It's being reported today out of Taiwan that TSMC (Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is likely to add two more advanced processes to its 16nm process portfolio in order to compete with the 14nm nodes to be released by Intel and Samsung Electronics.TSMC is going all out to compete for Apple's A9 processor business.
A report from India today points to Himanshu Chakrawarti, CEO at The Mobile Store, India's largest mobility devices retail chain stating that Apple now wants to challenge Samsung in the tablet space like it's doing in premium smartphone space. The "iPad Mini is expected to be the game changer for Apple in the Indian tablet market space the way iPhone 4 has been able to bring newer consumers, which early this year even prompted the company to re-launch this globally defunct model in India.
Thumbs Up to Judge Koh for Overruling Samsung's Objection to the Federal Judicial Center's Instructional Video
Yesterday we reported that Samsung didn't want jurors in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement trial starting this week to see an instructional video from the Federal Judicial Center, claiming that the video strongly suggests that Apple's products are innovative and patentable. We expressed our view of that request and Judge Koh poked Samsung in the eye by overruling their objection earlier today.
Apple filed for new iOS 7 icons in the US this past week and we covered their filings in four separate reports (01, 02 and 03) including a bizarre abandonment of their iMovie icon that they had just filed for the day before. Today, we discovered that Apple has mirrored those filings in Hong Kong China as well as adding three additional icons to the list. Our report covers Apple's new icon filings in China as well as a newly granted design patent for their iOS 7 keypad for iPhone.
The next round in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement war begins this week. Yesterday we presented a video that Samsung doesn't want the jurors to see from the Federal Judicial Center, as it all but screams out that Apple is a leading US inventor. In a trial where Apple is seeking more than $2 billion in damages for copying features of its iPhone, the stakes are higher than they were in the first trial. So much so that Google will be making its first appearance in the US courtroom battle between the smartphone rivals in the hopes of tipping the US jury's perspective of the trail being about the US vs. Korea.
Samsung Doesn't Want Jurors to See this Video Next Week During Apple-Samsung Patent Infringement Trial
Samsung has raised objections to the video above being shown to the jury this coming week during the new Apple Samsung patent infringement case. Starting at the 2:58 point of the noted video from the Federal Judicial Center, US District Judge Jeremy Fogel states that "During the lifetime of the patent its disclosure may inspire new inventions (iPad is shown in video). And after it expires, the invention is free (original iPhone is shown in video) for anyone to use." The Apple products in the video are connected verbally and visually as "inspired inventions." Samsung's attorney's complained that "At a minimum, the video strongly suggests that Apple's products are innovative and patentable." Yes, you F$%&%#$g Ass$%&e, that's what the video is saying from on high! (Ha!)
Last Thursday the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they're seeking protection for a newly advanced five axis robotic arm used in the manufacture of their new Mac Pro. Apple's Senior Vice President Operations Jeff Williams states in a video presented below that in order to make the advanced Mac Pro Tower, Apple had to pioneer entirely new processes. Of course one of them relates to Apple's new robotic arm. In the end, Apple is showing us the insane depths that they're willing to go so as to create an amazingly original desktop computer. How many companies other than Apple would go to such lengths to design a new desktop today in the midst of the mobile revolution? None. Apple just thinks different. Designing cool products is just in their DNA.
Looking at the past five years, music downloads are still up by more than 50% as our chart below confirms despite the noise that the download music market is dying. The stats of subscription and steaming music services sound hot, but they're still miles from catching up to the download music market that's led by Apple's iTunes.
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Nike that reveals a new motorized footwear adjustment system that will work with the Nike-Apple created Nike + iPod system. Nike's idea is absolutely crazy, but I like it. Nike's new system will allow professional athletes and sporting enthusiasts alike to program their running shoes so that they could attain the ultimate comfort level each and every time they put their runners on. It'll provide athletes with a snugness that's unique to their needs. It's an automatic shoe lace adjustment system on steroids. Your laces will never come undone again at any time. More importantly, Nike's patent clearly confirms that this new system will work with Apple's iPhone and the Nike + iPod system including the iPod sensor. Yes, there's a new Nike + iPod system update in the making and many sporting fans will truly appreciate Nike's attention to detail and for making their next generation footwear even that much more comfortable for their hard runs and gaming needs.
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an Apple TV feature that we'll all like. In a nutshell, if you're watching a movie on Apple TV and want to get some more popcorn and drinks, you may not have to stop the movie. You'll just sync the movie stream from Apple TV to an iDevice and it'll allow you to watch your movie while grabbing snacks or doing other duties. Come to think of it, that could have come in handy while watching this year's iTunes music festival. In the future, we may even be able to sync our Apple TV content to a future computer band so while you're grabbing your snacks you don't have to hold your iPhone. While only time will tell if that scenario ever plays out, for now we just may be looking at a new Apple TV feature that's coming our way (hopefully soon).
Apple Reveals an Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire Process for iDevices that may Incorporate Liquid-Metal
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Oleophobic Coating on Sapphire." Apple's invention covers a surface coating apparatus that could spray oleophobic and other coatings onto the glass of an iDevice. Apple's patent also hints that the body and bezel of future iDevices could be made of plastic, aluminum or an amorphous glass material which translates into being a liquid-metal. Today, we get another piece of Apple's sapphire materials puzzle.
On March 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an all-new iPad smart cover configuration that includes a keyboard panel. One of the aspects of this design which differentiates itself from Microsoft's Surface tablet cover is that Apple's keyboard has been uniquely designed to double as a multi-touch gesture keyboard eliminating the need for a touchpad.
A new study published by Kantar today claims that the value proposition for tablets is still very cloudy for consumers. In 4Q13, tablet penetration in the United States reached 37%, a growth of 54% compared to the same period in 2012. Yet year-over-year growth is beginning to slow down. The report notes that 53% of US consumers interviewed during the holiday quarter said that they won't be buying a tablet in the next 12 months and 34% stated they were unlikely to buy a tablet in that same timeframe. The task for the industry tablet leaders is to send clearer marketing messages to consumers convincing them why they should take the plunge and buy a tablet. Of course Apple is well ahead of the researchers in this regard and initiated a focused ad campaign about different Verses – unique individual universes of how consumers are connecting to their iPad. Apple has an extensive list of stories outlining many different personal and commercial uses for the iPad. Apple's the only one doing this.
We reported on Monday that Apple had just filed for new iOS icons. Apple's purple stared iMovie was one of the first trademark applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Today, USPTO revealed Apple's "Request for Express Abandonment" of the iMovie icon. The reasoning for the express abandonment of the icon is unknown at this time.
In February 2005, the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave senior software engineer Greg Christie an ultimatum to finalize the software for the upcoming iPhone or the project would go to another Apple team. Mr. Christie joined Apple in 1996 to work on the Newton and the iPhone project was important to him. The iPhone project was at that stage called project "Purple." Mr. Christie has never publicly discussed the early development of the iPhone before. Yet Apple made him available on the eve of a new patent-infringement trial against Samsung to highlight a key element of its legal strategy—just how innovative the iPhone was in 2007, when it arrived.
It's being reported today that Facebook will be acquiring two-year-old Oculus VR Inc., a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion, buying its way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena with its first-ever hardware deal.
In December Wired Magazine believed that wearables would be the computing trend to watch for in 2014 and believed it could be as big a market as smartphones. In fact it was the number one trend to emerge at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Since that time, Samsung has raced ahead in wearables with their Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band and Google has kick-started their Google Wear platform. Even Apple let it be known that there's a "Healthbook" App on the way which could strongly suggests that there could be a wearable device on their roadmap in the not too distant future. Today, The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Samsung a new design patent for Samsung Glass while granting Microsoft a design patent for an "Electronic Band." Yes, things are starting to get interesting.
Earlier this month the rumor mill was busy reporting that Samsung gained a new contract for Apple's next generation A8 processor. Yet within 24 hours, news surfaced that TSMC wasn't only producing the A8, they were in fact ahead of schedule in production for Apple's processors. That was good news considering that Apple had reportedly ordered 90 million iPhone 6 units. That's a huge leap from their record-breaking 51 million units sold in calendar Q4 2013. Today, The Korean press paints a painful picture of Samsung's US processor plant that was meant to produce Apple processors. It's just not going according to plan.
A Tokyo District Court ruled today that Apple won't have to pay damages to Samsung Electronics Co. and didn't infringe on patents for certain products. Specifically, Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa said Apple's iPhone 4s, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 don't infringe on data communication patents of Samsung, according to a statement from the court.
On March 25, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published four of Apple's latest trademark filings pertaining to refreshed icon designs for Pages, Numbers and Keynote Apps for both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. Our report provides you with jumbo icon graphics creatively joined with miniature versions of Apple's "previous" designs so that you could see how dramatic some of the changes really are. Apple's shift to a digital-styled pen for their new Pages icon is a curious choice of design. Perhaps one day it'll actually mean something.
Apple Granted 44 Patents: See iPhone-Hearing Aid Features, Dual Image Sensor Systems & Two Designs from the Late Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a dual image sensor system, hearing aid features for a future iPhone, scrolling features like Cover Flow and two design patents that credit Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Apple Granted Patents for their Original iDevice Pinch and Rotation Gestures and Special GUI's for the Disabled
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two specific granted patents related to multitouch on touch screens. The first covers Apple original 2007 technology that introduced pinch and zoom, pinch and rotate and other key new-to-market gestures. The second patent that we cover relates to in-depth GUI's designed for the disabled so that they could use Apple's iDevices and MacBooks. The latter patent illustrates Apple's long standing commitment to providing the disabled with the very best assistive technology which flies in the face of a recently filed Class Action lawsuit on behalf of the disabled.
On March 25, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published one of Apple's latest trademark filings for a special detailed word mark related to their iOS app "Pages." USPTO filed the application under number 86227771. Our report covers Apple's application in-part, their special Pages image and its corresponding specimen page.
Apple Reserves the Right to Tap into your iCloud Email and a Doubtful Deal with Comcast is in the Wind
There's been a lot of noise in the media over the last months about the NSA being able to tap into your email with the help of Google, Apple and others. There has been angry reaction to this news by the companies that were supposedly working hand-in-glove with the NSA. These respective companies reacted to those claims with their own public campaigns. Yet when I read the other day that Microsoft had hacked into a bloggers email account, the ugly truth and hypocrisy of it all began to unravel. Then surprisingly late last week we were all unpleasantly reminded that Apple also reserves the right to do the very same thing and beyond on your iCloud email account. It appears that our only right that we have left is to not use a company's software. So if you use any company's software, just stop yapping about privacy, because in the end, it appears it's a right that no longer exists. It's just a thing of the past. Report Updated March 28, 2014 with NYT Link.
On March 24, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's latest trademark filings relating to icons for iPhoto OS X and iOS 7 along with the iMovie icon for iOS 7. Apple's new iOS 7 icons reflect the new flat design that was launched in concert with the iPhone 5S in 2013. The three filings were originally filed last week according to USPTO's documentation with all of them filed under International Class 009.