Apple wins iPod & iTunes DRM antitrust case, jury decides

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Update — Apple’s statement via CNBC: “We thank the jury for their service and we applaud their verdict.”

A jury has decided that Apple is not guilty of violating antitrust laws in the decade-old lawsuit involving the iPod, iTunes Music Store, and digital rights management usage. The jury had to determine if the iTunes updates affecting customers’ iPods were “genuine product improvements” with Apple citing security concerns for implementing the usage of DRM. Read more

iPhone was a “bet the company” product, says Phil Schiller, in opening remarks

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Phil Schiller’s real testimony in the Apple v. Samsung damages trial will come later today, but he put the importance of the iPhone into perspective in his opening remarks yesterday by stating that Apple “bet the company” on it (via CNET).

There were huge risks [with the first iPhone]. We had a saying inside the company that it was a ‘bet-the-company’ product […] We were starting to do well again in iPod […] Then here we’re going to invest all these resources, financial as well as people, in creating this product …  Read more

Scott Forstall could come out of hiding to testify at Samsung damages trial with Phil Schiller

Actual court drawing of Forstall

Actual court drawing of Forstall (not a joke)

We’re set to get a blast from the past on November 12th when ex-Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall is likely to come out of hiding to testify at the Samsung damages hearing alongside his once colleague Phil Schiller.

On Friday, the two sides filed a joint pretrial statement and lists of potential witnesses they may call. Apple’s list includes Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, and Scott Forstall, the former senior vice president of iOS software. Forstall’s departure was announced last October following the widely criticized launch of Apple Maps, which some observers said may have led to his firing. Both Schiller and Forstall also testified in the original trial.

Rounding out Apple’s lineup, Susan Kare, who designed the original Mac icons is also on the docket. Apple won an over $1B verdict in the initial trial but the amount was subsequently dropped to $400M by Judge Lucy Koh.

Forstall has been out of the public spotlight since his removal by CEO Tim Cook in October of last year. Read more

Using Steve Jobs email as evidence, DOJ says Apple changed in-app purchase policy to retaliate against Amazon

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As first spotted by GigaOm, the US Department of Justice has submitted a revised remedy proposal in the ongoing ebook case that previously found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to control ebook pricing. While much of the proposal remains the same as the proposal it first submitted at the beginning of this month, the report points out that the DOJ has added more information and a Steve Jobs email as an exhibit showing that Apple changed its in-app purchasing policies specifically “to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disapproved of.”

While referencing the email above in which Steve Jobs and Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller discuss forcing Amazon to go through Apple’s payment system, the DOJ claims Apple “misrepresented the factual circumstances” since it allows other retailers to bypass its 30% cut: Read more

DOJ proposes settlement in Apple ebook price fixing case: end current agreements, link to other stores

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After reaching settlements with just about every publisher involved in the long-running Apple/Amazon e-book price fixing case, The United States Department of Justice today published its proposal to end the case with Apple after finding the company guilty of conspiring to fix ebook prices during trial earlier this month:

“The court found that Apple’s illegal conduct deprived consumers of the benefits of e-book price competition and forced them to pay substantially higher prices,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Under the department’s proposed order, Apple’s illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future.”

Among the key points in the proposal: Read more

Apple’s to DOJ: Publishers already decided to fix prices before iBookstore came along

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In the ongoing e-book price fixing case with the Department of Justice, in which Apple is accused of conspiring with publishers to fix eBook pricing and cut out Amazon, Apple has again responded to the DOJ’s claims detailing the “tough negotiations” it went through with publishers. To further prove its point that it was not colluding with publishers to fix e-book pricing, Apple said it “one-on-one” and “contentious negotiations” at a time when publishers were already considering methods of getting Amazon to increase pricing: Read more

Apple opens its first eBay store for a trial with select refurbished products

Seth Weintraub and Danny DeSilva contributed to this post.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been posting links to a mysterious Apple refurbished store that appeared on eBay about a month ago and has been hiding in plain sight ever since. Labeled only “Refurbished Outlet” with hidden corporate information and nothing in the way of contact information or a traceable backend, the store gets impressive 99.7-percent positive reviews from buyers. But, there is no information on where devices are coming from.

We thought Apple might be testing the waters to sell refurbished products directly to customers through eBay, and it seems that’s exactly what is happening. We discovered that this is in fact an Apple-run Store within eBay. It is in trial, and it could open the door to much bigger things. No one would go on the record at eBay, however.

Aside from the image fonts above, which are an uncharacteristic wreck, there are many telltale signs of Apple’s direct involvement. Just like Apple’s own refurbished products, the “refurbished outlet” products all have the following:

  • Full one-year warranty
  • Returned to like-new condition
  • iPads/iPods include a new battery
  • Received complete burn-in testing
  • Original OS re-installed
  • Repackaged with manual and cable
  • Final quality inspection by Apple

The prices on the products are also identical to the Apple Store’s refurbished prices across the board (below) Read more

Apple removes trials of iWork and Aperture from its website, sends users to App Store

As pointed out by MacStories, Apple recently removed trials for the iWork suite and Aperture 3 from Apple.com. The webpage formerly home to the iWork trial now includes a message informing users that iWork apps, such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, are available through the Mac App Store. Apple removed the trial for a short while last year before returning it; however, the company also informed users last month that the iWork.com Beta service would shut down July 31. Apple does not currently offer trial versions of the $20 Mac Store apps.

Read more