Samsung has a pretty consistent track record in court right now. Unfortunately for them, it’s consistently losing. The big rumor this week is for a little iPad, Apple’s products are climbing in stats in a good way, and a bad app snuck into the App Store. Even with a holiday in the middle of the week Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray managed to take on all of those stories.
Samsung in Court: FAIL
If there are six days of litigation Samsung would like to forget, they would likely be the last six.
Last week Judge Lucy Koh levied a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the request of Apple; an injunction that went into effect when Apple plunked down just over $2.5 million to make it so. Then, at the end of last week, Judge Koh put the preliminary whammy on another Samsung product: the Galaxy Nexus, a phone designed by Google but made by Sammy.
AllThingsD has Judge Koh saying Apple will probably be able to prove infringement of four Apple patents when the case goes to trial, though the Galaxy Nexus injunction centers on one patent that covers core voice and search functionality.
Stakes are higher this time, though. The injunction went into effect as soon as Apple posted a $95.6 million bond securing against the damages Samsung would incur if the injunction is found to have been wrongfully issued.
Lost somewhere in all of that as well: Whether Samsung is appealing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 preliminary injunction. They are.
The company said last week — almost as soon as the preliminary injunction against the tablet was announced — that they would appeal the decision. Now a Macworld UK piece says that that is underway as well.
Can Samsung get any slack? Not in the last six days. FOSS Patents says Judge Koh last Saturday “denied the entirety of a comprehensive summary judgment motion that Samsung brought in May.” Basically, the company argued that everyone of the intellectual property rights asserted by Apple was full of hot air… or beans. You get the idea.
Judge Koh disagreed to a surprising extent, with the piece saying, “It is very unusual for such a multi-pronged motion by a major industry player to fail entirely.”
So they have that going for them. Sure it failed, but it failed spectacularly.
iPad mini: Rumors that Won’t Die
The iPad-mini rumor is back again. Or, still.
Bloomberg has the usual nameless suspects saying Apple plans to launch a 7-to-8-inch iPad by the end of this year. It will not be a Retina Display device, according to the piece, though it will be considerably less expensive than the current iPad. Closer to the $199 people are currently paying for the Amazon Kindle Fire or will soon pay for Google’s Nexus 7.
And Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says that could do some damage to Amazon, Google and other tablet players. Of the so far fictitious device, the Wuiner says, “It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare.”
Are lots of sources talking about an iPad mini? Or is one source talking to lots of outlets?
The Wall Street Journal says it’s heard word that component suppliers in the far-east are gearing up to make a tablet for Apple that’s smaller than the iPads currently available.
Quoting the Journal, “Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.” That production, by the way, is supposed to start in September.
The Journal says analysts say a smaller tablet could Apple help maintain its tablet dominance. You know… the tablet dominance it has - so far - had no trouble maintaining.
No comment from Appel for the Journal piece.
The louder the noise gets, the harder it is to ignore. Here’s my question, though: Assuming the thing is real, will Apple sell it as an iPad mini? Or as a larger iPod touch?
See, if they sell it as a smaller iPad, they stick a metaphorical finger in the eye of Steve Jobs. But if they sell it as an iPod touch, well, they have to lower the price of the iPod touches already on the market, assuming they plan to come close to the prices of the Google Nexus 7, the nook Color, and the Amazon Kindle Fire with the new device.
Maybe a whole new name. The I… don’t know what they’re gonna call it. Assuming it’s actually a thing.
Apple: Racking Up the Web Stats
NetApplications is out with its latest NetMarketShare report, showing which platforms and browsers people use on which devices. Bottom line: Apple owns mobile.
ZDNet has the report showing Apple’s share of the mobile browser space at 65.27 percent, up from 53.04 percent a year ago. Despite its dominant position in mobile operating systems, Google’s Android was a distant second with a 19.73 percent share, though that too was up from last year’s 15.98 percent.
And everything else fell like a stone with Java ME dropping from 20.57 percent to 10.22, Symbian dropping from 6.21 percent to 1.49, and the BlackBerry OS dropping from 3.33 percent in June of 20-11 to 1.87 percent last month.
Over on the desktop it is, of course, a different story. There Apple’s OS X has a surfing share of 6.72 percent, decidedly low but up from June of 2011’s 5.97 percent. Windows owns the rest, with a 92.23 percent share, down a teeny-tiny bit from last June’s 92.9 percent.
Those are global numbers. Zoom in on North America and the Mac is doing much better. On this continent alone Apple’s Web share is at 12.76 percent — still a very distant second to Microsoft’s 85.59 percent.
The App Store’s Bad Seed
Something seems to have slipped past the App Store reviewers. Macworld says security firm Kaspersky detailed “a new malicious app” that was on both Google Play and the oh-so-curated iOS App Store.
“Find and Call” was the app, and it did this cute little thing where, once it was on a phone, it’d ask for the user’s phone number and email address. Then ask if the user wanted it to “find friends in a phone book.” Then it would upload the user’s entire contact list to a remote server, without the user knowing.
And then — because, yes, there’s more — the app would send SMS messages to the people who’s info was sucked from the user’s address book with a link to download the app. And, since it looked like it was coming from the user’s phone number, the recipients of the SMS were fairly susceptible to the ruse.
It was off the App Store by noon pacific on Thursday with Apple issuing a statement to Macworld, saying, “The Find & Call app has been removed from the App Store due to its unauthorized use of users’ Address Book data, a violation of App Store guidelines.”
Well let’s hope that’s the only malware that’s gotten through. 650,000 apps? Yeah, there’s probably just the one.
Mac Market Ratio Gets Old School
And finally this week, everything old is new again. Things like handlebar mustaches, Spider-Man movies, and the ratio of PCs sold to Macs sold.
CNET has Asymco’s Horace Dediu saying for every 20 PCs sold today one Mac is sold, that brings the ratio back to 1985 levels.
The PC to Mac ratio has been better than 1985’s 20-to-1. It was down as low as 15-to-1 in 1996. Then ugly times all the way through to 2004, when the PC to Mac ratio was 55-to-1.
Grock that: Eight years ago for every 55 PCs sold Apple was able to sell one Mac.
Why did things start to turn around then?
A separate piece on Dediu’s numbers from Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt points out that it was one year earlier, in 2003, that Apple released iTunes for Windows, which opened the iPod to a huge new audience. And the rest is halo-effect history.