Category Archives: Competitive

I’m All For Competition – Where Competition Meets Hypocrisy

As the title says, I am all for competition.  Competition is what makes America great.  You can succeed and / or fail.  Most of us, if not everyone, has done both at some point in their lives.  If you succeed, that’s great; If you fail, keep trying or find something else to try.  

Ok, so what’s your point author?

For over a year now, when I wake up, and have checked my twitter feed, I read stories about Apple suing X company or X company suing Apple over various patents. I’m not a fan of pointless lawsuits, but if a company feels that one or more of their patents is in use in other companies products unjustly and the original patent holders are not getting a fair share for their hard work, then by all means, get some compensation. 

I am an Apple fanboy, but what I said applies to Apple too.  If Apple is violating someone else’s patents, then Apple should be held accountable and have to pay compensation.  Period.  That’s how it should work.  And if someone is violating Apple’s patents, then Apple has the right to defend themselves in court and ask for damages.  

I can see just from design that Samsung is violating Apple’s patents left and right, blatantly I might add.  I mean their charging bricks look identical to Apple’s!  That’s just taking an easy design route .  I’m sure there’s a plethora of combinations you can use to design a tablet charger.  

I hear people saying that what Apple is doing within these lawsuits is hurting the competition, stifling it to keep the iPad on top.  Maybe if the competing companies (I’m looking at you Samsung) would innovate instead of imitate, then I wouldn’t have to write a blogpost regarding competition.

I’m sure you can design a tablet with a different hardware design and yet make it functional for people too at the same time.  Google was able to achieve this!  They unveiled their new Nexus 7″ tablet and it doesn’t look anything like the iPad nor does the software interface either.  It looks original, hardware and software.  So if Google can pull it off, so can other companies.  Personally, I don’t like it.  It looks ugly with the large bezels.  

While I’m on the subject of Google, in relation to competition, I have a bone to pick with Google.  

As I said, I’m all for competition, but when does hypocrisy become competition or vice versa?  Let me explain what I mean.  

Google this morning announced a Siri-like competitor.  On multiple occasions, Eric Schmidt, former CEO and current co-advisor to current CEO, Larry Page, is quoted as calling “Siri a threat to competition.”  He testified in a congressional hearing that Siri is a “significant development” and says it is an “entirely new approach to search technology.”

Yes, I agree with him that Siri is a new approach to search technology.  But you’re just scared that Google will become less relied upon among iOS device users.  Yes, Siri does go around google.  When you tell Siri to look up a restaurant review, it doesn’t use Google.  Instead of going straight to Google, it goes straight to the most reliable source, Yelp!.  That makes perfect logical sense.  Siri takes Google out of the middleman position and instead directs your query to the most relevant site out there.  In a technological world, that makes perfect sense.  And by going straight to the relevant source, users won’t have to expend as much data (since data is becoming a precious mobile resource like water is to survival) as they would have if they had to go to google first and then to the relevant website. 

But Mr. Schmidt was at Congress, saying that Siri will hurt competition.  How can it?  Apple took search to a whole new level!  That’s innovation, Mr. Schmidt!  So in other words, Mr. Schmidt, you want to punish Apple for being innovative just so Google can stay the number one search engine in the world?  

So today, Google launched a Siri-like competitor.  Ok Google, is it powered by Nuance, the same people that power Siri?  Does your program understand and extract the key phrases of a sentence or question and pull in the necessary words to perform a specific function?  Is it powered by Google search, taking users straight to Google for answers and then do the end-users have to tap on the relevant answer or issue another voice command, or will it bypass your search engine completely and take your users to Yelp! for restaurant reviews directly?  

So Google called Siri a threat and a few months later, they release their own version of it.  If their Siri-like program takes users straight to Google search or other Google app before taking the user to their desired result, is that innovation?  I guess so, but it’s backwards because Siri takes users straight to their relevant answer right away bypassing search.  If Google’s Siri-like app takes users straight to the relevant source like Siri does for iOS users, then that’s straight up imitation.  Schmidt’s testimony at Congress should be repealed at this point since they developed something to compete with Apple, when they said that it would hurt competition.  

Schmidt should not have said that it is a threat to competition, but rather have just let it be and developed your own app or program.  The way he used Congress makes it look like a huge publicity circus.  Our government has more important things to worry about rather than turning the congressional house floor into a place of clowning around.  

Google, make your app, but know this…by making your Siri competitive app, you can no longer call Siri a threat to competition.  You’ve lost that right.  

And Samsung, hire some people who are creative and who will innovate for you rather than imitate other produces.  I’m sure you can produce great things with the right people in your company.  

What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Do you feel like enough is a enough with the lawsuits?  Do you believe that if a company feels wrongly violated with a patent misuse, it should be able to defend itself?  What about Google?  Do you feel like they are hypocrites for launching their own Siri competitor when they called that new search method a threat?  

Please feel free to post intelligent comments.  I also invite my readers to do your own research and formulate your own opinions.  I hope I was able to spur some thought for you as you read this.  Let’s all be well informed readers.