“At the launch of a new Creative Technology MP3 player last month, Singapore’s most famous technopreneur Sim Wong Hoo hurled the gadget at a wall,” Alfred Siew reports for The Straits Times. “It was his way of demonstrating how rugged the Zen V player was. A Creative employee had earlier dropped it from standing height but Mr Sim obviously felt that was not dramatic enough.”
“So he took the player and flung it across the room. The Zen V player fell to the ground with nary a crack,” Siew reports. “For people who have been following Creative’s attempts in trying to unseat Apple Computer from its dominant position in the MP3 player market, Mr Sim’s action was also an indirect attack on his competitor’s product.”
MacDailyNews Take: We direct you to the following article, “Apple iPod nano takes a beating and keeps on beating” (September 12, 2005) in which Ars Techinica runs over an iPod nano with a car (twice) and throws it 40 feet into the air to land on pavement in order to see how sturdily it is constructed.
Siew continues, “In May, it sued Apple in California, alleging patent infringement of its navigation technology and method of organising music on a player. Creative also complained to the United States International Trade Commission, seeking to ban imports of Apple iPods, which are mostly made in China, to the US. Apple promptly responded with a lawsuit in Wisconsin, alleging that Creative infringed not one but four of its patents for the display and interface of music devices. It also filed another suit in Texas, claiming three of its patents were infringed.”
“In a clear tit-for-tat move, Apple also asked the trade commission to halt US imports of Creative’s MP3 players,’ Siew reports. “…Apple and Creative declined to comment, although both sides said in a joint report to the judge in Wisconsin on Monday that they were in talks about licensing and were ‘open’ to an agreement that would end their litigation battles.”
“Legal experts interviewed said a speedy resolution will benefit both parties because by the time the suits are resolved in court, the patents that the two companies are fighting over may not matter much, given how fast MP3 player technology changes,” Siew reports. “Some lawyers have questioned Creative’s decision to launch expensive lawsuits against a rival with deep pockets. Apple turned in a US$410 million profit in the quarter ending April 1, shipping 8.5 million iPods worldwide. In contrast, Creative racked up a loss of US$114.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, after a plunge in MP3 player prices forced it to write down the value of its inventory.”
Siew reports, “Things could have turned out very differently. Instead of slugging out in the courts, the two companies could have been business partners… Today, Apple has cornered 77 per cent of the MP3 market in the US, leaving Creative, Samsung, Sony and a motley group of Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese companies to fight over the remaining share.”
Full article with history and what Creative could try next here.
Sim Wong Hoo is likely going to be throwing things for a very different reason if and when his former partner (headed by chair-throwing Steve Ballmer) releases the latest rumored Microsoft ‘iPod killer.’ There really ought to be some sort of “Inanimate Object Tossing” tournament for CEOs of Apple’s iPod+iTunes roadkill. Everybody deserves a chance to win at something besides bombastic MP3 player war declarations and the usual illegal monopoly leveraging.
• Introducing the super-fast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook. Starting at just $1099.
• Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
• Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
Apple and beleaguered Creative ‘open’ to settling iPod patent lawsuits – July 06, 2006
Beleaguered Creative on Apple’s lawsuits ‘retaliation’ and patent disputes – June 21, 2006
Beleaguered Creative issues press release: U.S. ITC to investigate Apple iPod for patent infringement – June 14, 2006
Apple plays hardball: files counter-suit against beleaguered Creative in sympathetic Texas court – June 07, 2006
Apple files second lawsuit against beleaguered Creative Technology – June 06, 2006
Apple Computer sues beleaguered Creative for iPod patent infringement – May 18, 2006
Apple suit seen hurting beleaguered Creative in long run – May 17, 2006
Beleaguered Creative’s lawsuit against Apple for alleged iPod patent infringement shows desperation – May 16, 2006
Beleaguered Creative sues Apple for alleged iPod patent infringement – May 15, 2006
Beleaguered Creative Technology circles the bowl – May 02, 2006
Beleaguered Creative Technology reports largest operating loss in at least five years – April 10, 2006
Joke of the Day: Red Herring headline: ‘Creative may be iPod threat’ – February 28, 2006
S&P Equity downgrades Creative Technology, cites ‘increased competition from Apple Computer’ – February 14, 2006
Apple unveils new 1GB iPod nano for $149; iPod shuffle now starting at just $69 – February 07, 2006
Beleaguered Creative reports 95-percent slump in quarterly profit – January 26, 2006
Don’t call them podcasts! Derivative, er, Creative introduces ZenCast app for ‘audio & video blogs’ – January 04, 2006
Creative’s Zen Vision:M green with Apple iPod envy – December 09, 2005
Apple faces prospect of bruising iPod patent dispute from Creative Technology – December 09, 2005
Creative Technology’s official press relase for Zen Vision:M Apple iPod knockoff – December 08, 2005
Creative’s Sim Wong Hoo vows to ‘aggressively pursue’ Apple over iPod patent – December 08, 2005
Creative announces 30GB Zen Vision:M video-enabled ‘iPod killer’ – December 07, 2005
Beleaguered Creative waves white flag, surrenders self-declared MP3 player war to Apple iPod – November 07, 2005
Beleaguered Creative shifts promotional efforts from music players to new sound card line – September 21, 2005
Apple debuts iPod nano, iTunes 5: how are Microsoft, Napster, Real, Creative, Sony feeling today? – September 08, 2005
Creative explores new way to beat Apple iPod: patent litigation – August 30, 2005
Creative plans ‘very vigorous defense’ of iPod navigation patent – August 31, 2005
Beleaguered Creative Technology’s ‘war’ on Apple iPod not faring well – August 15, 2005
Apple’s iPod shine dims beleaguered Creative Technology’s outlook – August 08, 2005
Microsoft not buying stake in Creative Technology – August 02, 2005
Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo adds fronts to war against Apple iPod – August 01, 2005
Analyst: Microsoft could buy Creative Technlogy in bid to compete with Apple iPod – July 14, 2005
Beleaguered Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo ‘optimistic’ the company will survive ‘MP3 war’ – July 01, 2005
Beleaguered Creative may have to write off unsold stock as losses loom – June 28, 2005
Creative Tech’s reduced outlook drags on Apple, PortalPlayer, SigmaTel – June 27, 2005
Creative Tech cuts sales outlook, drags Apple down in early trading – June 27, 2005
Apple passed 20 million iPods sold milestone in early June – June 24, 2005
Apple’s understanding of what really counts makes iPod+iTunes impossible to beat – June 22, 2005
Creative Technology shares slide to lowest mark in almost two years – May 18, 2005
Apple squeezes and Creative’s profit plunges 72-percent – April 23, 2005
Apple iPod pressure forces Creative to drop prices on music players – March 01, 2005
Creative’s self-declared ‘MP3 player war’ against Apple isn’t going very well – January 20, 2005
Creative CEO: Apple iPod shuffle ‘a big let-down, worse than the cheapest Chinese player’ – January 12, 2005
Creative declares ‘war’ on Apple iPod, shoots for 40% market share of MP3 players – December 21, 2004
Creative Technology declares ‘MP3 War’ against market-dominating Apple iPod – November 17, 2004
Mossberg: Dell, Rio, Creative ‘iPod mini killers’ lag badly behind Apple iPod mini – October 27, 2004
Creative pushes to become ‘Pepsi’ to Apple’s ‘Coke’ in digital music player market – August 07, 2004