Technology and Business Law Blog

iPod Touch, iPhone or Gphone

Walk down any street or look into almost car driving around and you will notice that most people in the street or in their cars are talking on their mobile phones ( you no longer can say “excuse me, do you know this address or do you have the time?”). Walk into most homes today and you will see that almost each occupant has a laptop/desktop and the homes have wireless network and spend most of their time at home in front of the computer. Seems like in this age of interaction mobile phone devices and social networking sites have taken over our lives and that is why the media is obsessed with gadgets like iPhone and one social networking site or the other.

Keeping with the trend I would like to close the loop on my blog yesterday about the iPhone. With the iPhone having all the features of the iPod Touch except that the iPod Touch has more storage for music and is real sleek it is quite pricey at a 8Gbyte version costing $299 and a 16Gbyte version costing $399, and with the price cut the new iPhone will also be $399, so you in essence have the iPod and phone in the iPhone, so do you need an iPod Touch?

The announcement of the price cut generated a flurry of hate emails directed at Apple and Steve Jobs to appease the early buyers has agreed to give a $100 store credit for the iPhone if it was purchased from an Apple store or an AT&T wireless store. I had written in my previous blog that these early buyers will probably be feeling stupid, now all this hate and unhappy email confirms it. Maybe Apple cut the price a bit too soon before the sticker shock of $599 wore off for these people who needed to get it so bad, but most electronics goods prices drop every 6 months to a year and also the companies come out with better versions of the same, so this should be a lesson in delayed gratification.

All this aggressive marketing by Apple has placed Palm and Motorola at a loss of sales of Treo and Razr2, both of which did not have the “iPhones cool appeal”. Read here, Better than iPhone: 8 Mobile Handsets That Outclass Apple.

After the price cut and the fact that one can hack the iPhone and not just have to use AT&T as an exclusive carrier for the iPhone, it might be tempting to buy one but wait till Google comes out with it’s Gphone which might be better and cooler than the iPhone.


September 7, 2007 Posted by | Apple, AT&T, Gphone, iPhone, iPod Touch, Razr2, Treo | 2 Comments

Latest on Apple and Facebook

The latest buzz in the technology front has been about Apple announcing in San Francisco on Wednesday about the new revamped iPod called iPod Touch which has features similar to the iPhone such as multimedia interface, built in Wi-Fi and the Safari Internet browser. Also the iPod Touch can play YouTube videos. So the iPod Touch can do everything the iPhone can do except make or receive phone calls. Apple has also entered into an venture with Starbucks, so that an iPod user can download any song playing at a Starbucks store into their iPods.

The next announcement by Steve Jobs was slashing of the price of the iPhone by $200.00 barely 10 weeks since it has been launched with a lot of hype. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said anyone who purchased an iPhone within the past 14 days and has the receipt can get a full refund under Apple’s return policy if they haven’t opened the product. If they have opened it, they still can get a refund of the price difference.

Now do we still remember the long lines in front of stores the first few days to get the phone and the people who bought it felt that it was so worth it and it was the coolest thing man has created. Well, they probably don’t feel so cool now and in fact will be feeling a bit stupid. It all goes with the territory.

The next buzz is about Facebook launching a public listing search by which even a person who is not a member of the Facebook network can look up someone who is part of the Facebook network. Till now Facebook network has been between people who trust each other and the information put out in the network remains there with the primary focus being privacy. Now the information that is available on anyone to a person not logged into Facebook is less than if they were a member. This is similar to LinkedIn, a popular networking tool used by professionals.

The social networking arena is going crazy with more and more of such sites popping up everyday eroding the illusion of privacy. Surely in a few years it is all going to be one big huge world family or will it be one huge world phone book except with more information available than mere phone numbers? Now one has a choice of not joining any of these social networks and live like the good old days.

September 6, 2007 Posted by | Facebook, iPhone, iPod Touch, privacy, Social networking | Leave a comment

Can you unlock your iphone?

When all this news was released about unlocking the iPhone I thought wouldn’t there be a copyright law violation? and on then found out about the legal exception to the DMCA’s (U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act) anti-circumvention provision that allows individual mobile phone users to unlock their devices for use on other network.

Once the consumer has paid for the iPhone (a lot!) and bought it, they own it and have a right to do what they want with it, now if something went wrong with it then Apple will not cover the phone under it’s warranty. I agree with Michael Lewis, an IP lawyer who states “The exception allows circumvention of device controls “for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network,” according to language from the U.S. registrar of copyrights. So if a hacker unlocks the iPhone, then posts the unlocking code for free, he’s engaging in a legal activity and enabling others to engage in the same legal activity”.

Now that the step by step process to unlock the iPhone is published in the web and if any person can do it then how is Apple going to take legal action against each of those individuals? In fact it could be argued that Apple by exclusively tying it’s phone to AT&T is liable for antitrust violations.

August 30, 2007 Posted by | DMCA, iPhone | Leave a comment