Guest Editorial: Forget about innovation


After letting the initial dust Apple kicked towards HTC settle, my iPhone-toting compatriot Rene (I think you guys know him or something) and I had a discussion about the patent lawsuit and Apple in general. It was kicked off by this video dug up by the fine chaps at Gizmodo, and it made me realize, at least from my perspective atop my pile of defective Palm Pre phones, that Apple has changed as a company over the past year. Now before you go thinking that I’m so Apple-hating bozo from Cincinnati, be warned that I do like Apple products: I’ve been using and loving a MacBook Pro of one variety or another for the last six years, upgrade to the next version of OS X the day it’s available, and own both an Airport Extreme and an Apple TV. But I’m worried that Apple’s recent successes may be leading to a dark place. And that place is the land where innovation is forgotten.

Apple’s attack on HTC underscores two things for me. One: user interface patents are silly. It’s like patenting the chair and saying nobody else can make chairs and they’ll have to figure out different ways for people to sit. And no, couches and benches aren’t cool, they’re just big chairs. Two: Apple seems to have forgotten how to innovate and sees lawsuits as the only way to protect their business model.

It seems mighty silly to me to think that Apple is worried about HTC knocking off the iPhone as king of the smartphone hill. The iPhone is still relatively fresh (two and a half years on market) and the smartphone market itself is rapidly expanding. As Palm CEO Job Rubinstein says: there’s plenty of room for several large players. And I think I’d like it that way. Not just so Palm can stay around, but because having several large players ensures that there are multiple parties spurring innovation in each other and that the failing of one doesn’t result in the complete and utter dominance of the only other platform. In this case, the smartphone market is more like the automobile industry and less like the Windows-Mac duopoly that is desktop computing.

Either way, my fear is that Apple is instead going to rely on these sort of lawsuits as a way to maintain their fledgling dominance of the smartphone market. But it’s only going to result in really bad PR for Apple. The only claims that they can make are claims in principle that HTC is violating their patents, while HTC can argue in principle that those patents are a silly thing anyway. Apple certainly can’t argue that HTC’s alleged patent violations are cutting into Apple’s ridiculous profit margin - the people that buy Android or Windows phones aren’t the type that are out to buy an iPhone anyway, and it’s not like there’s a person on the planet that hasn’t heard of the iPhone.

But as I think of it, this whole lawsuit feels indicative of a new mindset at Apple. It’s been a large, but unnoticed, shift in the way they do business. Apple has move away from being the underdog innovator to being a defensive maintainer. Look back at the products Apple has unveiled in the past year and tell me what’s truly innovative:

  • 3rd gen iPod Shuffle? We moved the controls to the earbuds just because. It doesn’t make any sense, but we’ll do it anyway.

  • iPhone 3GS? Make it faster and give it more memory. Pack it all into the same package as before and let’s call it a day. Wait, no, let’s call it the 3GS - it’s much more hip that way.

  • iPhone OS 3.0? MMS and tethering! And a whole tone of new APIs for unexplored niche products, just because we can. The iPhone user experience? No need to change that. It works, and it can’t possibly be made better.

  • New MacBook Pros? We’re going to revolutionize the laptop computer by adding, wait for it, SD card readers! Yeah, that’s awesome and totally unlike anything anybody’s ever done before. We even did a study to see if that’s what people wanted. What they don’t want is Blu-ray or HDMI. Those are bags ‘o hurt, I say. People want iTunes.

  • New iMac? Make it bigger and use a better screen. Also, a screen this big doesn’t need Blu-ray either. It’s far too good for that. Use iTunes instead; who even wants the option of 1080p video off a disc? Pfft.

  • Magic Mouse? Okay, I’ll give Apple this one, adding multi-touch gestures to the mouse is a really different move. But if the mouse is the only cool thing you’ve done...

  • iPad? It’s magical, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful, it’s a giant iPod Touch and fails to provide and real innovation above and beyond what you can already do on an iPhone and evel loses several features, it’s the iPad! (the tech media goes wild, soils themselves, and then thinks about how silly and underwhelming the whole thing is when they’ve got new pants).

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my MBP (ExpressCard slot and all) and OS X. But Apple’s competitors are threatening to out-innovate Apple at every turn. Android 2.0 (with HTC’s help) and Palm webOS have far outpaced the iPhone OS user experience, so much so that the only thing the iPhone has going for it is all the apps and iTunes (which itself in need of something more than major innovation). Windows Phone 7 Series has turned my idea of how a mobile OS should work completely on its head, and honestly, Windows 7 ain’t that bad. I no longer dread booting up Parallels.

Now, we may very well be in a lull when it comes to Apple’s innovative progress, but these are the kind of lulls that can kill a company. Technological development is moving faster than ever and the multi-year lulls that struck Palm circa 2006 and Apple circa 1994 are the kind of lulls that can kill a company today. The market has changed so dramatically that even with arguably the most innovative mobile OS out there Palm is struggling to recover from a few years of uninspired products.

This new defensive, offensive, and numbers-touting (look at how many apps we have!) Apple worries me. Apple’s innovations have kicked the industry in the head multiple times before, but now it looks like the tables have been turned.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and be blown out of the water by iPhone OS 4.0 and OS X 10.7. But the bitter pill that the iPad, and now this lawsuit, have left me with has me concerned for Apple’s foresight. Maybe they’ve gotten too big and lost touch with what made Apple the success that it is today. But in the end, getting all defensive and trying to sue their way out of a problem is only going to hurt Apple and the industry as a whole.

Derek Kessler is editor of TiPb's sibling site,

Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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There are 71 comments. Add yours.

Pimp Lucious says:

Well said Derek. I've been saying to others that Apple is losing its way. Not financially, but innovative wise.

zeagus says:

What a load of over-reactive nonsense... May elaborate later.

Entertainment72 says:

So people can steal your "innovation" then you're the one who doesn't innovate.. hmm.

BigMace23 says:

really good article... I guess we will see if Apple changes in their next generation of products.

Rene Ritchie says:

Huge thanks to Derek for contributing this guest editorial!

Nigel Tufnel says:

So you also read John Gruber's blog this morning:
"I feel this suit against HTC is a terrible mistake."
"I despise the idea of 'user interface' patents."

rgar3388 says:

I agree with zeagus. People are way over reacting and being way too impatient. Different companies innovate at different times which is why we can't keep up with technology. Apple is one company and year by year adds a little something to its products. the macbook is way better than it was 5 years ago, and yet it still had a camera 5 years ago and didn't change much the 2 years following it. We can't have something like the introduction of the 2007 iPhone every single year by one company. I think Apple is doing great, and expecting to see something big if not this year then next year. I still disagree with their strong hold on customization, and the lawsuit however.

rgar3388 says:

And if double the processing power and double the memory year by year isn't good enough for you then go buy a pc and blackberry. who buys shuffles anyways (not people commenting on this site that's for sure, we're too good for that).

Derek Kessler says:

@rgar3388: Throwing more hardware at it isn't innovation.

rgar3388 says:

@ Derek
1st off, your editorial was great I enjoyed it. Got me thinking. But you're missing my point. All I'm saying is one company can't innovate as fast as the entire market. It is however one of the fastest innovators aiside from Google in the market. Most of these companies are also years ahead in innovation than what they release. That's what betas are for. It's a business. Where would we be without capitalism haha. Certainly not using our iPhones, iPod touches, or iPads.

George says:

Hi Derek, an interesting take on the situation, but I would like to offer a different perspective, one I posted earlier on Gizmodo:
As a consumer and business end-user, on the surface I would suggest that this is bad for all of us. Taking an extreme utopian view of technology, innovation and invention, imagine a world where patents and copyright and trademarks weren't upheld. Imagine what small businesses, small-time inventors and the world at large could do by taking the IP of a company and quickly and easily transforming it into better and and more innovative products.
Then step back for a moment and ask yourself, do you really see the kind of investment and time being undertaken by these large corps, without some solid legal protection behind each and every invention they develop? Products and services aren't dreamed up overnight by the likes of Apple and Nokia and Microsoft, and the money they spend to get a product to market is usually a long term strategy, one that needs to simultaneously make profits, create inroads (and hold onto) markets and position them in such a way as to allow them to continue innovating (and yes, making money) into the future.
I don't know if Nokia suing Apple is frivolous, or Apple suing HTC is frivolous, or what their motivations are outside of protecting their IP. One thing you must admit, even if it only makes up a percentage of the overall reason behind these legal manoeuvres, is these companies would not be innovating in the way they do if they were not offered some solid way of protecting their profits into the future. After all, they are not the local cookie drive to raise money for the new Church, or the parents group funding the new wing of a school library, or the local computer group exchanging code and ideas. They are large corporations, with billions invested in new ideas and products, seeking to reap the rewards the capitalist system promises them and their shareholders.

Chris says:

if apple doesnt get it into grove with the next iPhone ill be going with HTC, i wanna see a new style, new platform and a whole lot more, not just a other software date that adds 2 new icons and add a letter after the "3" and call it a day, we want something new, someone that would open our eyes and say we want that like when the first iPhone cam out sense then its really gone down hill... and if your gunna promiss something have it out on time unlike the mms.....pfft

Matt(sZ) says:

after you've thrown more hardware, just add more stickers that point out obvious features, so you're constantly reminded... Sony has been getting away with it for years...

rgar3388 says:

ugh...some people are so ignorant. I'm getting a blackberry. haha jk

Mystic says:

Yawn. Worked yourself up into quite a lather there, Derek. Hope you feel better now.
Preposterous posturing.

Chris says:

Sorry, but I aint gunna go out and spend more money on something that is basically has the same has been coming out with stuff thats already been out on other phones like mms, video ect, come out with something better that will make other smartphones look small. Sense the first iPhone came out it was big, it was something we never thought we see, but sense then other smartphones are coming out and are making the iphone look small, this is why apple needs to step up.
Comon apple came out with the best touch screen out there, they can come out with something else alot better something else new like they did with the touchscreen.
what i am saying is that yea, make the iphone alot better, at the same time come out with a whole new phone for the next generation phone, have 2 kinda phones on the line and not just the iphone. listen to us on what we want also.
i dont know :/ apple should stop relying on the iphone and come out with a whole new idea for a phone. thats all im saying

nsquared says:

Now that Apple had their iPhone patents approved recently, I'm glad they are enforcing them. Every phone company was caught off-guard (including non-phone companies, like Google) when the iPhone came out. Now they are all copying them to get in on the action, and in turn, taking Apple revenues. Serves them right for stealing ideas instead of coming up with their own.

JKK says:

I agree with Derek.
Personally, I think this was bound to happen. Two companies, working together on a smartphone that suddenly balloons in popularity? This suit isn't just for HTC; it's for Android, too. Google needs to step up and threaten to remove their services from iPhone OS. This is BS on Apple's part.

L says:

It's all about suing someone these days... husband vs. wife, employee vs. employer, company vs. company.

Lady Kaede says:

Oh please, Mr. Kessler, even if I granted you that Apple had stopped innovating(which I don't), that doesn't mean they are being 'out-innovated' - with the exception of webOS and Google's cloud strategy, the entire smartphone market is just playing catch-up, trying to imitate Apple's iPhone but not so close as to get sued. Too close (according to Apple) in HTC's case. Somehow no one goes giddy when Nokia sues over it's patents. Maybe the patent office is screwy but Apple's crazy like a fox, and the iPad is the biggest innovation in personal computing since the original Mac.

Oboewan says:

You're missing the point. Apple has never done anything new. Instead, they are in the business of taking what has been done before, and doing it really, really well.

dB says:

AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN!!!!

jzajzz says:

Apple has just patented other people's innovations.. I think that's what a lot of you fanboys miss .. all these innovations are not Apple's ... they just the first to patent them..

Robbb says:

@Lady Kaede Please explain to me how the iPad is the most innovative thing in Modern Computing (Pretty BOLD statement if you ask me). I honestly think quite the opposite. I think it's Apple's biggest blunder since they basically came back from the brink.
Also, please explain to me exactly how Apple has been innovative? The original iPhone made smartphones mainstream. Other than the touchscreen (which believe it or not they didn't invent) and the webkit browser, I'd be hard pressed to say Apple was innovative. Right now on the other hand I see Apple as growing quite stale. OS is outdated, hardware becoming outdated, the style is 2 years outdated. Unless 4.0 lives up to your guys hype I'm afraid the downward market share trend (as of late) will continue. I've even seen posts on this very sight that shows individuals are becoming frustrated and impatient with Apple due to their lack of innovation lately. I dunno, I would personally hate to see Apple fail. They are great from driving competition, and the more competition in this market the more we (consumers) will benefit.

Goona says:

What a bunch of hogwash. WTF is innovating? What has Palm done to innovate since introducing the Palm Pre, all they have done is improve webOS and the Palm Pre which is what companies do. Apple introduced the iphone in 2007 and now they improve upon it. You can't expect them to introduce something like the new iphone every year. Apart from this lawsuit Apple has filed how many other companies have they sued. The problem with you Apple haters and yes you can still hate Apple if you own their products, is you live in this little bubble. When Nokia sued Apple, you same hypocrites where cheering them on and said Apple deserved it. When Apple sues another company for patent infringement, oh its because they don't know how to innovate anymore. All they know is about lawsuits, fckk outta here with that nonsense. By the way we'll pray for Palm, hope they can innovate their way out of going down soon. After that's all they are doing.

Goona says:

@ Robb
Downward marketshare trend? Dude Apple is growing marketshare, not losing it.

jzajzz says:

@LadyKAEDE ... No one thinks APple copied NOkia.. just like HTC didn't copy apple ... Do you guys read these patents they are suing for??
COme one people ... one of the reason Apple is doing this is to get all these apple fans to say.. "well every one copies the IPhone" .. when this suit has hardly anything to do with the Iphone..

langley182 says:

@rgar3388: I have to agree with you. Even if it seems like Apple is slowing down right now, that might be because they are planning something else. When they designed the 3GS, they might not have gone all out because they were in the middle iPhone 4.0. Anyway, we have to remember that a good company is always planning of outdating its current products. However, I do think UI patents are pointless.

andy says:

Everybody can find the bits to tell their the way they want. You cleverly picked out the updates that didn't seem to be so revolutionary. SD card reader? You forgot about the unibody aluminium enclosure that houses the card reader. If every single update to Apple product line would be revolutionary then it would go pretty messy. So nothing revolutionary in this article then.

@Robb says:

Robb said: "The original iPhone made smartphones mainstream. Other than the touchscreen (which believe it or not they didn’t invent) and the webkit browser, I’d be hard pressed to say Apple was innovative. "
Robb. Of all the stuff that's new in iPhone, how could you ever pick out these properties? Remember, iPhone wasn't the first capacitive touchscreen phone, and webkit browser is just an open-source and widespread rendering engine. What made the iPhone innovative wasn't some particular apps or hardware features. It's the whole package and attention to details that made it so popular. Take it's fluid and finger-oriented user interface. Why hasn't anyone done it before?

DamienG says:

Waitaminute, blackberry can ce out with phones with minimal changes and models simultaneously that have little difference in them with a sub standard browser and get away with it but iPhone does something similiar after truly innovating in 07 and completely changing the cell phone game and gets criticized? The iPhone is the reason that sparked most of the innovations you see now coming from manufacturers. I feel some people have gotten spoiled and take what they've done for granted at times. I personally am excited to see how apple flipped the switch in 07 and showed everyone that a smartphone doesn't have to be all business all the time. It doesn't have to be so intimidating that people don't even consider it. That it can actually be a fun experience. Just like the iPod changed how you see portable music directly and indirectly, the iPhone is doing the same with the wireless experience. They will innovate again. Bet on it. Be patient.

frog says:

Who is this jerk? Android 2 provides a better

Orangensaft says:

Okay, so Apple is maybe overcompensating with the smartphone industry, having lost their once dominant market share of the PC market. But honestly I don't see HTC innovating on the iPhone other than to copy it shamelessly. And Apple is entitled to use all available branches of its influence, including legal divisions, to further its interests.

DamienG says:

@frog is that all you can say? Grow up. And iPhones influence is seen in android as well. Android is great but don't kid yourself in thinking iPhone's success wasn't the main catalyst for how it's shaped up to b what it is.

Allen says:

I suspect this is all about Derek "projecting" his disappointment with the Palm Pre as jealousy of the iPhone. Companies that have patents need to defend them. It's amusing how Derek manages to gloss over all if the innovation in the last year, especially with the 3GS
- speed IS processor innovation
- video & on phone editing innovation
- API innovation leads to app innovation
- cut & paste innovation (it's brilliant)
- camera tap to focus & expose innovation
- push notify innovation
- hardware encryption innovation
- anti fingerprint display innovation
- hardware font rendering innovation
The brilliance of Apple's innovation is that it makes everything simple and useable, it's not a tech feature list to please the Dereks.
Derek, why don't you actually get a 3GS, use it, and read up on business management and patent law. It will make your writing a little more realistic.

Allen says:

Derek, I also don't get your "concern" about the ipad? What if, just what if it's not meant for "you" and it's not supposed to be like a big Palm Pre. What if it's for business apps, like IBM & Salesforce are working on, what if it's for Toddlers, Kids, and Tweens, that Disney is working on? What if it's for you mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa? Maybe Apple wants you to stick with your MacBook. So accept it's just "you" that doesn't "get it" and go talk with some of these other people as a real reporter and you might start to understand that worldwide massive potential of this ... wait for it ... magical and revolutionary device. And did you consider this silly 3.2 software is just a way to get the dang thing out to developers without revealing all the secrets yet to the hoards of competitors? No, you didn't, did you.
I'm sorry about the pre disaster, too but don't take it out on Apple, that's not productive for anybody.

Slate PC games says:

Ah that's something really interesting topic. I think noone is thinking about innovation. They only and only think about the business and nothing else. And they should concern about the users rather than unnecessary things. Innovation should be from uses' perspective rather than innovator.

Dennis says:

Personally, I'm concerned about the fact that one company has so much IP in multitouch. The unbalanced nature of the situation can lead to problems for the consumer and for the development of open source alternatives.
Regarding Apple, my feeling is that they are engaged in these patent wars in part because the whole industry has decided that they are at the litigation stage, when their strategic positioning in IP gets put to the test. Also, Apple is anticipating the need to protect not just the iPhone but the iPad against competitors. Regardless of how the stuff goes in court (or in out of court settlements), Apple can benefit from the time it takes to resolve these matters. Apple is in a position to create a market for its products in which every person in the U.S. from ages 10 to 60 owns at least one Apple product, and Apple would benefit from having a few extra years without real competition to do it.

desjones4ever says:

This comment is completely off and on topic: if you have a sports team that has a incredibly gifted player I/E Michael Jordan(iPhone). The only way to make the team better is to develop it. Chicago had the greatest player on the planet but they were still losing until they developed a team around him. Same thing Apple is doing. The iPhone is the head honcho everyone knows it and if you don't think so your delusional. Everyone wants Apple make you say wow every time. You just have to keep adding pieces to the puzzle. It just so happens that they have so many puzzles they are developing at one time. These things don't happen overnight. Most people are just spoiled. Off to the next big thing. I'm impatient as well and it sucks at times but what are you gonna do? Keep buying products that have one or two features that the iPhone doesn't have yet? You will be buying products and wasting your money forever. Because we all know that when the next iPhone comes out you will buy that one too. I have thought about crossing over and trying something different but the phone I use does everything I need it to do right now. It's not perfect but it's alot closer to it than most of these devices. They might all do a few things better than the iPhone but All Around it beats all of them hands down.

Dragonfly says:

This has to be one of the lost stupid posts I've ever read on this site. What a complete and utter pile of overreacted, exaggerated nonsense. Apple have every right to protect their patents. What were smartphones like before the iPhone?Answer that question for youselves and you'll see my point.

Robbb says:

I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from a iPhone blog site...

DaHui623 says:

They have every right to protect their patents of a physical product. Patents for ideas are stupid. Shame on our patent office for granting these to anyone, not just Apple. And shame on Apple for using their cash and legal might to shut out the competition. Poor HTC is getting caught in the middle of an iPhone vs. Android battle.

Sigried Not Roy says:

@nsquared: Your fanboyitis is getting in the way of you realizing that Apple "invented" relatively little unique IP when it comes to the iPhone. Without Palm and Microsoft's proven mobile touchscreen technology, Apple would've had another Newton on its hands.
All companies build on successes of those who came before them; it's inevitable.
What is telling is that Apple has less confidence now that it can outpace its competition on innovation, so it has to create legal barriers to slow them down.
In the past, Apple has relied almost exclusively on its ability to make better/different products and have its competition constantly playing catch up. Now, its competition seems to be catching up rather quickly and Apple, sensing that, is trying other tactics.
While I'm not saying they shouldn't protect their IP that they've truly invented, I am saying that this is a worrying sign for the future of Apple, especially given Jobs' health concerns.

Robbb says:

@Orangensaft Since Apple's return from the abyss, it has never had a dominant hold on the PC market. It has a small percentage compared to Microsoft. I believe the only time it had a "Dominant" hold was back in the 80's with the Macintosh. Anyway have you read the patents it's suing HTC for? Most of them are quite broad and from the 90's.
I don't think this is about Apple protecting it's "innovation" and more about throwing its weight (money) around trying to bully it's biggest competitor. HTC and GOOGLE, although I find this to be a pansy way to go about it. Why sue HTC over OS things when it is not the maker of the OS?!? I know why GOOGLE has an equally large portfolio!
@Goona I might be wrong about the market share statement, but I've read somewhere that Android is starting to eat into it. Anyway, Palm has innovated itself quite well. I mean hell, even your jail breaking community is copying the way the Palm Pre multitasks. Plus you fail to realize us Palm owners have a little more humility than you guys. I've never said my Phone was the BEST phone on the market. Sure the OS is revolutionary, but it needs work. Which Palm is actively working on. It's funny how you guys (insecure iPhone owners) Continually try to bash a "Lesser" product yet still want things that product has...

jzajzz says:

@Dragonfly ..
most of the patents are not Iphone patents ... Apple patents .. but not IPhone patents... Apple patents that are used everywhere but APple happened to go to court to get a patent fo it.. that's it...
DOn't lie..

excaliburca says:

Great article... nice to see a different view of Apple apart from the "rah-rah" that is seen from most of the posts on this site (not that it's unexpected, it is a blog about Apple products after all. :) ).

theoinpa says:

I totally disagree. There was a little company that bit off apple's interface years ago, and at the time apple was to small to stop it, and apple lost. I think we all know the company. We can try to act outraged, but how many phones are iPhone clones as far as form factor, interface, and even business model. 5 years ago pdas and phones where nothing like the iphone. Saying an interface should not be patented is like say clothing designers should not be able to protect their designs because , well they are all just really dresses, pants and shirts and those are universal concepts. The iPhone interfaces were not there before the iPhone-let's not revise history, and they are here now because of the iPhone. They do not want android to become another Windows and just copy them until they gain to much market share.

Paris says:

I apologize but this article is silly! Patent Infringement is CHEATING even if some company deems the patent "unfair or silly or whatever". And this debate over whether Apple is losing it's innovative touch is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT (did not bother to read that part). If HTC infringed on Apple's patents then I hope A judge makes them pay. If Apple's infringes on someone's patents then I hope they pay.
Apple suing their way out of a problem? Bad PR for Apple? Apple scared of competition... Huh? What? Regardless of what Apple's motivation is.... Cheating is cheating.... Companies spend too much money making their products to let someone have a free ride. BTW... Common sense would say that this is bad PR for HTc not Apple
I love competition and I love coming up with my OWN ideas (being an entrepreneur myself).

scott says:

WOW. The fanboys got up early today. Notice how no one's opinion matters except theirs?? And it seems the worse it gets, the louder they get. Apple has been out-Appled (??) with the iphone. It goes against everything they do. Lord High Jobs sits on his throne and decides what people want in their devices. And the herd responds by going out and buying it. Well, this time it didn't work. The herd is getting restless. Add MMS and call it "new"?? Make something out of aluminum that used to be plastic and sit down and pat yourself on the back?? Make ipods in different colors and have an entire media blitz to tell people how "new" they are?? When Apple rolled out the phone, there was nothing else like it. And, as someone posted, they are GREAT at taking a product and making it better. BUT, this time, it is happening TO THEM. Their product is being used against them. And, it seems like they don't know how to respond. HTC makes some pretty nice phones, and MS 7 is not that bad. If Apple does not re-think the way they do things, it is only a matter of time before another company gets it right. Then, Apple will go back to being a fringe company with very high priced products. This suit seems like a ploy to say that their phones are good because they stole our idea. You know, you don't see Coke picking on Pepsi. They are the top dogs, and don't care. HTC does not make on iPhone, so this seems a little dumb. If the next phone is not new, and I mean "clean sheet" new, you will start to hear Taps in the back ground.

iphonemilk says:

I guess we could just all Hate on Apple and go buy Android phones huh?
Let me be the first to say in this thread, I have a Nexus one right now, and i CAN'T WAIT! i can't freaking WAIT till the 4th iPhone... I miss my iPhone already... i'm sick of android and the Android Apps/Marketplace, in comparison it's nothing close to the iPhone app marketplace.
So i see a ton of "the iPhone 3GS is nothing new" type posts.. i think you need to think about what you're saying before you say it.
-X iPhone 3Gs user who turned to the nexus one, and now hates it.

jzajzz says:

@IPHONEMILK .. What happened to your 3gS? .. with a name like Iphonemilk ..why would you switch?
you fanboys kill me

scott says:

@ Jerry....I agree. SOMETHING made him buy that phone. But a good thing to look at is to go back in these blogs about a year, and you don't find too many people like that. NO ONE was talking about jumping ship / dumping the iPhone for something else. Boy, what a difference a year (and a few pretty good new phones on the market) makes. Apple has always been pretty good at "making" a market. There was no phones out there like the iPhone when it came out. Maybe the others were arfaid that it wouldn't work. Apple took the chance, and opened up an entire new sector that wasn't there before. Now, everyone is jumping on the touch / smart bandwagon. Now the pressure is on Apple to stay ahead. #4 better move the bar way ahead, in a driection the others are not looking, or they will lose THEIR niche to another company.

cooldude says:

I like this article,
I like it when the upstarts become the establishment and start to act like them, it brings the folly of human endevours true to life. For the past couple of years Apple has been bullying it's consumers by refusing to give them what they want, and tearing chunks out of it's rivals by just being better at delivering quality products. I am really excited that now we are going to have choice in the mobile phone market. I have an iphone but I want me next handset to be something else. I don't want to get locked into Apple's bullying tyranical electronic regime.

Paris says:

Did someone mention Palm? Those guys are in trouble... Did you see there financials? Ouch!!

cooldude says:

Yeah, Palm spend ages doing nothing and then brought out that nonsense over-hyped piece of junk the Pre'. Well they better Pre' cause they'll be needing a miracle to survive now!

iphonemilk says:

@ Jerry your comment is literally a logic explosion.. i had to go take 2 headache pills just to soften it a bit...
Did you just call me a "FANBOY" do you even know what the definition is? I just told you i own a Nexus one and you're calling me a fanboy?
From informing you that i own a DEVICE other then the iPhone you should at least formulate some sort of THOUGHT that i'm NOT an iPhnoe fanboy, and i love gadgets, i'm also NOT bias'd and willing to TRY OUT NEW THINGS.
This is what i did, I bought the nexus one to try out new things, to NOT BE BIAS'd.
Most of the people ON THIS THREAD RIGHT NOW have only EVER own a product currently that's on ONE SIDE, i.e. either ONLY owned iPhones currently, or another phone.
So IMO non of you even deserve the right to comment until you've tried out and literally OWNED all devices, otherwise to me it would seem that YOU are in fact the fanboy to which ever side you're commenting from or against.
I'm far from it.

jzajzz says:

@Scott HTC was making TOUCH/Smartphones BEFORE APPLE .. again Apple are not suing for Iphone patentss for the most part.. .the only thing I see is SLIDE to UNLOCK .. thats the only thing taht is IPHONE related.. I might be missing a couple .. but that's what stood out..

cooldude says:

righteous indignation from iPhoneMilk there. I have to say that Apple do make the best quality products. Whatever the criticism I have to give them that. Before owning an iPhone I owned a Sony Ericsson, which was supposed to play music/FM radio. Within a couple of months the music/FM player stopped working I tried fixing it but didn't succeed and also didn't bother getting it fixed (even though I had insured it I didn't bother because it wasn't very good anyway).
Yesterday after a year of owning my iphone, it suddenly went blank (for no reason I was just browsing my programs)! When I couldn't use it I realised how much I relied on it. But I went home, I started up itunes, plugged it into my computer, clicked on restore, and the damn thing fixed itself! Now it's just sitting there acting like nothin' happened when that could have easily screwed up my e-life!
That experience makes it harder for me to leave Apple 'cause I know their good. I even considering having a mac as my next computer.
Damn, I can't believe I said that! I hate Apple. I love Apple. Damn. Damn.

jzajzz says:

@ Iphonemilk .. i"m saying that I highly doubt you have a nexus one.. many people here say they have a phone of antoher OS and they hate it.. I see it on android sites too.. "yea I had an Iphone and im gonna return it" ...

iphonemilk says:

Do you want a screenshot or something? =)

cooldude says:

One phone that I'm am waiting for with baited breath is the HTC HD2, by the time I reach the end of my contract there should be a good consensus about how it compares with the iPhone. What a love big screen it's got.

Sadie says:

I agree largely with the author. Informative, interesting article.

Allen says:

No, it's not informative. It happens to be factless opinion. But hey, if that's how you inform yourself, go watch Fox and vote for Palin...

J-Boogie24 says:

@ Allen
As much as I agree with your notion that Apple releases products for everyone. I would have to disagree with the notion that Derek (and the rest of the Pre owners) are not apart of Apples target market for the ipad. The point he is making is the ipad is not revolutionary. It does considerable less then a netbook and a tablet PC. Its too big to be a viable portable music player. It could be a viable video player, but with the lack of video support and no optical drive it cant do that either. ipad, when it was shown to the public was underwhelming. Sad to say, but its a big ipod touch, tied to ATT. The ipad is a big "FAIL". Your right on one front Palm Pre isnt the IPhone and it hasnt sold as much. But keep in mind that the Palm Pre has come in 8 months as far as the Iphone has come in roughly 3years. NOW... I'm not going to open that argument up again. This article is about Apple suing instead of innovating. The ipad doesn't feel like something innovative. Just like Derek left his article I'll leave you with ... "Of course, I could be completely wrong and be blown out of the water by iPhone OS 4.0 and OS X 10.7. But the bitter pill that the iPad, and now this lawsuit, have left me with has me concerned for Apple’s foresight. Maybe they’ve gotten too big and lost touch with what made Apple the success that it is today."

Mike says:

I have to agree with both sides of the argument. I feel both that the iPhone 3GS was a letdown and what I know of the iPad seems to be underwhelming. I also agree that Apple needs time to make revolutionary changes and it's not possible with 1 year product cycles. Is each and every Madden iteration a complete departure from last year. Absolutely not. But when taken over the course of several years/iterations it's groundbreaking. That's how I look at the iPod, iPhone, and likely iPad. I purposely didn't by the iPhone 2G and was rewarded with the iPhone 3G with was far superior to the original imo. I then skipped the 3GS and plan on likely buying the fourth iPhone because I feel there will be not necessarily huge difference between it and the 3GS, but enough difference between the 3GS that it is a significant improvement over the 3G. I believe that most people who bought the 2G, skipped the 3G, and jumped to the 3GS would argue that they made a huge improvement. People have to just stop buying every single new product and show some level of patience and the innovation made by Apple and may other tech companies is clear. That's just my opinion though. Before the fanboy comments come, I only own an iPhone 3G and a video iPod from 4 years ago. I'm not a fan of Apple and never plan on buying a Mac (too much money for not enough computer), but believe that the iPhone is the best phone in the world (for me). Again, just my opinions.

zacha says:

@ Mike +1
@ Allen: I agree with you! This post is not as informative and not fact based. So as an opinion i'm willing to give it a thought but not by any chance accept it as a fact.
To all the other people that say tha Apple's pattents are stupid, it may be unfair but by law these "silly things" belong to them and they (Apple) have the right to do whatever they please...

Kar says:

When I orerded mine (64g white) from AT&T site it gave me the choice to select Unlimited iPhone 4S data plan with no problem. Of course I am a Grandfathered Unlimited data customer.

Lady Kaede says:

@SCOTT - it's not that no one's opinion matters except the fanboy's (and I proudly wear that label). It's that no one's opinion matters except the judge's. We're all just opinionated folk here, fanboys and non-fanboys alike. Some say Apple's patents are not iPhone patents, some say obviously HTC/Google are merely copying the iPhone . . . we might all be right from a certain point of view. But none of our opinions matter to the parties involved. Mr. Kessler's 'no innovation from Apple' thesis just seems like it's from another planet to me.

Kevin says:

Imagine the world if Motorola had patented the "cell phone" after all they did create the first one. There would be no iPhone and without an iPhone there would be no Droid. There's plenty of food on the table for everyone to eat.

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