Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
An argument against the innovation argument
I’m trying very hard to understand Samsung’s argument that losing the patent case with Apple is “a loss for the American consumer” and “will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices”. It just doesn’t make sense. Jim Dalrymple states the obvious fallacy of this line of thinking in The innovation argument:
If Samsung is forced to stop copying Apple, there is only one option left — innovate. Instead of sitting back and making their phones and tablets look exactly like the iPhone and iPad, Samsung will now have to do some work. The hardware and software will have to be different, unique and innovative.
Marco Arment phrased it slightly differently:
What’s really going to disrupt the iPhone is going to be something completely different, not something that tries so hard to clone the iPhone that it hits Apple’s patents.
Unoriginal manufacturers will need to pay for their unoriginality. The most reasonable course of action, therefore, is to truly innovate and design products that aren’t such close copies.
Apple’s patent victory is a good thing for consumers. We don’t need companies that try to be Apple. But we do need more companies that solve difficult problems in elegant ways.