The recent lawsuit filed by Apple against Samsung seems to be a hot topic these days, so we decided to discuss it during PhoneDog Live. Both sides have their arguments and reasonable points. Apple makes millions of dollars selling products that are related to a particular brand and identity, with certain design elements being a part of that identity. You could say they're simply trying to protect that brand. Samsung on the other hand could make the argument that Apple did not invent square icons, a grid, or even the touchscreen. It's the same old battle we've heard for years, except this time, Apple might actually have a good point.
This lawsuit isn't so much about Apple saying that they've invented these things - icons, speech bubbles for messaging, or even a particular hardware design. Apple is making the point that their entire empire is based on, perhaps even hinges on, a particular look and feel. A grid of square icons may seem simple, but people use that particular feature to identify a phone as an Apple iPhone. At least that's what Apple is trying to say. Consumers recognize an iPhone because of the icons, the design of those icons, and even the design of the phone itself. Is Samsung now using that to their advantage to confuse people or trick them into thinking that the Galaxy S devices are somehow related to (or are, in fact) the iPhone? (As a note, the devices in question are all of the Galaxy S devices as well as the Gem, Transform, Intercept, Indulge, Nexus S, Acclaim, and the Galaxy Tab.) According to Apple, "The copying is so pervasive, that the Samsung Galaxy products appear to be actual Apple products." Apple claims that Samsung is making money off of Apple's brand, the way a low-profile company makes money off of a cheap iPhone knock-off.
Samsung could easily make the argument that this assumption is simply unfounded and that they were not trying to "trick" consumers nor did consumers themselves actually confuse a Galaxy S device for an iPhone. Not only that, but the design elements in question relate to two totally different functions of the phone. The grid of icons that Apple is referring to is a part of Samsung's app drawer (or menu) for their phones whereas Apple uses these icons on the homescreen itself. Samsung's homescreen design for their TouchWiz devices doesn't resemble an iPhone any more than any other Android device does.
Basically, it could go either way and it could get ugly. Samsung is now countersuing for alleged patent infringements made by Apple regarding the data and battery technology used in the iPhone. This could also spell doom for the relationship between the two companies. Apple was Samsung's second-biggest client last year and earned the tech giant about $5.7 billion. We all know that Samsung provides key component parts for the iPhone and iPad. What could this mean for their relationship? Only time will tell.
We also discussed the recently leaked video of the supposed new multi-tasking for iOS 5. This video has not been confirmed to be the actual version of what we'll see from iOS 5, we don't even know if this method is still being considered by Apple. This could be a test version of iOS 5 that was scrapped months ago. Interestingly, several of our viewers felt that it was fake. No one has been able to confirm it, so we're still just guessing right now. There are several key features that Apple users have been begging for, multi-tasking being one of them, and it seems like it's about time for Apple to deliver. Hopefully, even if this isn't what we see in the final product, Apple is at least going to find some way to implement this basic function. With the rumored dual-core processor that the iPhone 5 is said to have, surely it can handle having multiple programs running at once.
If you'd like to watch the next episode of PhoneDog Live, we'll be broadcasting every Friday at 5 p.m. from our Ustream channel. You can watch it directly from Ustream or from our Facebook page. This week's show is available to watch on our YouTube channel.