back to article Apple to Oz court: ‘Our products are lame, really’

Lawyers, it seems, don’t have to clear the things they say to judges with the corporate PR department. So it is that in the Apple vs Samsung hearing in the Federal Court in Sydney yesterday, Apple in effect told the court its iPad is too lame to withstand competition. If that statement sounds a little strong, here’s what Apple …


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  1. Ralthor

    Disbar him!

    Lawers telling it like it is are not allowed!

  2. Arkasha


    A lawyer that speaks the truth. Is his name really Fletcher Reede?

    1. big_D Silver badge



  3. Goat Jam

    It's all about the lockin stupid.

    "someone buying the Galaxy 10.1 would never see a reason to buy an iPad"

    Nice try at trolling the fruit fanboys but there is of course another far less inflammatory interpretation of that statement.

    They are referring to the fact that once a user buys into one system (or the other, it works both ways) and assuming they also invest in some paid for apps, then they are unlikely to jump platforms because they will need to throw away all of their app purchases and repurchase them on the new platform.

    It is this factor that keeps people on windows and it also keeps people on iOS.

    Although I do accept that the word "never" is probably overstating their case a touch but that's lawyers for you.

    1. Phalamir

      That's more inflammatory

      What Apple is saying is that it has a legal right to every possible consumer, and that the Australian government has an obligation to make sure everyone can only buy Apple. "We may lose customers" is called competition. I am sorry if I cannot remember when we all owed Apple total allegience just for them being there, and anyone else is a dirty criminal for daring to offer a competing product

      1. Goat Jam

        This is me playing devils advocate

        but flame away and downvote all you like kids, it's not like we are karma whoring on slashdot after all.

        "What Apple is saying is that it has a legal right to every possible consumer"

        Firstly, I was replying to the author of the article who had yet another interpretation of the "facts" involved;

        ie: "Apple says: 'our products are lame' "

        So what you are engaging in here is what is known as a "straw man argument".

        Look it up.

        Clearly, apple are not saying that. The author was simply trolling and good luck to him to, it gets the page views after all and is probably the main reason I red El Reg.

        But, having said that, I will address your straw man regardless.

        From the perspective of apple they are saying that the Galaxy is a copy of an apple product. (considering their legal activities I think we can assume that they believe it is quite a good copy, good enough to be a threat anyway)

        I think it worth pointing out that I never said I support their perspective, so all you knee jerkin' fanboys try and exercise some kind of restraint mkay?

        Anyway, I think it is reasonable to infer that apple thusly believe that ;

        a) Once somebody buys the (nearly as good as? Better?) Samsung "copy" that they will see no need to pay a premium for what apple considers to be the original "innovative" product that has been "illegally/unfairly" copied.

        b) The user will likely invest in the android ecosystem (apps) and therefore be less inclined to move to iOS.

        This is not the same as saying "Apple says: our products are lame" and it is not the same as saying "we deserve every possible customer" (that status us reserved for Microsoft)

        Considering the rabid nature of the fandroids here, I think it worth repeating that I am not saying I agree with, nor in fact support, apples viewpoint/actions here.

        However, not supporting them is not the same as living in a delusional state where everything fits nicely into black and white boxes either.

        Nice demonstration of rabid fanboyism though, pity there is no karma here considering all the fanboy upvotes you received.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          @goat jam

          err... No, You are the one using the "straw man argument".

          A straw man argument is an logical fallacy based on misrepresenting your opponent's position and its purpose to give the illusion of having refuted an argument point by replacing it with a similar but non-equivalent argument"

          What Apple’s lead barrister, Stephen Burley, said: "Once the Galaxy Tab goes to a purchaser who invests and purchases apps on the Galaxy Tab, we have lost them forever in relation to apps and interactivity because they will then be Android people."

          Burly has used a construct that seems to imply that the Galaxy Tab has some sort of mystical power to control the purchaser as if it was some sort of addictive drug (I’m a bit surprised that crApple haven’t taken a design copyright on that as well), which seems a bit far fetched considering that the galaxy tab is just an inanimate object

          Two important skills in critical thinking (look it up) are the ability to recognise un-stated assumptions and values, and to d raw warranted conclusions and generalisations. A logical conclusion to what Burley said is that there is something about the galaxy tab and android apps that that will make them preferable to the iPad and its apps, what the author of the article, Richard Chirgwin , has done is to express this as “Our products are lame, really”. Seems a reasonable statement in light of Burlys admission.

      2. ThomH

        @Phalamir: more likely to be about quantification

        Without being strong on Australian law, I would expect the argument (which I'm not necessarily endorsing, voters) went: Samsung should face measures because they use technology covered by our patents without permission; if you accept that we are entitled to relief because of the patent infringement then such relief should be to bar them from the market because otherwise we lose out very significantly.

        So Apple aren't arguing that Samsung's wrong is taking away potential customers, they're arguing that Samsung's wrong is patent infringement. Only if that wrong is established then will the other comments become relevant.

        Of course, El Reg's story is correct: if Apple think that a customer lost once is a customer lost forever then they don't sound that confident in their products.

    2. Craigness


      Fanboys troll Reg articles on Android's market dominance with totally irrelevant comments about how Apple still has huge profits. Now that Apple can't provide market-leading technology, they should eat into those profits by selling their products at a price which reflects their lack of magicalness. If they don't want to do that then they should shut up about losing app sales and itunes lock-ins.

      I use windows and not a Mac but I've not used paid-for software since about 2004. The reason I'm on windows (and sometimes Linux) is that they allow competition in hardware and the products are 1/3 the price of the Apple equivalent.

      Who are you calling stupid?

      p.s. why are people buying Galaxy Tab on the grey market when we all know they're unable to tell the difference between it and the ipad? Even the packaging is the same!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fair comment

      It's lock in to the apps on that platform, this lawyer seems to have made the point that most already know.

      If you have to jump ship, Apple phone to Android, Apple desktop to Windows, Windows to Linux, vice-versa, etc, you have to make sure you have the same apps available or similar, and you have to weigh up the cost in time and money in moving.

      Here in IT land we often forget that users, real users of apps, understand the in's and out's of an application far more than we may ever do, to us it's just a pain the arse bit of software that needs upgrading every once in a while but to hardcore users, their apps are so central to what they do that simply changing is a big deal to them.

      Like if you buy Canon L-series lenses, you generally stay locked into Canon for a good few years. If you buy Nikkor you stay with NIkon. It's nothing to do with either company being better than the other ( best be careful, Nikon/Canon fanbois are almost as rabid as Apple/Android! ) it's just that once locked in, you generally stay as the investment as been made.

    4. big_D Silver badge


      I jumped from iOS to WP7 to Android this year. I've got paid for apps on all the platforms.

    5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: about the lock-in, stupid

      Too true, but let me be stupid for a while.

      The Android fans are always claiming how "open" and "free" it is, so presumably there are neither technical nor legal barriers to someone (Apple or Microsoft) adding an Android layer to their next OS. It's been done many times before on bigger computers and the next generation of devices will be vastly more powerful than the previous version that all this legacy software was written for.

      Obviously this doesn't work the other way, since both MS and Apple are "closed" and you'd have to reverse engineer their stuff in a foreign clean-room and only sell mail-order from a Pacific island in brown envelopes to bypass customs, but that's because MS and Apple are evil. Google aren't evil. They said so. Android is open. They said so.

      1. frymaster

        depends on the license

        Not sure what the relevant bits are licensed under, but it's possible you can only use the source if you release any derivative works (like a compat layer) under the same license, And if you do _THAT_, then, assuming tight integration, you'd have to release iOS under that license as well.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Got Jam

      Correct, but don't labour under the illusion that people don't buy in to Unix and Linux in exactly the same way. I know lots of Linux people, developers in particular, who rubbish Windows and Mac OS from a point of ignorance of the products they are rubbishing.

      I think that a large part of it is not wanting to learn about other products and how to integrate with them. Why should I learn Linux when I can use Windows perfectly well / Why should I learn Windows when I am proficient at Linux. etc. etc.

      Me? I use all three on a daily basis.

  4. rpawsey


    Surely the converse will also apply to some extent. Any iPad purchaser may be lost as a potential future Android purchaser.

    I am sure that Apple don't expect to 'win' these cases in the long term. They just want to delay the introduction of any real competition long enough to lock anyone they can into the 'fruit machine'.

    1. Miek

      lost as a potential future Android purchaser ~ Nope

      I bought into apple a while back; hated the restrictions and moved over quite quickly to Android. I'm on my second Android handset and my Apple device has now been rendered a paperweight.

      "I am sure that Apple don't expect to 'win' these cases in the long term. They just want to delay the introduction of any real competition long enough to lock anyone they can into the 'fruit machine'."

      I couldn't agree more.

  5. Wombling_Free


    "because they will then be Android people."

    with little bluetooth headsets, natty silver suits and big stompy metal boots?

    Yep, mines the fez. Fezzes are cool.

  6. Eddy Ito


    "Apple in effect told the court its iPad is too lame to withstand competition"

    I recall telling the wife nearly the exact same thing when all these lawsuits started. I suppose if they were really worried about Android they could always license OpenMobile's ACL and allow the iPad to run Android apps. Oh, I'm sorry, I mean innovent 'droid app compatibility on the iProduct line to win back the human merchandise, err... consumer, yes that's it, win back the consumer.

  7. senti

    Ok, I am dumb

    And I thought that US patent is valid in US only, not in Australia or Botswana.

    So I must be missing something, I just can't figure out what it is :)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Errm, not certain but I'm pretty sure, thanks to the trade agreements, they also are valid in countries that have signed trade agreements with the US… and Australia did sign a "free trade agreement" not too long back.

      Such beasts usually include intellectual property clauses.

      1. bobbles31

        In most cases i think contracts with the usa that have term free trade in generally mean we are free to fuck up your country.

        A bit like the mutual extradition treaties that aren't.

    2. Big-nosed Pengie

      Yeah - Australia signed a "free trade" agreement with the US. In a nutshell, it meant that Australia would comply with all US legislation which, even in a drug-induced coma or in the mind of the most demented lawyer (not that there's a difference), could be imagined to have anything whatsoever to do with access of US goods and corporations to the Australian market. That includes all US copyright and patent provisions and the DMCA. Of course it doesn't work the other way.

      Signing away sovereignty like that used to be considered treason. It's a damn shame that it's still not.

      1. Paul 129

        Better than that

        If I remember correctly, It was signed about the time we committed troops to Iraq. One of the big Australian issues was protectionism against agricultural imports, in Europe and the US. They new the agreement was unfair, but it was the best they were going to get, ever. WTO and agriculture ROFL!

        We went to war to sell our beef. That got people to pass the bills. We knew the bill was full of bull. The offspring of all this is what we have now.

        I guess, our bureaucrats knew they would be gone by the time the Bloody Bull Beef Bill's babies would be brought before a Barrister.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think El Reg succumbed to a bit of shorthand there - the US patents will almost certainly have Australian equivalents; patents are only effective in their specific country and you could not use a US patent to block sales of a product in Australia.

    4. cloudgazer

      After filing a patent for a new invention you have 1 year in which to file in other jurisdictions for the same thing. This can be expensive where it entails translations, but it's pretty easy if you're in America to also get patents in the anglophone nations, and it's common to also apply in a few other major world markets such as Japan, France etc.

      The article is referring to the patents via their US designation, but there will be a different patent number in Australia, it's just a convenience to use the US patent number when reporting on these things.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      but this is a case in an Australian court to determine whether Australian patent law has been contravene.

      For some strange reason a French court would determine whether French law had been broken, Italian court would rule on Italian law, a Mexican court on Mexican law, etc.

      Obviously the world would be a much better place if every country adopted US law and have it determined in US courts.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge

    The Samsung unit sounds kick-ass!

    Otherwise why would Apple be so worried?

    Bring it.

  9. amanfromearth

    Journalistic integrity not seen here

    It is usual for quotes to be a literal copy of what was said by the other party. Not the case here I'm afraid.

    Ddi you previously work for News International?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck Apple, they are a cult.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You wish.

    2. Craigness


      Use a spell checker next time!

  11. goggleeyedsalmon

    'our products are lame' and 'someone buying the Galaxy 10.1 would never see a reason to buy an iPad' are ridiculous conclusions to make from the quote.

    They are saying that once people spend money on Android apps, they wouldn't want to change platform.

    1. Craigness

      Not so

      There was an article earlier in the week that showed about 15% of each of Android and iOS users would consider changing platform when they next buy a phone.

    2. CarlC

      I did the Apple thing with an iPad. Didn't like it and changed to an Android tablet. I did have paid apps on my iPad but have to confess I didn't consider the lose of them when changing devices. I just needed/wanted a device that worked for me.

  12. Rob Foster 1

    Optional Title

    On the other hand, these many lawsuits that Apple are pursuing are pointing out to potential customers that there are real alternatives to the iPad.

    Otherwise they wouldn't be suing there asses would they?

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "put a spoke in the wheels"

    Wheels are supposed to have spokes. Does that mean Samsung's plans will go well?

    How about a spanner in the works?

    Pedantic from Basingstoke.

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "put a spoke in the wheels"

      Ah, but the idiom doesn't refer to a wheel...

      The phrase "To put a spoke in someone's wheel" originates from the days when cartwheels were solid - except for one or two holes into which a long round wooden pin could be placed. This would act as a "brake" to stop the wheel turning or the cart running away.... So if you wanted to stop an evil crimelord carter from carrying out his nefarious plan, you would put a spoke in his wheel.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        I humbly stand corrected

        But wouldn't Apple be more accurately described as "an evil crimelord carter carrying out their nefarious plan" than Samsung?

  14. Wang N Staines

    So so ...

    Once you buy an Android, you won't go to an iDevice, a case of "Once you had black, you'll never go back".

    But when you buy an iDevice, you are willing to cheat and try other devices.

    Seems like Apple is insecure about its customers loyalty.

  15. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Poppy Growers' Federation

    Is this a bit like a representative of the Poppy Growers' Federation demanding that cocaine be banned on the grounds that addicted cocaine users are lost to them?

    1. amanfromearth
  16. ZillaOfManilla

    Choice in the future

    The reason I like Android, and would possibly like WinPho7 is the choice of handset/tablet available to me, OK I'm locked for as long as a contract/I can afford to upgrade, but if I choose another manufacture I can still use all my apps, I left the apple stable long ago, and haven't looked back.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of the Horses Mouth

    "Apple in effect told the court its iPad is too lame... "

    Exactely what I've been saying for a while now! And those using the tampax are even more lame.

    Most of those who boast "I'm getting a Pad" are usually tech illiterate and don't have the nouse to work it out.

    Now you know why being seen with iPhones/iPads is not really desireable. Unless you want to be be akin to your gandparents not being able to program the VCR,

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone explain

    The legal process which surrounds the judge calling Richard Lutton and how it is his evidence was given behind closed doors?

    Reminded me of this:

  19. sisk

    "Once the Galaxy Tab goes to a purchaser who invests and purchases apps on the Galaxy Tab, we have lost them forever in relation to apps and interactivity because they will then be Android people."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Ok, setting my fanboism aside (at least I can admit to it), why is Apple's inability to make a product good enough to win customers back from a competitor a problem for the courts? That's called competition. Are they seriously asking the court to grant them a monopoly in the tablet market just because they want one?

  20. SanityFM

    pfft. Until we see real tablets instead of the interim tech we have now, who cares. Give me a shrunken PC, not an enlarged phone, Apple, Google, and MS. I want to do something useful, not just consume media. Thanks.

  21. D. M
    Big Brother

    51 state

    You guys know that our informed few here have been saying for years. UK is 51st state of US of A, and Australia is backyard of UK.

    US has being freely fucking our country for a long time.

  22. scarshapedstar


    And here I thought The Android People refuse to pay money for anything.

    Maybe they ought to put some decent free software in the App Store?

  23. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    It explains Apple's recent tendency towards hair trigger litigation doesn't it. They've got nothing unique and are running scared of the competition.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Frivolous stuff like "Slider Icons" and "Zoom Bounce" are being patented? Whaaat the ffffuck? And just the "idea" of selective rejection has become patented? THAT is SO unfair! No part of the code these corporate pieces of shit get written is available openly. So if I want to implement Selective Rejection, I need to work extremely hard to get my logic right. But just because they were in the place and time to think of it first, doesn't mean they get to prevent me from even implementing it on my own! This is just outrageous.

    Why didn't Microsoft just go ahead and patent the tablet computer idea itself then? I guess they didn't think of it. Bad luck.

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