Patent app shows Apple prepping to rock PC, CE markets with advertising-subsidized hardware

Apple Store“The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple today that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced service in development that entails subsidizing an incredible array of hardware from Apple,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The hardware ranges from their sizzling hot iPhone to Apple TV – the set top box – to an actual television, notebook, iPod touch and more. The subsidization could also cover software from Apple or third party developers,” Purcher reports.

“What’s the catch? You’ll have to endure a very complicated and savvy advertising scheme that makes sure that you’re paying attention. If not, the system can freeze the user out until compliance is met,” Purcher reports. “This isn’t for everyone, especially if ads in your face are something you want to avoid at all costs. But for the mass market, this is a whole new ballgame!”

Purcher reports, “Steve Jobs is noted in Apple’s credits for this patent and we could be assured that his name all but tells us that this program isn’t a fantasy of an Apple engineer. The implications of such a marketing move could rock the industry.”

Find tons more info and patent illustrations in the full article here.

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


  1. No, think magazines on the iTablet. Apple has been shopping a reading device to magazines, right?

    Now imagine that you can get a “free” subscription to Sports Illustrated, Time, whatever, provided you put up with ads. And the ads won’t be sidebars or popups that can be blocked with Pith Helmet etc. You will have to spend x amount of time on an ad page or interact with the ad somehow in return.

    OR – you can pay for the magazine through iTunes, and read it without ads!! Either way, the magazine makes money – the death of free content. It’s Rupert Murdoch’s wet dream.


  2. “If Apple patents this… does that mean Microsoft would have to license that patent from Apple, if they wanted to do the same thing?”


    “Either way, the magazine makes money – the death of free content. It’s Rupert Murdoch’s wet dream.”

    Also yes.

  3. It’s not being used for subsidized hardware, it’s related to the new ability to purchase inside apps. It’s a pre-emptive strike to get the patent on having the app control the screen while a purchase takes place.

    It will primarily be used on the iPhone/touch but could extend to TV and the Mac’s if they ever gain access to run the store Apps.

  4. Sounds very Microsoftesque and 1984 and all that. But I suspect that the truth is it will be used rather more subtly in very much the way that ‘I Get it Now’ states. Its for the tablet to help you trial magazines and all sorts of content before you decide whether to subscribe. makes sense I use plenty of software that works in a similar way like Little Snitch where you can trial it or indeed use it for ever if you want a less than ideal experience, or at any time pay for that ultimate experience. With publishing the way it is it will be an ideal solution to the threat of going out of existence.

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