Opinion: Is the case for Apple ending its patent battles with Samsung stronger than ever?

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  Read more

Steve Jobs had plans to make free, shared Wi-Fi the norm to improve iPhone experience

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There were lots of hints that Steve Jobs was interested in changing the way we all access the internet on the devices he helped create. Back in 2011 there were reports that Apple considered developing its own network for the original iPhone that could potentially replace traditional carrier services using Wi-Fi spectrum. Before that rumours claimed Jobs was interested in Fon, a WiFi sharing service that encourages users to share wireless internet access with others. Today, Walt Mossberg from ReCode shares another story about Jobs’ interest in a world of shared Wi-Fi, describing a conversation between the two where Jobs shared his vision of making free Wi-Fi the norm: Read more

Architects hate Apple’s spaceship design, but Pixar president says they don’t understand

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Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt says that even at an international conference of 6,000 architects, he couldn’t find a single one who liked the spaceship design of Apple’s new campus building. Though if the single quote given is representative of the quality of the critiques, this may not be saying much.

“Does it have to be a spaceship?” asked an official at the American Institute of Architects.

Pixar president Ed Catmull wrote in his book Creativity Inc that they are failing to understand a key feature of the building, derived from a lesson Steve Jobs learned when leading the design of Pixar’s headquarters …

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Apple & AT&T begin sending $40 checks to original 3G iPad buyers

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Apple and U.S.-based wireless carrier AT&T have begun sending out $40 checks to buyers of the original iPad WiFi + 3G in the United States over a “bait-and-switch” regarding the device’s data plan. The backstory is that when Steve Jobs announced the 3G iPad in January 2010, he announced a deal with AT&T for a $30/month unlimited iPad data plan.

When the 3G iPad launched in late April 2010, this plan was available, but AT&T eliminated the plan just about one month later in early June 2010. Lawsuits followed in the months and years following the shift in data plan strategy claimed that customers overpaid for the 3G iPad believing that they would be able to use the device to access unlimited amounts of data.

In September 2013, Apple and AT&T settled and agreed to pay $40 to each affected iPad buyer. For iPad buyers who had not yet purchased an unlimited data plan, a discount on the replacing 5GB plan was offered. The two companies began sending the checks out late last week, and they began arriving today. You can view the entire check stub and letter from the payout fund below:

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Steve Jobs’ favorite analytics company acquired by Yahoo

If you’re a long-time Apple watcher, you may be familiar with Flurry Analytics as Steve Jobs’ favorite analytics firm. The video above sums up his opinion well on the topic. Today, Re/code breaks the news that Yahoo’s prolific Mergers and Acquisition department will be acquiring Flurry for “hundreds of millions of dollars” later today. TechCrunch pegs the price at roughly $300 million. As for Apple, the Cupertino-based company will be launching its own iOS analytics software this fall alongside iOS 8.

Update: The purchase is now official:

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Bill Campbell interview sheds light on his time at Apple, Steve Jobs, and more

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In an interview with Fortune, outgoing Apple board member Bill Campbell discussed the years he spent at Apple, from his recruitment by John Sculley as head of marketing in 1983, to the post-Jobs era spearheaded by former COO Tim Cook. Campbell tells of a young Steve Jobs as he slowly rose to the role of CEO:

“I watched him emerge as a CEO in real time,” Campbell says. “I had a continuum with him. I watched him when he was general manager of the Mac division and when he went off and started NeXT. I watched Steve go from being a creative entrepreneur to a guy who had to run a business.”

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Ad agency execs believe Beats can spruce up Apple’s ads as German World Cup team gets gold headphones

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Apple agreed to acquire Beats for several reasons: for the streaming music service, for the headphones, for the speakers, and to bring Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine into the Cupertino fold. But the New York Post believes that Apple is seeking help from the Beats team for another important area of the Apple business: advertising. It’s no secret in the technology and advertising world that Apple could not be anymore displeased with the services as of late from longtime ad partner TBWA, and unnamed ad agency executives are said to believe that the Beats team could improve Apple’s ads:

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Tim Cook ‘actively’ seeking to add new directors to Board

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The Wall Street Journal today published a brief profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook as the Cupertino-based company continues to be shaped in the image of Cook rather than co-founder Steve Jobs. The profile has some interested tidbits, but it is otherwise light on new information aside from information regarding Cook’s plan for the Apple Board of Directors. According to the report, Cook is “actively” looking to add fresh faces to the Board:

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Jony Ive and Bono discuss Steve Jobs, Apple, and Product Red at Cannes Lions Festival (Video)

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Jony Ive presenting Bono with Cannes LionHeart Award

Apple’s SVP of Design Jony Ive joined U2 pop star and activist Bono in a joint interview over the weekend at the Cannes Lions Festival to discuss Product Red and Apple’s partnership as we previously mentioned. Product Red, of course, partners with brands to raise money to fund AID/HIV programs in Africa, and Apple has long supported the effort with a number of Red-branded products including iPhone and iPad cases as well as iPods and iPod touches.

As part of the festival, Jony Ive presented Bono with the first Cannes LionHeart Award to honor his work with Product Red as you can see above. During the discussion segment of their appearance, Bono shared his account of working with Steve Jobs when establishing the Product Red partnership with Apple and Jobs’ desire to control the Product Red branding right down to the parentheses in the Product Red logo… Read more

Jony Ive on new materials, software design, Tim Cook’s leadership

Jony Ive via Telegraph.co.uk

Following a few quotes from a Jony Ive interview with The New York Times appearing in a longer piece about Tim Cook over the weekend, the publication has now published a longer transcript from the interview. In the interview, Ive was asked about working with Cook, how things have changed post Steve Jobs, and he also gave some insight into his daily work routine.  We meet on average three times a week. Sometimes those meetings are over in his space, sometimes here in the design studio. We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be.”

Ive described his new role leading software design at the company as “some leadership and direction in terms of user interface – a subset of software,” and most interestingly seemed to hint at using new materials for products that the company hasn’t worked with before. Naturally, Ive would have loved to say more but couldn’t: I would love to talk about future stuff – they’re materials we haven’t worked in before. I’ve been working on this stuff for a few years now. Tim is fundamentally involved in pushing into these new areas and into these materials.” Read more

Foundation walls start to take shape around Campus 2 project as Apple permanently closes Pruneridge Ave.

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The first walls around Apple’s Campus 2 have begun to take shape, as noted by KCBS reporter Ron Cervi, in a tweet today. Previously, more photos from KCBS showed the site’s considerable excavation under way, and earlier photos from March detailed the demolition work of the former HP campus on the site, which was almost complete at that time.

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