Apple Daily today has images of what it claimed is the next iPad compared to an iPad 1 and an iPad 2. You will notice increased tapering and a bigger camera lens. The publication said the camera is awhopping 8-megapixels,which would likely mean it is the same Sony camera found in the iPhone 4S that CEO Howard Stinger first leaked in April of last year. Apple will likely bring some of its optics over, as well.
Chinese vendor Proview apparently owns rights to the iPad trademark in China, and it has two billion reasons not to honor its prior agreement with Apple as the Wall Street Journalcited a representative of Proview creditors who suggested compensation from Apple “could range as high as $2 billion,”which is up from the previous sum of $1.5 billion. Cash-strapped Proview recently filed for bankruptcy, so courts could interpret this as banks’ last-ditch effort to recoup their loans to Proview.
A Hong Kong court ruled last year that Apple’s agreement with Proview was valid, but that case is still pending on the Chinese mainland. Court documents uncovered by Dow Jones suggest on Dec. 23, 2009, Apple of California bought the rights to the iPad trademark from Proview in South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and China for a paltry sum of about $55,494 in today’s dollars. Proview waived its right to sue for past infringements and passing off.
Proview said it still owns the trademark and maintains the deal did n0t include the China market. Another court in Mainland China sided with Proview, thus paving the way for a potential injunction on both the import and export of iPads. The world’s largest contract manufacturer, Foxconn, is exclusively manufacturing Apple’s tablet in China.
Proview chairperson Yang Rongshan said today: “If we are not compensated properly, then Apple doesn’t use the iPad trademark in mainland China.” Shenzhen-based Proview, once a well-known monitor vendor, claimed it started developing a product called the iPAD in 2000. iPAD stands for “Internet Personal Access Device.” So, what does Proview’s iPAD look like? Images are right after the break.
Numerous online stores in China took the iPad off their shelves after Proview said Apple was breaking its trademark on the term “iPad.” The fight continues in court, but Apple released a statement today to China Daily about Proview’s allegations on Apple allegedly breaking the trademark.
“We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple, and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter,” according to the statement, which also said the case is still pending on the Chinese mainland.”
Apple said it purchased Proview’s iPad trademark over several years ago in 10 different countries. Proview is refusing to transfer the trademark, but Hong Kong courts have already sided with Apple, according to the statement.
Not content with officials yesterday confiscating iPads in Shijiazhuang over an ongoing litigation on the iPad moniker, Taiwanese company Proview Electronics is now looking to put a ban on both iPad imports and exports, according toReuters. The company is already petitioning Chinese customs to stop shipments of iPads. Proview sued Apple last year over its “I-PAD” trademark and could seek up to $1.5 billion for the name from the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered gadget powerhouse.
Apple is in an increasingly difficult place here. Considering every iPad is built in China (until Brazil plants go online), a full-blown export ban could disrupt the iPad business on a global scale. Proview’s legal position stems from Chinese laws that seek to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods in the country. The news gathering organization confirmed the development this morning:
A Chinese tech firm claiming to own the “iPad” trademark plans to seek a ban on shipments of Apple Inc’s computer tablets into and out of China, a lawyer for the company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen), said on Tuesday.
Proview also asked the country’s Administration Industry and Commerce to put in effect iPad confiscations in as much as 30 cities. Apple’s position in this dispute remains unchanged as a spokesperson re-iterated the official line:
We bought Proview’s worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago. Proview refuses to honor their agreement with Apple in China and a Hong Kong court has sided with Apple in this matter.
Apple has implemented an interested system to fight those pesky scalpers who spoiled a recent iPhone 4S launch in Mainland China. A newly set up page on the Hong Kong Apple online store has a lottery system of sorts for iPhone reservations that appears to target scalpers employing bots from snatching up all the iPhones everyday. Rather than reserve their iPhone on a first-come-first-serve basis, customers are now required to provide full details, including a government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number.
In addition, this lottery seems to be valid during a three-hour window each day. Those who “won” a reservation spot will be informed by email before 9 p.m. Interestingly, Apple specifically said it will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers. Previously, the reservation system would open at a random time and it would often fail as bots kept pinging the server all day, meaning reservations would be gone in less than a minute.
Perhaps Apple is keen on implementing this system in Mainland China and possibly elsewhere? Apple’s full message is included after the break…
Following up on Lucky Bags that were handed out to Japanese Apple customers this weekend, Apple is also celebrating the Lunar New Year with a one day Apple shopping event, dubbed “Red Friday” on Friday, Jan. 6 in China/Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In the past, Apple has given modest discounts to its products for the Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year celebration starts on Monday, Jan. 23.