The week in mobile – July 20, 2012

Hi mobile fans! Here is a collection of the interesting stories in mobile this week.

Apple

Apple vs. Samsung

Okay, so let me see if I’ve got this straight.

Here in the US Apple has won an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for a patent violation preventing sale of the tablet. Samsung has failed to convince the appeals court judge to stay to injunction until the appeal can be heard so the devices will stay off the shelves. (Source: the Register)

But over in Great Britain, not only did the courts not grant an injunction against Samsung, they are forcing Apple to explain to the public that the Galaxy Tab is not a copy of the iPad by posting such language on Apple’s UK website and taking out newspaper ads. A small consolation for Apple is that the judge said that consumers are not likely to confuse Samsung’s tablets for Apple’s because the Galaxy Tab “is not as cool” as the iPad. (Source: Bloomberg)

My Take: The result to the same suit in the two different countries could not be more different. I’ve never heard of a penalty like Apple is now facing in the UK and I’m very curious to see how Apple handles it.

Apple is granted “the mother of all smartphone patents”

Apple has just received a patent that covers “Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents.” (See the patent here)

Source Fortune

My Take: During the iPhone introduction in 2007 Steve Jobs concluded the first showing of iPhone’s multi-touch interface by saying “and boy have we patented it.” (See video here at 3:42) Well, he meant it. This patent seems to basically cover the multi-touch interface used by every smartphone today. Unlike other patents that Apple has been attacking competitors with, this one doesn’t seem like Apple’s competitors can easily work around. Expect more lawsuits, injuctions, and such.

I fear such a patent will stifle innovation in the smartphone and tablet industries. As much as I like Apple products, healthy competition is necessary to move the industry forward. This patent will only make for worse products and richer lawyers.

Google

The newly released Nexus 7 has been in the news a lot this week.

Selling like hotcakes

The Nexus 7 is proving to be so popular is it a hard to find item. Google Play is predicting 3-5 days shipping for the 8GB tablet, but the 16GB version doesn’t even have a ship date. The site just says “coming soon”. The tablets are proving hard to find at retail soon with most vendors having none in stock.

My Take Low price and great reviews are a good combination for making a product hard to keep on shelves. If you want one, place your order now.

Durability test

In addition to being less expensive than the iPad, the Nexus 7 is proving to be more durable. A drop test conducted by SquareTrade where they dropped a Nexus 7 and an iPad 3 on a sidewalk from shoulder height, hip height, and into a bathtub full of water. In all cases the Nexus 7’s screen did not break and the device remained fully functional. The iPad on the other hand suffered cracked screens and lost audio when submerged in water. See the video here.

My Take: Don’t drop your iPad! Or at least put it in a case.

Kidding aside, I was very impressed with the durability of the Nexus. That’s something to consider if you are considering a tablet for kids. Product durability (unfortunately) does not seem to be one of Apple’s strengths.

To be honest, I was amazed that both tablets continued playing video while completely submerged in water.

Quality problems?

As durable as the Nexus 7 is doesn’t mean that there haven’t been problems. Complaints include  screens are separating from the device, uneven backlighting, dead pixels, display ghosting. and some won’t charge.

Source: TabTimes

My Take: There are always going to be problems with the first runs of a new device. The issue is how well Google is handling customer service and, ancedotally, I’ve heard that they are not doing very well. If Google wants to be in the hardware business, like Eric Schmidt said they do, then they have to realize customer service is an important part of that and build up that organization PDQ.

And that’s the news. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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About Lee J.

Mobile Guy!
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