comparison, their data isn’t complete. Yes. The 99 cent songs are AAC and are 256 kbps. The Apple lossless format (which it fails to mention) is 3 to 4 times that. If one is going to listen to music on a small player speaker, or cheap headphones, it’s probably not worth buying the more expensive lossless formatted songs (at $1.29), but you can never up-convert them to sound better (you can copy and down convert the lossless files. All encoders are not created equal however, and even though different ones have the same bits/sec, they won’t necessarily sound the same. You won’t hear the difference unless you play it though something besides the relatively cheap analog outputs of the mp3 players (including the iPods). Some mp3 files sound better than others. I don’t know what encoders the different companies use. But the Apple lossless format is well worth the little extra money - the difference is staggering when you listen toe the same song in the different formats. The files are about 1/2 the size of a wav file, and sound just as good. You can still convert a copy to the smaller mp3 or AAC format if your player storage is limited.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Paul, I would guess that in 90% of settings where people listen to music these days, 256kbps MP3 is indistinguishable from lossless. Yes, if you are in that 10% of settings often enough, then you ought to rip from CD or buy a lossless format. But at the gym, in your car, at work, cooking, changing your oil, washing your windows, walking your dog, etc. you’ll never know the difference.

Your contention about organization is a big Apple lie as well. Simple file search on reasonably fast media, with real-time metadata gathering and indexing works just fine. And it makes media available to many applications on a device, not just the one blessed by the manufacturer. Believe me. I had thousands in iTunes Store purchases. I even wrote a product around the media database on the iPod, and built on some work reverse engineering it. It has basically one real purpose, and that’s to keep users locked in the ecosystem. It’s not necessary at all for a rich media playing or even organization system.

RonMacGuy

However, take music. Probably the biggest surprise to me when I switched from iPhone to Android was that I didn?t actually need iTunes to manage my music collection or podcasts. The phone as that stand-alone device does just fine, especially when paired with a 32 GB uSD card. Lately, I?ve discovered that Amazon cloud is really convenient for new purchases.

I suspect that because things aren?t totally integrated into a whole widget vacuum cleaner attached to my debit card on the Android side, there will be a lot more incremental innovation on all the key features coming from a variety of parties. As someone who regularly dropped over $100/month at iTunes Store, I like what?s available to me now much better.

OK, so Bosco likes music.  $100 a month at iTunes would get you anywhere from 77-100 songs (excluding sales tax).  Then, Bosco criticizes Apple with the “vacuum cleaner attached to his debit card” comment.  Yet, money-wise he is still spending $85-$90 a month instead of $100.  Big deal.  Still a lot of money for music.  Now you may prefer Amazon over iTunes, but there is still a vacuum cleaner attached to your debit card on Amazon.  Don’t insult Apple for a relatively small premium for a service that integrates music, television shows, movies, etc. just because you choose to spend nearly the same amount on music that you now have to shift around to other devices, find a different app to watch a tv show, yet a different app to watch a movie, etc.  If it works fine for you - then great.  But it is not that much cheaper than the Apple solution that some of the rest of us prefer.  To each their own.  Amazon is slightly cheaper (coming right out of their own pocket I bet), lower quality, more “open”, but less music available.  iTunes is better quality, more global in nature, with a bigger library.

Added comment:  Actually, what’s really funny to me is that Bosco was actually surprised in his switch from iPhone to android that he didn’t ‘need’ iTunes to manage my music collection or podcasts.  I would have thought that Bosco would have known that was true before making the switch.  Oh well.

Paul Goodwin

Bosco. I don’t know about the 90% part of it, but if you’re only going to listen to music on a phone or some little player, you’re missing a lot of what’s in the music. If you plug an iPhone or iPod into the USB interface on even a decent car stereo these days, the difference between the mp3 and lossless files will jump out at you. I do a fair amount of listening in the car, and the iPod/lossless files give you the CD quality sound, and the iPod interface to boot.

your quote “Your contention about organization is a big Apple lie as well”....  BLONEY again. You must not understand what iTunes can do. Millions of PC users understand how good it is. I’m happy for them.

A simple file search ????? Indexing??? File searching is only one of many organization tools iTunes has. Managing a music library with iTunes is far more sophisticated than that.  The sorting and smart lists tools are where the power is. In using smart lists, you can choose among 40 iTunes parameters and do sum and product of user entered text giving you virtually unlimited flexibility with a tool that’s very easy to use.

Big lie? Pretty harsh…..Again, you need to go to your room and think about how wrong you are, and come out more humble, and “corrected”. Throw all you non-Apple music stuff away and start enjoying what REAL technology can give you when you choose the right product.

Big lie? Me thinks little Johnny is the one marching out of step. According to you, Apple’s complete re-shaping of the music listening and distribution landscape, and their huge long-standing and continuing success is all all built on lies? Only a feckless poltroon would say such a thing.

Lee Dronick

Managing a music library with iTunes is far more sophisticated than that.? The sorting and smart lists tools are where the power is. In using smart lists, you can choose among 40 iTunes parameters and do sum and product of user entered text giving you virtually unlimited flexibility with a tool that?s very easy to use.

I like to add lyrics to song. Tap in the screen when it is playing on an iPod or iPhone and you can see the lyrics. Also I often change out the cover art, some of which looks like it was done by Banksy on acid; I will put a photograph or drawing of my own.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Most people don’t do all the music searching and smart playlists and geeky stuff like that. And, on Android and on Windows, there are all sorts of tools that will do those specialty indexing things for you without having to control your music library or lock you into one channel.

Also, most people do not drive their cars in sound proof rooms at 10mph over a surface of rubber without the vents or air conditioning running. Road and car noise pretty much trump 192kbps MP3. Anyone who’s built a car audio system knows that.

Bryan Chaffin

I can hear the difference between CD and 192K MP3. In a car.  On the road.

Brad, a consistent theme in all the years we’ve been chatting is that you have a tendency to project. Anything good enough for you is all that everyone needs, and anyone wanting more is lying to themselves.

I realize there is zero chance that you think of it in those terms, but that’s how it comes off.

To that effect: I have a friend who can not tell the difference between a 128K MP3 and a CD in a car, or even through a pair of quality computer speakers. I’ve never experimented with him on proper home stereo speakers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was more of the same.

My point is that we have different ears, different expectations, and different standards on what we’ll accept for ripping music and how we listen to it.

And that’s OK.

What you describe as adequate to you is completely unacceptable to me?I’m speaking to iTunes-management vs. non-iTunes management.  And I don’t even buy my music through iTunes. Give me lossless rips, please.

And that’s OK. I’m happy you’re satisfied with whatever you’re doing. The rational reaction for you (IMNHO) is to be happy that I’m happy with my experience.

Just as I am happy to know that my iPad apps are virus free and will work properly every time.

Rejoice in your choices and embrace the fact that there are different solutions on the market.

Paul Goodwin

Sir Harry.  YES.  Part of the fun!!

Bryan. Well put. But he will never respond in a reasonable way. Nor will he ever acknowledge that anything Apple does is superior even when it’s overwhelmingly clear that it is. Like most Apple bashers his keyboard will just keep outputting the unsubstantiated nonsense so that he can enjoy our aggravation. We know what we know and it’s incomprehensible to him. Apple isn’t perfect. I’ve hammered on their recent FCP and iMovie work. But his modus operandi is to be negative on virtually everything Apple produces and everything we say. He’s like the verbose version of the bashers on some of the PC sites where someone will just blurt out: I HATE MACS. All you can do is shake your head and wonder how that part of that person’s brain ever got like that.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Bryan, there is decent research available on the topic. I’ve spent boatloads of money on car stereo stuff in the past decade. But I also don’t drive the quietest sled on the block. If you can find me someone who can hear the difference between 256kbps MP3 and 256kbps AAC outside of a very quiet room, I’d love to run some tests on them. They’re probably not adults grin. CD, sure. If you want to carry around a few thousand songs, you probably still have to compromise on lossless for the time being.

Paul, I used to believe that garbage. Then I started looking at competing things, like Windows netbooks and Android phones. See, I have actually recommended fleets of notebooks for schools, and we got far more value out of OTS priced Acers than comparable MacBooks, leaving more money for software, printers, supplies, etc. Similar thing with Android phones for music playing. The iTunes way isn’t better. It always requires synching. It’s a PITA to copy stuff over. No choice of stores without incurring significant inconvenience. Etc.

Apple actually does a lot of things nicely integrated if you fall right into what they want you to do. They put high costs on flexibility. That tends to lower the value for people who have different ideas of what they want to do.

You don’t have to get personal about it though. I do notice that many Apple fans here can’t help themselves with the personal shots. That’s kinda hilarious to me.

RonMacGuy

I do notice that many Apple fans here can?t help themselves with the personal shots. That?s kinda hilarious to me.

Wow, it must be great living in Bosco fantasy land!! This coming from the guy who recently had to be edited twice for personal shots at yours truly. You’re not fooling anyone who’s been around here a while, Bosco. Boo hoo, you Apple fans are taking personal shots at the garbage spewing from my mouth. Boo hoo. I, the great and powerful Bosco, am so insulted!!

But hey, on the topic of iTunes, why don’t we talk in your favorite language: Market Share. iTunes store as of June 2011 has 70% market share. 15 billion + units sold. Looks like the market has spoken. You lose again, google boy. That’s got to sting. A lot.

Please note that the term “google boy” is meant not as a personal shot but as a term of endearment.

grin

RonMacGuy

“The ease of buying music from one?s computer, combined with the organization offered by iTunes, propelled the program to industry leader, and now claims over 15 billion songs sold. According to the latest data available from The NPD Group, iTunes holds a 70% market share of digital music sales. Amazon is the second largest distributor, with 12% of the market.”

Wow, 12% for Amazon?!?!? Look out!! Actually, looks kind of “mostly irrelevant” to me!!

mhikl

Answering the troll and his aliases and you do no service (you do disservice) to a fine forum. This responsibility resides with both members and staff.

Look what is happening with the plethora of non-member posts of late.  Most originate from one angry member.

Hopefully, before it is too late, TMO members will come to support their forum and let the nastiness pass like smoke in the wind.

geoduck

Hopefully, before it is too late, TMO members will come to support their forum and let the nastiness pass like smoke in the wind.

Agreed.

RonMacGuy

Hopefully, before it is too late, TMO members will come to support their forum and let the nastiness pass like smoke in the wind.

I also agree.

wab95

Hopefully, before it is too late, TMO members will come to support their forum and let the nastiness pass like smoke in the wind

mhikl, you are a poet and a scholar (at least in these halls), and in that spirit I say, I agree to a point.

A distinction must be made between the airing of legitimate difference of view and sowing the seeds of discord and ill will, and a balance therefore struck between wise retreat - the guardian of reason and amity, and wholesale shunning - tyranny’s benefactor and ignorance’s fast friend.

One should entertain differences of view and opinion without taking offence, a requisite of the noble art of debate. Likewise, should one should be able to proffer opinion without giving offence, a requisite for courting the receptive ear, and the gaining of hearts and minds. That is the skill of discourse, and persuasion’s secret lair. The art is in knowing when one has crossed the threshold of dialectic to discord, and from treatise to taunting.

I prefer discourse with any and all who will engage in spirited quest for understanding through discourse and dialogue, and leave those who contend for contention’s sake; to chime with the clarion of reason, and when discord tolls, then let wisdom summon silence, who will speak more plainly and with thunder to those with ears to hear.

My poetry for the day, and my tryst with moderation.

Bryan Chaffin

wab95, you have eloquently encapsulated my own, long-standing perspective on this issue.

mhikl

My poetry for the day, and my tryst with moderation.

Bravo, well said, wab95. I like to be challenged so please challenge on. There are many good jousters at TMO.

I live to learn and love to offer my titbits to the chagrin or touch of grin from others. I have no agenda except to say what’s said and I’m willing to change my mind when duly pressed with honest discussion. But what I find offensive is agenda driven rant and mischief from those who would disturb the partying of others. I get as incensed when I am viewing non-Apple sites and Apple fanatics raise the same kinds of rants where others, too, join to meet and discuss with their kind.

We are learning animals and that makes us sentient. And with that gift should come sense, common or divine enough to follow simple chivalry.

Never would I discourage disagreement and discussion on any points that are fair played. Often enough I have aired my discontents or differences of interpretation and given and received courtesy or had them honestly questioned, just as I have acquiesced or stood my ground in the same manner.

But the troll who hates and disparages and has never budged on a single point, now that behaviour is rude by any standard and on that point it is impossible to find discussion. There lies the epitome of the bully, a scourge to good society.

In an angry nation and in angry times we need to stand tall to bullies or naysayers of truth for if we leave them free to ruin our civility then culture has indeed entered into dark ages.

I particularly like your final paragraph and quote it here to support my point.

I prefer discourse with any and all who will engage in spirited quest for understanding through discourse and dialogue, and leave those who contend for contention?s sake; to chime with the clarion of reason, and when discord tolls, then let wisdom summon silence, who will speak more plainly and with thunder to those with ears to hear.

It is with silence that I beg the caring members of this forum to greet those who choose to disturb the discourse of the honest. Otherwise the efforts of the author and his participators is lost to an agenda that only serves the usurper. From such an atmosphere some may choose to leave and not return and that diminishes us all.

wab95

you have eloquently encapsulated my own, long-standing perspective on this issue

Thank you; I should have surmised as much.

It is with silence that I beg the caring members of this forum to greet those who choose to disturb the discourse of the honest.

Well said, sir. One could do worse than to heed such advice. The power of silence is much under-estimated and maligned by the froward and the brash, as is restraint in counterpoint and even the well-appointed riposte.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It is with silence that I beg the caring members of this forum to greet those who choose to disturb the discourse of the honest. Otherwise the efforts of the author and his participators is lost to an agenda that only serves the usurper. From such an atmosphere some may choose to leave and not return and that diminishes us all.

Dude, I have no agenda. If you don’t like my comments, simply ignore them and don’t reply. That’s what I do with 99% of your always worthless comments. We should really just call a truce and agree to ignore each other. You might also want to stop with the “ignore the troll” crap.

Paul Goodwin

Great stuff. Wisdom has displaced raw emotion, and the silence hums quietly.

“.... and all my troubles have been warshed away”  from O Brother, Where Art Thou

Lee Dronick

Wisdom has displaced raw emotion, and the silence hums quietly

That is very nice.

mhikl

Brother Paul,
You end with humour. There is no better way to end a day.

Gift silence to the troll.

?.... and all my troubles have been warshed away?? from O Brother, Where Art Thou

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