Tag: ipod

Fiorina’s attempts to dig up Jobs fails

carlyfiorinaFormer HP CEO turned US presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has been targeting the Apple fanboy vote by claiming she was friends with late Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Iit appears that if they ever were friends, that did not stop the self-serving megalomaniac from getting one over on her. Fiorina has forgotten the sad story of the HP/Apple deal which went sour.

Apple wanted HP to stop installing Windows Media Store on its PCs and replace it with iTunes Music store. Jobs basically offered Fiorina the chance to sell iPods branded with HP’s name if she did this.
Fiorina nodded and the deal went through. However Apple upgraded the iPod, making HP’s version outdated and HP was still stuck with iTunes.

It got worse for HP. After it purged Fiorina in 2005, HP ended the iPod deal in July that year, but because of Fiorina’s deal HP was banned from selling its own music player until August 2006.

All’s fair in love and business, but it does seem odd that Fiorina would suggest that she was a “good friend” with a bloke who mugged her and HP’s shareholders for his own evil cunning plan.

Jobs had effectively got his software installed on millions of computers for free, stifled his main competitor, and got a company that prided itself on invention to declare that Apple was superior.

Fiorina seems to think that Jobs was her mate because he rang her to say he was sorry she got canned. Of course, that could have just meant that Jobs was upset because he did not think he would get another deal like that past a different HP CEO.

Jury clears Apple of antitrust allegation

Apple's Tim CookFruity cargo cult Apple has managed to convince a jury that deleting rival music from iPods was not really the actions of someone abusing their position in the market to snuff out competition.

The  jury decided Apple did not act improperly when it restricted music purchases for iPod users to Apple’s iTunes digital store.

The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who bought iPods from 2006 to 2009, sought about $350 million in damages from Apple alleging the company unfairly blocked competing device makers.

Patrick Coughlin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said “the jury called it like they saw it”.

Of course Apple was over the moon.  “Every time we’ve updated those products — and every Apple product over the years — we’ve done it to make the user experience even better,” the company said.

In fact, the jurors deliberated for only a few hours on the sole question of whether the update had benefited consumers. Under US law, a company cannot be found anticompetitive if a product alteration was an improvement for customers.

However the trail revealed that Apple faced a challenge in the online music market from Real Networks, which developed RealPlayer, its own digital song manager. It included software which allowed music purchased there playable on iPods as well as competing devices.

Apple eventually introduced a software update that restricted the iPod to music bought on iTunes. Plaintiffs say that step discouraged iPod owners from buying a competing device when it came time to upgrade.

Apple argued the software update was meant to improve the consumer experience and contained many desirable features, including movies and auto-synchronisation.

The plaintiffs say that they will appeal the verdict

IPod DRM court case could collapse on technicality

novità-apple-2013After ten years trying to get an antitrust case against Apple to court, the case might collapse because the plaintiffs can’t prove they ever bought an iPod.

The antitrust case was messy and would have bought a fair few skeletons out of the closet proving that Jobs’ Mob had done its best to kill off rivals with some dirty deeds ordered by its Messiah Steve Jobs.

The case is so old that Jobs even recorded a video testimony defending his actions. The lawsuit covers iPods purchased between September 2006 and March 2009. Lawyers representing both consumers and businesses claim that the restrictions meant Apple could inflate the prices of iPod in an anti-competitive manner. They are seeking $350m in damages, which could be tripled under US competition laws.

However, now it seems that he case might get chucked out on a technicality. Lawyers for Apple have raised a last-minute challenge saying new evidence suggested that the two women named as plaintiffs may not have bought iPod models covered by the lawsuit.

Apple lawyers checked the serial number on the lead plaintiff’s iPod Touch and found it was bought in July 2009. The other main plaintiff, Melanie Wilson, also bought iPods outside the relevant timeframe, they indicated.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said at the end of the trial’s third day of testimony in Oakland, California said she was concerned that she did not have a plaintiff.

Lawyer Bonny Sweeny said that her team was checking for other receipts. She conceded that while Ms Wilson’s iPod may not be covered, an estimated eight million consumers are believed to have purchased the affected devices.

It is a pity as so far it has emerged in the trail that between 2007 and 2009, if an iPod owner tried to sync their device with iTunes and had music from another digital store on the device, they would receive an error message telling them to restore their iPod to factory settings. This effectively wiped all non-iTunes music from the device.

Apple maintained at the trial that the software and restrictions were necessary to protect users from malicious content and hackers.

Apple deleted content from user devices

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405Fruity cargo cult Apple deleted music from its customers’ devices which were not bought through the iTunes Music Store.

The information has come out of the proceedings of Apple’s iPod/iTunes antitrust lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed Apple surreptitiously deleted songs not purchased through the iTunes Music Store from users’ iPods.

If this is true then the order must have come from Steve Jobs himself.

Attorney Patrick Coughlin, representing a class of individuals and businesses, said Apple intentionally wiped songs downloaded from competing services when users performed a sync with their iTunes library.

Users attempting to synchronise an iPod with an iTunes library containing music from a rival service, such as RealNetworks, would see an ambiguous error message without prompting them to perform a factory reset. After restoring the device, users would find all non-iTunes music had disappeared.

The court was told that that Apple decided to give its users the worst possible experience and blow up,” the iTunes library, Coughlin said.

Coughlin claims that Apple manufactured the error message in a move to stop customers from using their iPod to play back music from stores other than iTunes.

Apple insists that the system was a safety measure installed to protect users. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia said additional detail about the error’s nature was not necessary because, “We don’t need to give users too much information,” and “We don’t want to confuse users.” He went on to say that Apple was “very paranoid” in its protection of iTunes, a sentiment echoed in an executive email penned by Steve Jobs in 2004.

Jobs’ emails and a videotaped deposition revealed Apple was “very scared” of breaking contractual sales agreements with music labels, which in turn prompted an increased interest in digital rights management (DRM). Although iTunes no longer sells DRM-protected content, Jobs said frequent iTunes updates were needed to protect as “hackers” found new workarounds.

The case said that Apple is accused of creating a monopoly locking users into a closed ecosystem with FairPlay digital rights management (DRM), the iPod and the iTunes Music Store. Plaintiffs are seeking $350 million in damages, an amount that could be tripled to over $1 billion under U.S. antitrust laws.

Aside from Jobs’ deposition, current Apple execs Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller are scheduled to testify later this week.