A Reasonable Look at the Apple and AT&T iPhone4 Lawsuit.

Not surprising I suppose, the lawsuit makes no mention of the perhaps questionable judgements of the plaintiffs who bought the product(s) sight unseen.

The star witness as it turns out seem to be some unqualified blogging site diatribes as technical references.

Frankly as a former RF Engineer myself, I can tell you that the performance issues claimed are inconsistent. The demonstration tests ill-informed. And there are as many wireless network variables as there may be device variables.

The frenzy over this issue is ridiculous. How many class action suits is this for Apple this decade? 50? 100? And it’s not just Apple. 

The problem with these nonsense suits—I call this one nonsense based on their cited authorities and how they’re playing it in the media—is that sooner or later they mask legitimate ones.

One is hard pressed to believe this firm is doing anything other than chasing a buck when three of the four links used in support of their initial statement about the “iPhone 4 investigation” are from Gizmodo. Bad enough to use blogs with questionable technical expertise in the first place, but citing one with a recent and obvious axe to grind against Apple seems the height of cluelessness. Meanwhile, the only non-Gizmodo link is to a rumors site. Lovely. 

Oh well, I’ve seen stranger suits prevail (a spilled cup of coffee comes to mind). I guess that’s why firms like Ambulance & Chaser, LLC. continue to try their luck.

Apple Antitrust

It’s bad enough there’s no monopoly in phones for Apple to be accused of abusing, and nearly every article complaining about Apple admits this. Yet the subject keeps cropping because Apple’s competitors are asking the feds to slow Apple down, and it’s good PR for politicians. Whatever.

But now it’s gone so far as this:

But, Apple is walking a fine line, and will be increasingly scrutinized by the government. Each time provides additional risk for regulation.

This is nonsense. 

Let’s put it in sports terms: “Well, Bob, New York’s had three hits down the baseline that were close to being foul. The umpires will increasingly scrutinize further such hits. Each one provides additional risk for being foul.” 

That’s absurd. The thing is either fair or foul. No matter which, it’s over, done with, and has no bearing on future hits. Like flipping a coin 10 times in a row with tails, the next flip is still just 50-50 tails (spare me the mathematical precision that says I’m off by a few hundredths, the point stands).

This isn’t some freakin’ game where not only can you not break a rule, but apparently you’re only allowed a few times where you allegedly come close to breaking a rule—never mind Apple’s not close. This is lobbyists in Washington playing with politicians in Washington. It’s companies trying to to get their money’s worth. We should be appaled, not happy, if they succeed.

Microsoft and HTC: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

It gets weirder.  Microsoft, in turn, would recieve royalties on every Google Android phone sold by HTC.  So, for a few bucks per Android device, Microsoft gives HTC the ammunition it needs to fight off Apple in its patent disputes.

Despite public statements to the contrary, HTC must be concerned about the Apple lawsuit. Otherwise there’s little reason to give Microsoft “a few bucks” per phone for, essentially, nothing. Windows Mobile is in terrible shape, so if Microsoft had any phone patents (i.e., “ammunition”) worth having they’d have gone after the smartphone vendors themselves by now. They haven’t.

Instead, I think Microsoft licensed HTC a bill of goods that looks good in a press release. Microsoft gets cash money for HTC phones sold, but doesn’t have to dirty their hands with any legal battle that’ll cost millions (and they’re not confident in winning).

Sure, HTC can go back to Apple and say “See? We have these Microsoft patents, are you scared now?”, but I think Apple will be unimpressed. Again, it looks good in a press release, and in tech pundits’ columns, but all it’ll likely do is stretch the case, and the cloud over HTC, out further, which is not a good thing for HTC.

I would think HTC tried first to cross-license with Apple (after all, they’re the ones holding the patents HTC’s alleged to be infringing), but Apple said no. Microsoft made overtures, HTC grabbed, and Microsoft laughs all the way to the bank.

San Francisco defense attorney would go after Gizmodo

“If I were prosecuting, I’d go after (any blogger who bought the phone) vigorously,” said Michael Cardoza, a prominent San Francisco defense attorney and former prosecutor. “I’d fight them tooth and nail to see that they wouldn’t get protection under the shield law. I’d play hardball in this case. They didn’t find the phone as part of their reporting but instead bought property that they knew or should have known wasn’t the property of the seller.”


For all the opinions being posted about how Gizmodo should not be pursued, they can do what they want as journalists, the search warrant is illegal, etc., I thought I’d post an alternate opinion. Make of it what you will.