China's Sina Tech is reporting today that after Lenovo's financials were announced indicated that the company's smartphone sales volume had risen by a whopping 200% Year-Over-Year, Lenovo's CEO Yang Yuanging urged telecom operators to decrease their subsidies for iPhones and reduce "super-national treatment" for foreign mobile phone makers, including Apple and Samsung. The call for an end to subsidies is beginning to sweep the industry. Just last week we pointed to T-Mobile ending subsidies with AT&T applauding the move. In Asia, KT (Korea Telecom) has been demanding such a move in Korea. Though in the end if Telecoms are making record profits selling Apple's iPhone, not much will change unless foreign governments get involved – and that's always a slippery path that most would rather pass on. Then again, Korea has begun to crack down on excessive subsidies and a new report published today discusses it in full detail.
The US Patent and Trademark Office published twenty of Apple's patent applications today and we highlighted four of them in-depth throughout the day. However, there were nine other patent applications that were published today along with seven continuation filings. In today's Patent Lint report we provide you with the links to each of the remaining patent filings that we didn't highlight, just in case there's something that may be of interest to you. Today's Patent Lint report covers such matters as collaboration on virtual works of art, adaptive auto exposure for cameras, telecommunications and more.
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new method for fabricating a sheet of metallic glass matrix composite. Metallic glass is a form of liquidmetal. In order to make cool products with this exotic material one must first invent equipment that could properly processes and control it. Today's patent relates to sheet casting of metallic glasses, and more particularly to twin roll sheet casting of bulk metallic glasses and composites in an inert environment. If you don't think that this is about liquidmetal, the conclusion of our report will make it crystal clear.
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that out of the box thinking is still alive and well at Apple. In a way, Apple's latest invention could be considered one of many apps associated with a future master iWallet App. Under today's Passbook App we see a series of services within it such as handling gift cards, coupons, passes and tickets. Apple's iWallet App will likewise carry a number of sub categories for credit, debit and a new one related to a proposed ad-hoc cash dispensing network using iTunes and Maps. Apple states that there are times when you just need cash and with no ATM's in sight their new network will be able to bring a cash requester together with a cash provider using a new App that make the processes somewhat painless. If you love nightlife, this could very well come in handy. But it's not for everyone, that's for sure.
Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs told Biographer Walter Isaacson that he'd "like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." In that very same timeline, Apple's engineers were working on his dream TV and in a patent application published this morning, we get a tiny glimpse of the enhanced audio system that may be accompanying this future HDTV. The system will also intelligently integrate surround sound-like quality for video conferencing for the home or work. Apple's TV will also be able to work with FaceTime and create a unique audio experience whereby the voices from multiple participants will be heard in the exact direction that they're positioned on the screen. While it's not the Killer HDTV patent we're all still waiting for, it's the next best thing. Today we could safely say that Apple's Killer HDTV is real, at least on paper.
Apple Reveals Cool Depth Perception System with a Unique Laser Projection Keyboard Feature for iDevices
On January 31, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published twenty patent applications from Apple and the most intriguing of all relates to their invention concerning a new depth perception system. While Apple has worked on "presence detection systems" before relating to MacBooks and iDevices, this new system goes beyond mere detection. For instance, in one application, Apple describes the new system integrated into an iPad that would be able to project a laser based keyboard onto a table. That would definitely be considered a wow-feature that could excite consumers. Of course, that's if they actually get it to market before the completion steals their idea, which is highly likely.
From an Intellectual Property stand point there are a number of races going on in techland on many fronts. There's the race to find the next generation smart pen, there's a race to bring smart eyewear to market and there's even a two horse race to bring gesture-based search to market in the not-too-distant future between Google and Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft has filed a new patent application with the US Patent Office covering gesture-based search that could extend to smartphone, tablets, the Xbox, tiltable desktop multitouch displays, next generation Ultrabook convertibles and more. Our cover graphic covers patent FIGS. 12A-12E as basic examples of specific gestures being considered. The dot shown in the bottom center example, for instance, has an added value that indicates that the search query should weight a particular world or term more heavily. While Google's 2012 patent filing shows that they have a substantial lead over Microsoft's Bing team in this area of gesture-based searches, I wouldn't count Microsoft out of this race just yet. In fact Macites may even welcome the new features in the future.
A US court has ruled that Samsung didn't willfully infringe on some of Apple's patents and denied a request by Apple to raise patent damages awarded to it in its legal dispute against Samsung. Moreover, Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung's request for a new trial and more importantly, denied Samsung's bid to invalidate Apple patents. Our report points out a few other interesting rulings in this case and provides you with full views of all of the key rulings handed down by Judge Koh late yesterday.
A new report out of Taiwan this morning states that the sales volume of the iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad 4 are at a ratio of 3:1 for mobile telecom carriers' contract-bundled sale and 4:1 for contract-free sales through the retail channel, according to sources with local retailers.
BrightWire, a business-to-business resource for portfolio managers has posted a rather strange report this morning. The report is claiming that Apple organized a week-long seminar for Russian regional ministers of education and other officials, in charge of public purchases, in London, UK, during which the company will familiarize the officials with its products. The article discloses several names of regional officials and stated that the event participants will be staying right in the heart of London. The author noted that the timing of the trip was suspicious given that large federal government educational tenders for the modernization of equipment worth up to 66.5 million US per region would soon be conducted.
Apple has filed a notice of motion, motion to compel compliance with a subpoena with the court in Northern California which seeks to compel Google Inc. to comply with the August 27, 2012 subpoena issued by the Northern California Court. The anticipated discovery would assist Apple in the preparation of its case in Motorola Mobility v Apple. Motorola has accused Apple of infringing several of its patents, and Apple has counterclaimed, asserting several of its own patents against Motorola. Apple alleges that seven of its patents are infringed by Motorola's mobile phones and tablets that perform specific functionalities or features enabled, executed, or supported by Google's Android mobile operating system and related proprietary software applications.
Apple is continually focusing the iPad for the enterprise and starting on February 5, Apple will be introducing new 128GB versions of the fourth generation iPad. Retail pricing will be $799 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi model and $929 (US) for the iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Today's press release states that the iPad continues to have a significant impact on business and virtually all of the Fortune 500 and 85 percent of the Global 500 are currently deploying or testing the iPad. The increase in storage is to support companies that are regularly using large files associated with 3D CAD files, X-rays, film edits, project blueprints, music and more. Obviously Apple listened to their customers like AutoCAD who were quoted in Apple's press release. Amy Bunszel, vice president of AutoCAD products for Autodesk stated that AutoCAD "files are often large and highly detailed," and so the new iPad with 128GB will be a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data. Apple takes the lead on storage capacity on tablets, as Microsoft's RT tablet is stuck at 64GB and the Samsung Galaxy Tab is at the bottom of the pile with a paltry 16GB.
In August 2012 we reported on Apple's new patent application about a next generation iPad Cover that described integrating solar panels right into the cover as illustrated above in our cover graphic. To be honest, like most, it seemed like an idea that could be viable "sometime" down the road, like 2016. But apparently the race is on to get this to market sooner. Not only is Apple working on this idea, but so is a GaAs solar material maker called Alta Devices.
Apple Wins 48 Patents Covering the iPhone 5's Integrated Touch Display, Apple's Zoom Feature & Electromagnetic Induction
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 48 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover the iPhone 5's integrated touch display technology, Apple's zooming feature, harnessing the power of electromagnetic induction and much more, much more.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 48 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the top patent wins for Apple today covers Apple's second granted patent for an iWallet component relating to a motion based payment confirmation system. We first covered Apple's patent application on this matter back in August 2012 under the title "iWallet: Apple Intros Virtual Equivalent of a Credit Card Swipe." Apple's granted patent reveals their virtual equivalent of a credit card swipe on an iDevice GUI. The iWallet is going to be a major iPhone application in the future that could very well end up being one of the most important apps of the decade. Today's granted patent was filed for in August 2012 under number 8,364,590.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 48 newly granted patents for Apple Inc today. The one that stood out from the pack by far was one that we covered in great detail back in August 2010 titled "Apple introduces us to the Smart Bike." It was the most popular patent report that we ever posted. Apple's granted patent covers various concepts behind an advanced Smart Bicycle System.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of four newly granted design patents for Apple Inc. today. The design cover such designs as the iPod touch, the MacBook Air's reinstall drive and more. Design patents will be carrying more clout later this year as we pointed out in a report last week covering the new US Patent Law Treaties Implantation Act of 2012.
In early December DigiTimes reported that one million robots are scheduled to replace human labor at Hon Hai in the not too-distant future. Today there's news that Hon Hai Precision's plant based in Shenzhen has started to adopt robots to produce Apple's products. The iPhone 5 earphone workshop is using more than 100 robots, which has increased the work efficiency by 140%, reports BrightWire, a business-to-business resource for portfolio managers.
BrightWire, a business-to-business resource for portfolio managers is reporting this morning that even though 70% LG Display's profits came from Apple in 2012, LG Display has reportedly stated that they're working to reduce their dependence on Apple due to the companies "bleak future forecast." The Seoul news site who posted this report is called News Tomato, a news site that covers securities and economic news. LG Display will be working with new clients with needs for FPR-type 3D TV panels and WRGB OLED panels in 2013. In December we reported that LG made the decision to go negative against Apple with ads containing mocking phrases such as, the "iPhone 5?" it's "Really disappointing!" With a partner like LG, who needs enemies?
A number of UK sources are reporting this morning that a group of 12 people, all of whom use Apple devices, are seeking damages from Google after claiming that their browsing habits were secretly tracked. It is thought the case, being brought against Google by law firm Olswang on behalf of the internet users, is the first of its kind in the UK.
Businessweek has published an interesting report about one of Apple's recent moves in India. According to Businessweek, Apple has launched a steeply discounted version of its iTunes store, which offers songs such as Come Together and Hey Jude for just 28 cents. The report quotes Siddhartha Roy, chief operating officer of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, an Indian digital music portal as saying that "Apple kept the Indian consumer in mind when determining their pricing here. India is just starting on the digital commerce space, and this will likely serve as an entry into a lot of other products for Apple."
In late December, we reported that the Korean online news site iNews24 reported that Samsung had brought a lawsuit against Apple over their use of their new iOS Notification feature. No other details were available at that time. Well, today the case is making headlines in Korea and it's a doozy. Samsung is demanding that Apple give up its iOS 6 source-code.
Last week we pointed out that Asus Beat Apple out in tablet sales in December. I noted at the time that I thought it was an odd statistic to simply quote a single month's stats versus the full quarter as is traditional. But since this appears to be a new trend, let me give you some iPhone 5 stats for December that may surprise some. According to a new report from Taiwan's China Times, statistics from distributors indicate that the sales volume of Apple's iPhone 5 in Taiwan has reached 220,000 since its debut in mid-December. The market share of Apple's mobile phones in terms of sales volume soared to 26% in December, up from 1% in November.
On January 24, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest registered trademark certificate for Apple's "Distinctive Design & Layout." Apple was granted two designs officially on Tuesday covering their design in both color and black and white. This particular design is that of your typical mall centric Apple Store layout. Apple had originally filed for these trademarks in May 2010. The Apple Store's design was a noted passion in the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson. In fact all of chapter twenty-nine is dedicated to the history of the new Apple Stores. The late Steve Jobs once stated that "Unless we could find a way to get our message to customers at the store, we were screwed." When it comes to shopping for a new computer or mobile device today, the Apple Store experience has no equal in the industry.
The Korea Times is reporting this morning that Samsung Electronics has successfully persuaded a U.S. trade panel to rethink its judgment that more than a dozen of its mobile phones and smartphones violated Apple patents. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which specializes in patent disputes, announced Thursday that it has accepted the Korean technology giant's request to review the preliminary ruling made by agency judge Thomas Pender last October that Samsung infringed on four Apple patents. Pender will now review the case with regards to two of the four disputed patents.