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Are Apple's Patent Lawsuits Dead Right?

August 30, 2012

I have often referred to patents between large tech firms as mutually assured destruction as any of these companies can sue others with a slew of patent infringements at once, counting on a few to be upheld by a court. And this is what happened with Apple and Samsung where the Korean phone maker and tech giant was found to have willfully copied Apple’s trade dress meaning the look and feel of the device – among other things like pinching to zoom.

Jason Perlow at ZDnet points us to a good video from Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, on the topic of patents and trademarks in the food industry. It is boring but useful if you want to learn more.

Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre

August 16, 2012

Recently I touched upon some of the differences between the automobile and tech spaces and in the past I have mentioned how Apple’s ability to price its products without discounting implies a stronger brand and moreover helps it sell in its retail stores which offer the same prices as online.

This doesn’t mean that Apple can sit still because we can expect an almost infinite supply of focused competitors.

Sure, many of them like RIM and Nokia are in decline and are retooling their product lines almost perpetually to become competitive. But beyond these examples we also have a slew of Japanese consumer electronics companies who have seen the golden age of TV come and go… Now they are focusing on exporting mobile devices to make a living.

TMC San Jose Video Interviews 2012

August 15, 2012

A few weeks back, my team and I went to Silicon Valley, CA to interview a number of companies in the technology and communications space. Officially the event is called the TMC Roadshow/Executive Editorial Open House. The goal of the event was to get a handle on what was new and exciting. Here you have a list of most of our interviews - some were video, some written and some haven't been processed yet.

There was a good mix of companies represented from cloud communications to cloud storage, testing, wireless, mobility and even webRTC.

Paul Singh, Chairman of DocSync details his company's innovative cloud syncing service



You'll also notice there is a strong mix of company sizes from some you might not of heard of to the largest of the large.





What the Auto Market can Teach us about Mobile

August 14, 2012

Have you ever heard from someone that they don’t like Starbucks coffee but they like the experience at the store so they go in, sit down and buy the coffee? It is quite a testament to the world’s largest coffee chain that they are able to lure in customers who don’t like their premium-priced primary product but are instead attracted to their comfortable seating areas and atmosphere replete with cushy couches and free WiFi.

The point here is people buy things for subtle reasons they may not consciously realize. But how you may ask does this translate into tech and cars?

In Order to Compete with Apple, You Need to BE Apple

July 30, 2012

The idea that Google, a company with an incredible business model, allowing them to potentially profit off every query they process on the web had to go out and buy a hardware company to get into manufacturing would have been unthinkable before the launch of the iPhone and iTunes App Store.

Consider the facts - since the launch of the iPhone in January of 2007, Apple stock has increased by just under 600% while Google has increased by about a paltry 20% in comparison. Click on the chart below to see the details for yourself. 



But lo and behold, we are now comfortable with Google in the hardware market and Microsoft has even launched its own Surface tablet.

Can Discounted Hardware Compete with Apple?

July 10, 2012

Microsoft Store in Danbury, CT


Global Apple stores are brimming with traffic with municipalities tripping over each other to get Apple to open stores in their areas. At the same time, the Microsoft Store in the Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut had a fraction of the foot traffic of the nearby Apple Store this past weekend according to fellow TMC blogger Tom Keating. The good news for Steve Ballmer is Tom likes the layout of the Microsoft store better. These are his exact thoughts:


My next thought was, "It's better." The Apple Store has this clean simplistic design with lots of white and clear plastic, but it lacks the fun factor and has this almost cold, hospital, sterile-like atmosphere.

Should RIM Be Judged on its Hires or Fires?

July 3, 2012

No company wants Apple as a competitor as the company has more momentum than the euro crisis. But that is the challenge companies like Nokia and RIM face on a daily basis. Yesterday I delved into the problems RIM faced because it had an email-centric view of the world which was just as keyboard-centered as it was focused on asynchronous corporate communications.

This morning I had a chance to speak with Luca Filigheddu who is the new BlackBerry Developer Evangelist for the Italian market.

E-mail Focus Built and Hurt RIM

July 2, 2012

Compaq’s iPaq ( pictured), brought to market early last decade was a blockbuster device from the standpoint of its aesthetics. It had a bright color screen, had great audio at the time and felt good in the hand. Competing the Palm 7 black and white wireless device, it was less practical from a battery perspective and didn't have cellular connectivity build-in but was infinitely more easy on the eyes.

Within a few years after the release of the iPaq however the industry started to shift from wanting the most gorgeous device to one which provided the best email experience.

As Predicted: Apple Pays Less For Components and Charges More for Devices

May 31, 2012

I recently had a chance to use the Nokia Lumia 900 and at the local AT&T store here in Norwalk, CT – the device sells for just $49.99. The phone is gorgeous and powerful and is cheap. If you order the phone online in fact you pay $99 so in select stores you get a 50% discount. If you call the same AT&T store, the automated system even tells you about the Lumia 900 before you are able to speak with a live agent.

15 Things to Know About Tim Cook's Comments

May 30, 2012

Last night Apple's Tim Cook was at The All Thing D tech conference and this is what you need to know about his comments:
  1. He says he will blow us away in 2 weeks at the WWDC
  2. There is more the company can do with Facebook he says - will there be a Facebook branded phone from Apple I wonder.
  3. iPads will be bigger than PCs
  4. Microsoft will suffer if it brings the PC "baggage" to the modern tablet which he says Apple invented
  5. We have a culture of excellence thanks to Steve Jobs
  6. We are doubling down on product secrecy
  7. He wants an Apple product made in the US - the glass for the iPhone and iPad is made in Kentucky today
  8. We need a shift in the US economy to support tool and die skills and a different educational system to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US
  9. Gives a wishy washy answer on the patent wars - he says they are a pain in the ass but it seems Apple patents are viewed as more important than others he believes should be easily licensed
  10. We will keep "pulling the string" on the Apple TV to see where it takes us
  11. Won't say if they are making an "Apple TV" a new real TV but says people aren't pleased with the current TV experience
  12. When looking at acquisitions they don't look for revenue but skills and products instead
  13. Siri will improve over the next few months
  14. Apple does not need to own a carrier or cable company
  15. Apple knows Ping "sucks"

And there you have it - a bunch of rumors have just been killed off if what Cook says is accurate. It will be very interesting to see if there is big Facebook news in the near future and if it puts a floor under the social networking company's stock. Overall Cook did a great job sharing a good amount of information but not giving away too much about the future. He walked the line perfectly and to read more check out this post from Jay Yarrow.


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