As usual, the e-mails, twitter direct messages and even Facebook messages have prodded me to write about who I thought deserved to win. If you don’t know what verdict am talking about. Well, obviously, the Apple vs Samsung verdict handed down on Friday, August 25th, 2012.
So who won? Apple did and Samsung’s, before Judge Koh adds additional ‘willful’ damages, fine came to about $1.05Billion. The jury found evidence of willful infringement on patents.
So I will pause for a minute and let you all know, (those of you who don’t know me well) I have been an Apple user since 1983. My first computer was an Apple //e. My second computer, a Mac 128, the rest you can sum up.
I have been programming in both camps, Apple and Microsoft, professionally since 1992. The first cross platform product I worked on was called Deneba Canvas. It was feature by feature parity on both Windows 3.1 and Finder 7. You are reading that right, Windows 3.1 and Finder 7.x – Mind blowing.
So my world as a professional developer has been writing cross platform ‘apps’ and before I embarked on my own entrepreneurship endeavors, my software highlight culminated with Adobe Illustrator, Flash Authoring and FlashLite for mobile devices, pre-iPhone. (Well, come to think of it, Adobe did never ship a truly working copy of Flash for iOS, more in the lines of ‘look we have something working’ crap).
“Hey, I don’t give a hoot to your background, get to to the point”.
I am, I am.
What has been interesting to read amongst all the blogs, along with all the ‘fanboyism’ is that just about in every blog comment there is always a ‘patent’ system needs to be reviewed and all hell breaks lose about the patent system. Then the fan boys kick in and it becomes a war of words and insults and everything else that you can think of, “overpriced”, “a loss for x,y,z”.. etc.
But here, Apple won. There is not going back. Even if Samsung wins the appeal, and by the time they get to the appels court, it will be too late. A clear decisive victory for Apple. But this is more than the jurors agreeing to the violation of patents, it was also about the look and feel patents, ‘dress patents’, design patents and what not.
I was kneed deep in shit, working with Nokia and Symbian and bunch of other device manufacturers from Asia, Europe and even Korea, back in the 2006/2007 timeframe (Flash Mobile Authoring and FlashLite 3.0). Writing mobile back then was as painful as having your molar extracted without any Novocain and with a pair of rusty pliers. Seriously. An aberration of the senses.
Then in 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone and development for the iPhone was what we were used to as developers of desktop apps. “Build”->Sync->onYourPhone. There. Bam. Done. Debug, not a problem. Profiler, not a problem. etc. (well it was later than 2007 when Apple introduced the SDK but you know what I mean). Nokia’s C++ was outrageously expensive, and as for the ARM compiler, we had a floating license because it was in the 5 digits to have a license of the ARM compiler back then. And it was not a ‘build->sync->on your phone’ it was not that easy.
Apple made it simple. And because of Apple and what they did to the mobile industry, I was able to found my ‘mobile app company’. Yes. Apple made it possible. And look around you. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs each day, from 13 year olds, to 80 year olds, getting into the business of app development, because one company, which was in the brink of death in the mid 90’s, had an idea and they executed against it.
Nokia, Rim, Adobe, even Google, and countless other ‘mobile’ companies of the mid 2000’s were in for the win. But they all got steamed-roll by a fruit company down the street from them.
We would not be where we are because of Apple’s vision. Some of you reading this, are in the mobile app development world because of Apple. Not Nokia, not RIM, not Adobe, not Google, not Samsung. It is because of Apple. Some of you are using my product to be in the mobile app business and making some ‘diaper money’ on the side, and because of Apple, it made my dream of becoming an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley a reality.
And guess what? some of you will read this on your mobile device, wether it is an Apple, or a Samsung device. And less than 5 years ago, you wouldn’t have thought of even remotely possible.
So yes, Apple deserved to win. And thank you Apple, and Steve for making this decade the mobile decade. If there is to be a person of the decade for 2010’s it should got to Steve, cos he change the world, and left a dent in the universe.
ps: why did you mention cross platform at the beginning? Because I am still doing cross platform development after all these years. But instead of Apple/Microsoft it is now for mobile, iOS/Android currently, and soon other mobile OS.
pss: Apple has paid out over $5bill to developers since the apps were allowed in the store. Bueller?
psss: But wait, there is more… This is the biggest Marketing mind set Apple could have ever dreamed of, specially on the heels of the iPhone 5 announcement and the purportedly iPad Mini in September.
psss: Yes I wish Leo “Disaster of a CEO” Apotheker would had never dumped the Palm WebOS B.U.
pssss: Injunction hearing set for Sept 20th.
psssss: Working with the Android SDK/NDK combination is as painful as working with the then Symbian SDK for Nokia. Arcane.
PS: I want to thank the Appcelerator team for allowing me to give my opinion on their blog. And for everyone who provided feedback as well. Thanks.