Why Samsung Is Awful

From Vanity Fair:

According to various court records and people who have worked with Samsung, ignoring competitors’ patents is not uncommon for the Korean company. And once it’s caught it launches into the same sort of tactics used in the Apple case: countersue, delay, lose, delay, appeal, and then, when defeat is approaching, settle. “They never met a patent they didn’t think they might like to use, no matter who it belongs to,” says Sam Baxter, a patent lawyer who once handled a case for Samsung. “I represented [the Swedish telecommunications company] Ericsson, and they couldn’t lie if their lives depended on it, and I represented Samsung and they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.”

The full story covers Samsung’s storied history of stealing innovations from companies like Sharp, Pioneer, Kodak, Apple and others, detailing the company’s legal battles and the ways in which it capitalized off its “Infringe First And Stall As Long As Possible” strategy.

Pretty gross stuff.

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The iPhone 6… As In, 6 Millimeters?

I made a point in my last post about why smartphone case makers like to leak phone specs ahead of their launches, especially when those phones are iPhones. Now, take it with a grain of salt, but a Ukranian website claims to have several “legitimate” design renderings of Apple’s next iPhone.

The site allegedly has images of the phone’s antenna system, but I find this image to be the most interesting by far:

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Compare this to the specs of the iPhone 5s:

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Let’s keep in mind, the iPhone 5 and 5s are both 7.6mm thick, so making the phone physically bigger but significantly thinner at just 6mm would be a tremendous feat of hardware engineering.

It gets better. Compare this alleged thickness for the iPhone 6 to other rival smartphones:

Everyone’s talking about smartphone screen sizes, but I’d prefer a thinner and lighter phone any day of the week. But it seems like Apple wants the best of both worlds: Give people what they want—a bigger screen—but make the phone light and easy to hold. These images intrigue me (notice the iPhone’s power button is, again, depicted on the side of the phone for easier access):

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iPhone 6. Six millimeters. I’m sure that’d give Apple’s marketing team plenty to work with.

Why This iPhone 6 Video Is Probably Legit

Here’s the video in question, courtesy of Unboxed Therapy:

  • The case is from Sonny Dickson, a well-known leaker of Apple product prototypes, which have usually proven legitimate. Last year, Dickson had the iPad Air and iPad mini cases before anyone else. Do yourself a favor and bookmark his site.
  • These days, with the scale at which Apple must mass produce its new products—especially iPhones—it’s nearly impossible to prevent leaks.
  • Case makers are typically the first to leak new product designs. They get designs far ahead of time so they can begin manufacturing prior to the big launch, and they have every incentive to boast their partnership with a company like Apple.
  • Since the iPhone design is expected to change this year, case leaks around this time shouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary.

Prior to seeing this video, I was extremely skeptical about rumors that said Apple would release a bigger iPhone this year. Apple only recently increased the iPhone’s screen size—two years ago, in time for the release of the iPhone 5—and that screen adjustment was relatively minor, from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. Rumors were saying Apple would release an iPhone with a 4.7-inch screen, just two years after forcing developers to scale their apps to the new screen size of the iPhone 5. I doubted this video at the start, but after watching it, I’m pretty convinced we’re looking at a legitimate early case. Again, I say early, because the design could still change a bit here and there before the final release date (as many Apple products are wont to do). But unlike every bogus iPhone 6 mockup you’ll see on the Internet, the design changes inferred by this case actually make a great deal of sense.

  • The form factor, according to the case, would be similar to the Nexus 5, which was one of Google’s best-reviewed phones; but this would be much thinner. The iPhone 5s is 7.6mm thick, which is already thinner than the 8.6mm Nexus 5; looking at the case, the iPhone 6 could possibly be around 7mm flat, which would be the thinnest smartphone of its kind.
  • The camera infrastructure looks largely unchanged. Given how most of Apple’s camera enhancements in the iPhone 5s deal with the phone’s software, not its hardware—which are mighty impressive, mind you, and not much in need of change—this aspect of the video makes sense.
  • The power button has moved to the side. This is by far the most interesting aspect of the video, and perhaps the sole aspect that convinces me the case design is legitimate. If you increased the size of the iPhone, the power button, which has traditionally sat atop the phone, would be difficult to reach with one’s index finger. According to the case design of the alleged iPhone 6, Apple would move the power button to the right side so it would naturally rest against your thumb as you hold the phone vertically. When you see Lewis Hilsenteger of Unboxed Therapy hold this iPhone case in his hand, the phone doesn’t look too big or uncomfortable at all. He even notes it might be his favorite design yet, since it also accommodates a bigger screen and more real estate to do, well, everything. If Apple’s going to make a bigger iPhone, this is how it’s done.

I didn’t think I’d want the next iPhone that would come out, based on the rumors I was hearing. But goddamn it if this video didn’t change my mind in just seven minutes.