Attorney on Apple: ‘When you are No. 1, you have a bull’s-eye on your back’

“For Apple Computer, life at the top of the digital music heap is not all it is cracked up to be. The company maintains upwards of 60% market share in MP3 player sales [worldwide] and in February crossed the 1 billion songs plateau for sales at its iTunes Music Store. But as its power grows, so grows the list of potential threats to its dominance,” Brian Garrity writes for Billboard. “Nowhere is the challenge that Apple faces greater than in the mobile music arena. McGuire points out that Apple must protect its existing iPod/iTunes business while at the same time figuring out how to transition to new products and services for the cell phone.”

“Determined to make that process as difficult as possible is Microsoft, which is seeding its Windows Media technology standard with a host of wireless device manufacturers and carrier services,” Garrity writes. “Motorola announced at the 3GSM conference February 13 that it will support Microsoft’s Windows Media technology in its upcoming devices. The deal seemingly undercuts a similar pact Motorola inked with Apple a year ago. It was Motorola’s reasoning for Microsoft support that underscores Apple’s challenges: Company executives say wireless operators want devices that support Microsoft’s technology because these units will let them offer their own music download services, while Apple’s technology will not.”

“If worrying about the developing mobile music sector is not enough, Apple has to contend with myriad lawsuits alleging everything from patent infringement to antitrust violations to liability for hearing loss,” Garrity writes. “Plenty of press scrutiny may also result from a claim by Thomas Slattery in the U.S. District Court of Northern California that Apple engages in anticompetitive practices by not licensing its Fair Play DRM (digital rights management) technology to third parties… Among the cases that will be closely followed: Santa Rosa, Calif.-based burst.com in January filed patent infringement claims against Apple’s allegedly unauthorised use of ‘core audio and video functionality for Apple’s iTunes and the iPod.’ Last year Microsoft settled patent infringement and antitrust claims made by Burst by reportedly paying $60 million and licensing the same Burst patents listed in the complaint against Apple. ‘Many of these claims are the type of claims any company faces when it has a successful product or service,’ says Bobby Rosenbloum, an attorney and shareholder in the entertainment practice at Greenberg Traurig. ‘When you are No. 1, you have a bull’s-eye on your back.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Sailfish” for the heads up.]

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20 Comments

  1. Hmmmm…..

    Sailfish still here, but never posts. Sailfish and Hogfish used to share a website. Lots of pics showing smiley people on boats.

    And who keeps posting links to Hogfish’s area on .Mac? The same person who mentioned being 14 miles offshore, that’s who.

    Time to come clean?

  2. I want my phone to make phone calls, NOT download music.

    This stupid “my phone does everything” craze is bonkers. What next, a phone that simultaneously ties your shoelaces whilst making your morning cuppa?

  3. It’s sad when lawsuits and corporate greed are the prime motivators for market trends and not consumerism. Indeed, it will not be Apple’s appeal to consumers that wanes but everyone wanting a piece of the action that nibbles away at their profits.

  4. Apple does not need to make their own cell phone but they could improve their support of existing manufacturers and services, this would endear them to their users even more.

    When my Nokia 6600 took an accidental hop into the toilet (prior to using the toilet) I was faced with the task of trying to find a replacement that offered similar features and compatibility with my Apple laptop.

    Long story short, there are no models that do everything my current phone does (bluetooth internet connection, iSync compatibility, worldphone).

    The folks at the Applestore blame Nokia and T-Mobile. T-Mobile blames Apple. Nokia does not give a crap about any of it. The consumer loses.

    HOW TO SAVE YOUR TOILET DIVING PHONE

    After my phone took the plunge I immediately removed the power source (battery).

    I wasted a day and a half trying to find a replacement model before I took my submarined phone apart (carefully removed as many electronic parts as I could), laid them out on a floor mounted heating register, let them dry out with a few hours of gentle forced warm air, moved them to the hearth in front of my gas fireplace, baked them for 5 hours (rotating them every 5 to 10 minutes), cleaned all the contacts with DeOxit, treated the contacts with ProGold, reassembled the phone the following day and it is working fine.

    T-Mobile told me toilet mishaps are the number two killer of phones (behind loss).

    If your phone takes the plunge, get it out of the water fast and remove the battery as quick as possible to prevent electrolosis from destroying circuitry. Shake out as much water as possible and then begin the drying procedure.

    All the best to everyone.

  5. My cell phone is packed full of unused features. Navigating around with the keypad sucks.

    I think it would be great if Apple put a simple user interface on accessing advanced phone features.

    iSync currently offers some of this but model support and consistency are both very weak (by Apple and the phone mfrs).

    Bluetooth support is pretty limited and quirky too. If they’re not going to make it really right and useable they ought to dump it rather than leaving the user to waste time trying all the features only to find out it’s not going to work.

  6. Folks, it’s only a matter of time until all of these devices converge into one super device. I for one, can’t wait (and of course I want Apple to do it), because carrying around my phone, a Clie and an iPod is ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to carry around a freaking purse to wrangle all my junk.

    m

  7. Can lightning strike twice on the same company?

    It didn’t want to open up the Mac. It doesn’t want to open up iPod/iTMS/FairPlay.

    An overachiever that wants to be the lone ranger will eventually be overtaken by the rush of also-rans.

    Apple just doesn’t know how to make and keep friends… let alone keep enemies even closer.

  8. Can lightning strike twice on the same company?

    It didn’t want to open up the Mac. It doesn’t want to open up iPod/iTMS/FairPlay.

    An overachiever that wants to be the lone ranger will eventually be overtaken by the rush of also-rans.

    Apple just doesn’t know how to make and keep friends… let alone keep enemies even closer.

  9. Can lightning strike twice on the same company?

    It didn’t want to open up the Mac. It doesn’t want to open up iPod/iTMS/FairPlay.

    An overachiever that wants to be the lone ranger will eventually be overtaken by the rush of also-rans.

    Apple just doesn’t know how to make and keep friends… let alone keep enemies even closer.

  10. Can lightning strike twice on the same company?

    It didn’t want to open up the Mac. It doesn’t want to open up iPod/iTMS/FairPlay.

    An overachiever that wants to be the lone ranger will eventually be overtaken by the rush of also-rans.

    Apple just doesn’t know how to make and keep friends… let alone keep enemies even closer.

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