EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.30.10

GNU/Linux Yawns at Apple’s Large iPhone (Without the Phone Functionality)

Posted in Apple, DRM, FSF, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Open XML, OpenDocument, UNIX at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Further analysis (hopefully the last) of Apple’s “disappointing” product and how it compares to many GNU/Linux counterparts

A FEW days ago we showed how Apple had generated hype about its rather disappointing new product. Dave Rosenberg, a Mac enthusiast, calls it “important but disappointing”. They probably didn’t send him a free one, so he does not feel obliged to hail it. Yesterday we showed that even fans of Apple were disappointed by iPad, so it’s not just the opinion of one person. There are of course iPhone lovers like Stephen O’Grady (it’s fair enough that some people believe in accepting DRM without resisting), but he too has his doubts. There are even cartoons on the subject.

Is Apple running out of ideas and jumping the shark? Probably not, as Apple did have some other products which were total flops and neglected before they rose to fame. Every company occasionally makes such mistakes (Microsoft released Windows Vista for example). Can the Apple iPad challenge Linux-powered products that predate it? This question is being addressed here and here:

The kit, Amazon said, will comprise of sample code, ample documentation and, most importantly, a Kindle simulator that will allow developers to “build and test” their application in a virtual platform that mimics 6-inch Kindle and 9.7-inch Kindle DX in Mac, PC, and Linux environments.

Worth mentioning is the story about Apple’s total disregard for other people’s intellectual monopolies. Apple must have known that “iPad” as a trademark was already taken and there is a battle going on over it right at this moment.

Fujitsu: ‘iPad? That’s ours’

In addition to ignoring support for Adobe Flash, multitasking, and a few other niceties in its new iPad, Apple seems to have ignored one other important detail: it doesn’t own the name “iPad.” Fujitsu says it does.

That’s a good opening. Apple’s iPad is basically a toy without even some features of other phones (a lot of phones multitask for example). CNN dares to put “Oversized iPhone” in the headline, which is rather telling. A German reader of ours told us last night: “the ipad is a bad joke from a technical point of view. but usability seems to be good and innovative”

SJVN has already explained why GNU/Linux still beats Apple on technical grounds (not fake, theatrical hype) and a new article from Jim Zemlin’s blog has something similar to say:

You might expect the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation to state with full confidence that Linux-based competitors will crush the iPad. Linux *can* compete in one area. $499 – $829 may be a breakthrough price for Apple and their margins, but it’s no comparison to the price competition Linux-based devices can offer. Vendors creating Tablets, slates, phones or other devices do not have to pay the per-unit pricing of other platforms. Apple products command a premium and Jobs will never cannibalize their pricing power.

Also in the news:

Apple’s iPad vs Notion Ink’s Adam tablet with Ubuntu: battle of two worlds

The “desktop” is easy to use in both environment, very similar application startup and indicators. The Ubuntu OS will run several applications in parallel while you will be able to use only one app ata time on the iPad. (see about this later)

Eight ways Android and Linux tablets can beat Apple’s iPad

Apple’s newly announced iPad has been touted as “magical,” “amazing,” and “revolutionary” by company officials. But, key deficiencies in the device provide opportunities for competitors, who can craft better tablets that run Linux or Android.

Acer promises cloudbook, app store and ereader

Acer’s cloudbook will be one of the first to the shelves, expected to ship around September in the US and in Europe shortly afterwards. Unlike Acer’s existing Linux netbooks, this product will run Chrome OS only, to keep battery life long and prices low. The company already offers netbooks running Android or other Linux variants, but always as a second option alongside Windows. Users can then rely on the Linux element for fast boot-up, low power and optimal web performance, and turn on Windows for more high power apps. Google claims Chrome OS, which is an ultralite browser-based OS – just an overlay on a very basic embedded Linux system – will bridge the divide and make Windows unnecessary, as the powerful services and heavy duty data will be held in the cloud.

Even last night we gave some new examples of GNU/Linux-powered tablets. The market is full of them because they work well, not because the vendors are “fans” of GNU/Linux.

Silicon Valley Watcher complains that Apple continues to distance itself from standards with each new device, the latest being iPad:

But over the past ten years, since the introduction of the iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad, Apple is becoming less and less open, it using fewer standard components and chips, and far fewer Internet technologies common to Mac/PC desktop and laptop systems.

The iPhone and iPad, for example, doesn’t support common Internet platforms such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. That means you cannot watch streaming video from Hulu, or Netflix.

And while iPhone chips are available from other manufacturers, the iPad runs only on the A4 processor — an Apple designed chip that no one else can buy.

As we explained before, Apple is also a proponent of OOXML (being a friend of Microsoft) and people keep complaining about it. One person wrote this week: “iWork on iPad still doesn’t support ODF”

This is a shame because Apple embraced UNIX but it seems to deviate from universality. Timothy Lee, a notable and effective critic of intellectual monopolies, has published “the case against the iPad” where he states that Apple also fights freedom of information:

Apple is fighting against powerful and fundamental economic forces. In the short term, Apple’s technological and industrial design prowess can help to prop up dying business models. But before too long, the force of economic gravity will push the price of content down to its marginal cost of zero. And when it does, the walls of Apple’s garden will feel a lot more confining. If “tablets” are the future, which is far from clear, I’d rather wait for a device that gives me full freedom to run the applications and display the content of my choice.

Update: I guess I’ve been brainwashed by my iPhone not to notice this, but the other glaring flaw, as this post explains, is the lack of standard ports. The net effect of this is, again, to give Apple complete control over the platform’s evolution, because the only way to interact with the thing is through the proprietary dock connector. Again, this made a certain amount of sense on the iPhone, where space, weight, and ergonomics are at a premium. But it’s totally unacceptable for a device that aims to largely displace my laptop. Hell, even most video game consoles have USB ports.

In the words of another person, “iPad is scary, but its strategy is moreso: #Apple unveiled by far the most restrictive platform ever seen.”

An ‘Apple Cult’ site (CultOfMac.com) has brought up the FSF’s campaign against the iPad, which is a good sign. It means that the issues are being raised and the most sensitive crowd is receiving a bit of increased awareness of what Apple does to the users’ rights and freedom. This is not a case of preaching to the choir or to the converted, so well done, FSF.

Novell’s Zonker denounces this great campaign from the FSF, but then again, he happily tells lies about the FSF by misquoting or misrepresenting. Novell is no friend of the FSF.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  2. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  3. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  4. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  5. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  6. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  7. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  8. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  9. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  10. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  11. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  12. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  13. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  15. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  16. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  17. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent



  18. The Myth of 'Professionalism'

    Perception of professionalism, a vehicle or a motivation for making Linux more 'corporate-friendly' (i.e. owned by corporations), is a growing threat to Software Freedom inside Linux, as well as freedom of speech and many other things



  19. Links 14/8/2019: Best Chromebooks, EPEL 8.0, LibreOffice 6.2.6

    Links for the day



  20. Being in Favour of Free/Libre Open Source Software Means Rejecting Software Patents

    Those who believe in Software Freedom cannot at the same time believe that software patents are desirable; we've sadly come to a point where many companies that dominate so-called 'Open Source' groups actively lobby for such patents, in effect betraying the community they claim to be a part of



  21. Links 14/8/2019: Apache Evaluated, HardenedBSD Has New Release

    Links for the day



  22. Planet Python is Being Overrun by Microsoft, Just Like PyCon and Python in General

    Microsoft is perturbing the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) world from the inside, promoting Microsoft's most malicious proprietary software from within that world while taking positions of power in powerful FOSS projects



  23. Coming Soon: The Innards of the Eric Lundgren Case That Microsoft is Desperate to Hide or Spin (by Defaming Lundgren)

    Microsoft is rather stressed about Eric Lundgren coming out of prison and telling how Microsoft put him there; right now Microsoft is mostly name-calling while seeking to control public dialogues



  24. Wrong Person in Charge of the Linux Foundation (and in Charge of Linus Torvalds)

    There are several glaring issues when it comes to the leadership of Linux's steward; for one thing, it lacks actual background in... Linux



  25. 2019 Tech Glossary

    This clavis refers to what the de facto definition may be, based on how (and when) media uses the words nowadays



  26. The Silence of the Media Lamb

    There are reasons that are perfectly legitimate to criticise media which is unable and more so unwilling to cover particular scandals for fear that coverage can be detrimental to the media's owners and sponsors



  27. LINUX.COM Managed by Apple’s MacOS Users, Open Source Managed and Covered by People Who Reject Open Source

    The narratives are being hijacked; people who we're supposed to assume speak for Linux and for Open Source support neither of these things; they're only in it for the money



  28. The Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit is a Proprietary Software Marketing Venue

    The distortion of the term Open Source and promotion of proprietary software such as GitHub shows that the foundation called after “Linux” is actually more of a front group of hostile corporations — large brands and rich people to whom Open Source represents a threat that needs to be controlled



  29. Links 13/8/2019: Mir 1.4 Released, Qt PDF Discussed

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/8/2019: KDevelop 5.4.1 and DragonFly 5.6.2 Released

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts