July 05, 2012, 8:30 AM — I have to start with a disclaimer. This is a post about emotion, not law. It's an opinion piece, so keep that in mind.
Anyway, is anyone besides me mad at Apple right now? I'm talking about its legal squabble with Samsung and the resulting ban on the sales of two products, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
When that Galaxy Tab ban was upheld, people raised eyebrows but it didn't seem like that big of a deal (since the Tab 10.1 is relatively old hardware) but the Nexus is a different matter. There are plenty of us carrying around a Nexus right now, and just last week attendees of Google I/O were each given a Galaxy Nexus to develop on. Google is still treating the Nexus as their 'reference phone' even though it's been out for six months or so.
In other words, if you're thinking of getting started with Android development and want to buy the 'standard' Android phone, well.. you can't. At least not direct from Google. Who knows what the situation will be in a few days.
Worse, Google has jumped into the fray and is preparing an "upgrade" for the Galaxy Nexus that will tweak it so that it invalidates Apple's patent claims. In practice what this means is that Google is going to reduce the functionality of the phone by removing the ability to search on both your phone and the web at the same time. This update is going to be pushed out soon, to all Galaxy Nexus phones.
In other words, thanks to Apple my phone is going to lose some functionality.
Granted, I could blame Google for this too, and in truth it may turn out to be an optional downgrade; we don't know yet. But I'm assuming the worst and I'm mad as hell at Apple over this. Or maybe I'm just mad at our broken patent law system.
I just can't get past feeling like Apple should stick to developing awesome hardware and software and win its battles on the quality of its products rather than resorting to exploiting sloppy patent law and an apparently amicable judge.
I'm not alone in my anger; there's a whole "Boycott Apple" movement rolling around over on Google+ (and I assume, other social networks) but as disinterested observers point out, most of the people calling for a boycott are Android users who would never buy an Apple product anyway.
I'm definitely pro-Android, but I have purchased 4 iPads and 1 iPhone in the past few years. So in me, at least, they do stand to lose future sales. I'm not at the "boycott" level of anger yet though; I'm waiting to see how this all turns out. But I really am disappointed that Apple feels like this is the best way for it to compete.
So does anyone else care, or am I just particularly whiny because I'm back at work the day after the 4th of July and most of my co-workers are off on extended weekends? I'd love to hear comments from Android people, Apple people, and disinterested people. Is this the best way for Apple to compete or is it damaging its reputation by lawyering up?
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