08.28.10

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Apple Monogamy: How Apple Retaliated Against Partner That ‘Dared’ to Explore Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple snipers

Summary: SurfaceInk committed the ‘sin’ of testing GNU/Linux, so Apple dumps it as a company to do business with

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ESTERDAY we wrote about Microsoft allegedly threatening to withdraw support for an application developer if GNU/Linux was also supported. This is reminiscent of a recent story about a game maker which Microsoft allegedly treated this way. Apple turns out to be no better than Microsoft in that regard. Check out this news:

  • Apple dump SurfaceInk over potential iPad rival demo

    SurfaceInk’s 12.1-inch tablet reference design may have won them headlines when they demonstrated the Ubuntu-powered slate back in June, but it also lost them Apple as a client. CEO Eric Bauswell confirmed to the NY Times that, because of “Apple’s growing awareness of our turnkey capabilities,” the two companies had “gone separate directions.”

  • Apple dumps design firm SurfaceInk due to potential tablet threat

    In June, the company showed off a 12.1-inch tablet running Ubuntu Linux that had quite a few features the iPad lacks, including a mini-HDMI connection to push video to HDTVs, and two cameras for video conferencing. It had also said that it was working on a more portable 7-inch model. The tablet was intended to show SurfaceInk’s clients the sort of capabilities it had, and didn’t seem to have any future beyond being a mere prototype.

  • Apple severs ties with tablet-design firm

    SurfaceInk, which also has a turnkey business that creates and licenses products, has enjoyed success in the tech world. According to its site, the company’s clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Palm, and Belkin.

  • Developer of Tablets Loses Apple as Customer

    SurfaceInk, a company founded in 1999, has done engineering design work in the past for clients — and Apple competitors — like Palm and Hewlett-Packard. The company, which has about 50 employees, also has a so-called turnkey business, which creates products and licenses them to other companies.

    It was that latest part of SurfaceInk’s business, which the company began about five years ago, that apparently unsettled Apple. While SurfaceInk had gotten clients mostly through word of mouth, in June it publicized a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.

    The device was meant to showcase SurfaceInk’s design capabilities to potential clients, Mr. Bauswell said. He said that Apple viewed those capabilities as a potential competitive threat.

  • Apple fires former design partner over tablet

    Apple has severed all ties with a small Silicon Valley design firm thats its been doing business with for the past decade, the company SurfaceInk has helped with the development of many of its products.

  • Apple dumps SurfaceInk over rival tablet

    I understand having to look after your company’s wellbeing but this suggests overkill on Apple’s part. Then again, is anyone surprised by such a reaction?

Apple’s hypePad is said to be popular mostly among existing customers of Apple. Apple knows that its niche product is under substantial threat from Linux, which it is already suing.

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4 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    August 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Gravatar

    I can see an issue with contractual exclusivity on a jointly-developed product, but this looks to be direct antitrust violation. What can we do about it? As I’ve said here and elsewhere, as much as I loathe Windows and MS, I fear what will happen if Apple grows stronger, at least until we regain some sense of enforcement of our marketplace regulations.

    Regards,
    mc

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Apple already gets heat from EU and US regulators. Somewhat ought to report the SurfaceInk case to the relevant authorities.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    s/somewhat/someone/

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Apple was growing very much more open until 10.5, which jerked suddenly towards Microsoft. 10.6 looks worse. If it continues with 10.7 it might be possible to say that Apple’s new strategy is to become the same as the old pump-n-dump dot-com’s and not make anything but noise until they can get bough up by M$.

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