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Mobile Competition Part 2: Great Artists Steal

0. phoneArena 03 Oct 2011, 11:24 posted on

We've already looked at the strengths and weaknesses of each mobile platform, so now it's time to examine the overall competition in the market and what each company is aiming for...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 03:12

66. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Of course Apple doesn't have the responsibility. That's my whole point! Apple doesn't have to do anything! They can sell people a wooden brick and call it the best iPhone ever - and when it comes to Apple - they WILL sell it as long as it doesn't hurt it's profit margins.

It's not about what they have to do. It's about what is the right thing to do. And the right thing to do, is to provide your product with the same key features as your competitor's product. Just because the people who bought your product deserve to have these features as well. That is the right thing to do. And considering that implementing widgets and live wallpapers does not require a software engineering team of 90,000 people - seeing how some guy managed to create some HTML widgets and put them on cydia along with a simple management tool.

Moreso we are not talking about some recent feature. As I said - widgets have existed on Android back in 2009. We are in 2011 now. And Apple still has not implemented them.

As for the purchase decision - yes. If I would have known that @ WWDC 2011 Apple would not introduce widgets - unlike many speculated that they would - I would NOT have bought the iPhone 4. Because I believed that Apple would be generous\smart\competent\decent enough to provide it's products with the same key features as those of their competitor's.

A cellphone is a very personal item. For many people. When it comes to customization - many people, including myself - find it paramount to be able to customize the look and feel of the device to suit their needs and desires. It's HTC's prime philosophy concerning their products: Make it yours. Yours, not like everybody's. An iPhone to this day still looks like an iPhone in 2007. A homescreen with rows of icons. It's like wearing the same clothes everyday, or eating the same food everyday. It's unbearable.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 06:14

70. remixfa (Posts: 14597; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


actually, you have it backward bio.

apple is suing samsung for look-a-like. Not illegal

Apple is suing HTC for some code that they use in Sense.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/apple-sues-htc-for-infringing-20-iphone-patents/

having similar, but not the same, designs is not illegal. patent infringement is.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 10:49

75. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


Dude you are wrong, the IP that apple won on is not on sense but android that is why Apple name the nexus one in it law suit.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 12:26

80. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Apple is trying, but the only place it is succeeding (or even has a chance to succeed) is with Samsung products where the cords and adapters are blatantly copied from Apple and TouchWiz is very Apple-inspired to say the least. Any fight other than with Samsung may result in settlements and exchanges of money, but none of the other battles have any chance of ending in any kind of embargo.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 12:38 2

81. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


As I pointed out in Part 1 of this piece: customization has never been a hallmark of Apple products, and you shouldn't expect it to be. If you like to customize the look and feel of your device, I don't know why you would be considering an iPhone at all. That's like buying a pear and being upset that it doesn't come in neat segments like an orange. You have the responsibility to understand what you are buying.

Apple doesn't have the responsibility to match features, and it's not even a matter of the "right thing to do". If you want widgets, and Apple doesn't have them, don't buy Apple. It's not that difficult. It is Apple's decision whether or not to include features in its device. We don't know the reasoning, maybe Apple doesn't want to mess with the now-iconic UI of iOS by adding something like widgets. Maybe Apple doesn't want to take focus away from the apps (and inside those apps are ads. No ads in widgets.) Maybe the minor time save of widgets just isn't worth it to Apple. Maybe Apple doesn't want to compound the criticism of "copying" Android.

Apple's entire business model has always been to make devices that are simple to use, easy to understand, and users know what they're getting. Adding widgets is a huge change to the UI, and you can still get all of that info on iOS by just launching an app. Yes, iOS looks today exactly as it did in 2007, because that's the way Apple wants it. If you expect that to suddenly change, that's your issue, not Apple's.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 12:41

82. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Having design similar enough to cause confusion for consumers is illegal actually. That's why cheap knockoffs are illegal. Samsung has just removed "cheap" from the equation.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 16:44

88. remixfa (Posts: 14597; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


If it was just android, they would be going after every android manufacturer and google with the same lawsuit. they are not. If its not in "Sense", then its still something added by HTC

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 16:48

89. remixfa (Posts: 14597; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I disagree. By that standard, then apple needs to be banned by not only LG but by Samsung as well. Samsung released a touch phone before the iphone with that very design, and lets not even talk about the LG prada.

A cheap knock off like those cPhones (chineese knock off iphones) tries to emulate the look of the iphone inside and out. It doesnt just take a few design cues, it takes the design and everything else it can to try to mimic the iphone. Samsung is not trying to mimic the iphone in every way. It (the SGS1) looks like a 3GS, (which looked like an LG Prada), which wasnt the current iphone model when it launched, and the app drawers look similar with some coloring similarities on the icons. Thats it. They do not look the same from the home screen, they dont act the same, they dont do the same things. They are functionally very different. Even my grandma can tell the difference between iOS and Android.

posted on 02 Oct 2011, 10:53 1

94. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


i would like to say that touchwiz 4 is nothing like ios...the cord and adapters i agree does look like the same in the US but in the UK they are nothing a like...my guess is just like the US carriers like to change the design of the phones,do you think they maybe also change the design of the cords and adapters...even the actual; packaging is different in the US...just a thought...everryone keeps saying the tab and ipad look the same from the front but thats because both samsung and apple go for the minimalistic look which has proven popular...also with that being the only thing similar,there is alot more differences...even if i were right it would have been better if apple were more like other companies and accepted loyalties instead of actually trying to ban and take choices away from people...i dont care if you a fanboy of android or apple etc but you should never accept choice being taken away from you.

posted on 02 Oct 2011, 10:59

95. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


you say samsung copied the ipad...apart from having a black bezel tell me where else the tab looks exactly like the ipad 2

posted on 02 Oct 2011, 11:21

97. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The law isn't a matter of opinion. LG and Samsung may have had devices that the iPhone patterned its design upon, but neither had the standing in the market that the iPhone does, and as with every law, you need standing to enforce it. It's a terrible way for the law to work, but as is, if you're the big dog you can sue and win. If you're the little guy, you sue and hope to settle.

That said, your grandma sounds like she's in the top 20% of tech users, at least as far as the courts are concerned. Again, it may be terrible, and cause far more problems than it solves, but when it comes to tech, the courts tend to aim for such a low bar that it can seem insulting to those of us who understand technology. And, functionally different doesn't matter because there are still way too many customers who don't actually play with devices before buying. They hear "this is just like an iPhone", see that the icons look the same, the design is fairly similar and that's enough. Overall consumer knowledge is still pretty low, and the lowest of those are the ones that the courts try to protect, unfortunately.

posted on 02 Oct 2011, 13:03

102. remixfa (Posts: 14597; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


we will just have to agree to disagree. I still hold that some judges at least look at the law, not at the people in the suite, and follow the law. Hopefully that isnt a thing of the past just yet.. lol


And im sitting here looking at the tablets in the store, exept for the LG Gslate, they all use that same wide charger that samsung and apple both use. Without branding you couldnt tell who's was who. Since apple owns actual patents on its custom port designs, they are obivously not breaking apple's patents or we would be seeing that lawsuit in spades. A few minor design similarities is not enouh to win a lawsuit for blatant copying. Its all hypocracy of the highest order as apple has been caught as much if not more than others ripping off ideas and pretending they are theirs. Unless its a blatant copy from head to toe like those cPhones, or its a patent violation, they should all just shut up and go about with their own devices.

posted on 03 Oct 2011, 14:00 1

114. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Should I not? Why not? Apple made steps at the right direction with iOS 4. It was more than legitimate to expect them to continue this trend.

Apple doesn't have a responsibility to match features? Really? Ever saw a new car without a built-in radio? Without electric windows? Without electronic lock? You know - these aren't necessary - but they add value.

Why are you acting so forgiving towards Apple? Why do you think that as long as a company is profitable it can do whatever it wants with it's product? What about us? The consumers? Do we not deserve to have similar features? Especially in light of the "Apple copies Android, Android copies Apple" thing. The two operating systems are remarkably similar. Yet one of them is undeniably lacking in features. And it's not the one represented by a green robot.

I care not what is Apple's strategy. I purchased a product based on existing features of a competitive product - and based on the direction that company choose to go towards in their latest software update (iOS 4). The pattern chosen matches the direction in which those unique features on a competitive product lie. That's why I chose the iPhone 4. I would have chosen the Galaxy S - if it had a flash on it's camera. So I choose a product which I believed was going to be significantly similar feature-wise after the next software update. Needless to say I was disappointed. And because I am not as forgiving towards a product lacking in features - like you appear to be - I will absolutely not buy another Apple product in my entire life. Ever.

posted on 03 Oct 2011, 16:52 1

118. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Yeah, I learned that lesson with Apple when I had the iPhone 3G and had to wait for cut/paste. I'm not forgiving to Apple's strategy, that's why I don't personally buy the products. But, I understand why Apple does it, and why it won't change any time soon. When you buy an Apple product, you know it will excel in certain aspects: smoothest navigation/gestures, as yet the best display on the market, still one of the best cameras on the market, and amazing integration with other Apple products (iTunes, Apple TV, etc.) If you went into the iPhone 4, knowing that widgets had been on competing devices for years, but still weren't on the iPhone, how can you complain that the iPhone doesn't have widgets? That's like complaining because there's no SD card slot or removable battery on an iPhone. You should know what you're getting into, and if you make a mistake, sell it and get something you like. I bought my iPhone 3G in August of 2008 for $299, and got bored with the complete lack of customization available, so I sold it in March of 2010 for $300 on Craigslist, and picked up a Nexus One.

I'm a big proponent of the idea that if you don't like what you've got, change it, don't bitch about it.

posted on 04 Oct 2011, 00:43

128. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Well Michael, as I said earlier - Apple WAS moving in the right direction in iOS 4 - bringing more customization options. So I assumed that they would continue the trend. I was just way too optimistic about it.

As for the change-if-you-don't-like-it thingy - again - different people live in different countries. Israel does not have 299$ iPhones available for sale. Even not on contract. And we don't have Craigslist either. Sure, I could sell my iPhone 4 right now as a second-hand device - for about 1500 NIS which are ~ 400$. But to buy let's say a Galaxy S 2 - I would need at least 2500 NIS. Which are ~675$. The deal you described in your post - it doesn't work this way here.

But yeah I agree that bitching about something ain't gonna help. I still would like to think that I made the right decision back in the day. Hopefully by the time I will get the $$$ for a serious upgrade - and decide to buy an Android device - Android will still be relevant.

I seem to have a tendency to purchase devices which at the time seemed like a good decision - but turned out to be lackluster several months later.

I bought the Samsung E250, thinking it to be a cool looking "3G slider" - my first phone with a camera - only to discover there is no 3G, and the camera is 0.3MP unlike the 2MP cameras available at the time.

I later bought the Nokia 5800, thinking that I finally have a device with a touchscreen (and I though of course that a touch screen means millions of apps, games, and silky smooth internet browsing) and a real camera. I mean - it's Nokia! It can't disappoint, right? Wrong!! I shudder at the memory of using a resistive screen, or the crime-against-humanity which was S60v5. And the camera wasn't very good either.

After that I began doing some serious cell phone research. Reading dozens of reviews, watching hundreds of YouTube videos about all kinds of phones ranging from simple Nokia phones to Windows Mobile phones to iPhones to anything else out there.

After deciding that Apple is best in 2010 - I bought the iPhone 4 - thinking that finally - I have a phone which will suit me in every aspect there is. And because Android is such a dangerous competitor - Apple will surely improve the customization aspects of their device. Again - I was wrong.

I seem to be having a bad luck of either assuming too much - or knowing too little at a certain point at the time of the purchasing decision.

Let's hope that when I buy the Samsung Galaxy S3 or whatever will be in store @ 2012 - Google won't decide to dismantle Android a few months later. Or that another company won't come with a technology to communicate with the phone via telepathy - and that Google won't decide to not include it in Android because it's "Not the Google way".

posted on 04 Oct 2011, 11:46 1

133. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I'd hardly call wallpapers and folders "customization options". Everyone has bad luck with tech purchases sometimes. My first two computers were Sony Vaios, so I'm pretty sure I got all my bad luck out of the way with those.

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 13:20

25. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


Michael Heller, thanks for making me think. I paused and had to reconsider when you highlighted the idea that information wants to be free.

So much time and effort has been thrown into gaining competetive edge via the patent system, it is easily lost that the patent system was started to foster innovation by the guarantee that ideas and inventions would be made public for everyone to use.

Rather than look down on copying, we can rest assured that copying is a sign the manufacturers/products we are fans of will continue to thrive...

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 15:27

42. Kalevro (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 Sep 2011)


Perfect story and it will end when smartphones reach the level of the laptop, then we will see.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 12:43

83. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Thanks for reading!

Of course, I'm not sure I take your point, since obviously no one ever debates Windows vs OS X vs Linux...

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 15:40

43. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 467; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


Wtf haha wheres motorola on the chart? are they that bad?

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 11:00

77. aar0983 (Posts: 51; Member since: 26 Sep 2011)


It's on the top, green

posted on 19 Oct 2011, 05:54

136. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 467; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


thats htc

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 16:38 1

48. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Great article Michael! But sad to say, it seems your words have fallen on deaf ears. Or maybe I'm making too much out of the article. It seems to me your saying, in this field of technology, comonality is inevitable. OSs are bound to look alike or use each others ideas in one form or another, and this silly war between iOS and Android is really silly when you step back and look at the big picture, or the direction each company is trying to take. I just got two questions for you...

1. If the two companies Apple and Google are running in two different races, why do you think the patent wars REALLY started? Because it reminded me of a really bad break-up when Steve found out Eric was seeing other companies behind his back. Apple started bad-mouthing Google on Facebook and to the, and now doesn't like any of Google's friends...I mean the whole thing just got as messy as Ron and Sam from Jersey Shore, you know!

2. Why do you think the war of the OSs started and have spilt over into the blogs, our homes, and offices everywhere? I've always said it was a combination of iOS fanatics rubbing their devices in everyone else's nose, The Droid coming out and give non-iOS users something to cheer about, and consumer reaction to the death grip and Steve Jobs saying they were holding it wrong. I was one the people who was angered by that reaction, but was shocked when the iOS fans blasted me for having an opinion of a phone I don't own. (even though I own other Apple and iOS devices, but I guess the iPhone is all that matters).

I just wanted you unbiased opinion as to how this whole thing got started and why these two OSs cause such an uproar never seen with Palm, BB, Windows and Symbian OSs.

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 16:52 1

50. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


1. They may be running different races, but they are still competing. The patent wars didn't start with Apple, Google or Microsoft. It's been building for a while, and has just recently hit the tipping point into the public view.

2. The OS war was inevitable because of what I said in part 1: people can only afford one, so you hitch yourself and stick with it. Electronics have always seen this: Windows vs Mac, Nintendo vs Sega, Nintendo vs Sony, Sony vs Microsoft, and on and on. There's nothing special about this brand war over any other. The fanboy wars existed with Palm, BB, and Symbian, we just didn't see it because the factions were so small. The reason we didn't see this before with Palm or BB or anything is because smartphones didn't cross into the consumer mainstream until the iPhone.

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 17:36

53. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Ahh, clarity. That does make sense. Before Android, I was heavy into Blackberry, but didn't see much of the BB vs Palm wars. I think Windows was universally loathed by many, but still had a very loyal following. By I won't go there. Away, thank you for your perspective.

posted on 30 Sep 2011, 21:01

58. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Whateverman you seem logical most of the time. How can you say iOS users rub their devices in peoples face when Apple article after Apple article is slammed with trolls bashing Apple and it's users. Look through the android articles here and tell me you see the same thing from Apple users.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 04:09 1

67. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)


No, I wasn't very clear on that part. I was referring to the period before the Droid came out. There was nothing that could compete at the time, and there were many who looked down on anything that wasn't an iPhone. Or at least that's how it felt at times, could be wrong.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 10:53

76. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


Ya your the one to talk taco, you troll all the time on android story saying the same thing all the time. You already stated that you don't even own and Android device, you only "use" them.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 12:44 2

84. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2707; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The iPhone was definitely a status symbol and fashion accessory at first. It's still a fashion accessory for many, but not so much a status symbol.

posted on 01 Oct 2011, 13:20

85. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Not true I very rarely post on android articles and even posters on here who dislike me will agree with that.

I have used android phones in the past and am familiar with what they can do. For me I prefer iOS.

Android has advantages and disadvantages. I can tell you things I like about android.

Integration of google services
Google navigation
Voice controls are nice
A 4" screen would be nice, but for me not bigger than that

So I understand the positives and negatives on both OS's. For me I don't want to tinker with my phone all the time. iPhone still does everything I want it to do and is stable.

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