Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

IT Crime of the New Century

  • Apr 04 / 2012
  • 2
technology

IT Crime of the New Century

Apple and M$, two of the biggest monopolists in IT (personal computing certainly, and branching out), are accusing Motorola of doing what they do… The irony makes me chuckle. M$ and Apple have been suing the world and don’t want to be sued and injuncted in return. Bullies hate it when someone has the nerve to stand up to them. It makes being a bully difficult when the herd stands and fights.

The issue is whether or not it is fair and reasonable for Motorola to charge people suing Motorola an arm and a leg for licensing patents Motorola has promised to be FRAND about to standardization organizations. Being reasonable has two sides to it. You should not expect people you are suing to be reasonable or not discriminatory. If governments properly regulated M$ and Apple, none of this would be necessary but governments seem to see big crimes as just business as usual. Extorting $billions from the world at monopolistic prices is not business as usual.

see Motorola Mobility in double Euro probe over patent warfare

2 Comments

  1. Robert Pogson

    Apple does not allow OS/X to legally run on generic x86 hardware. There’s no particular business reason for that. Apple could sell more product by allowing that. They don’t do that because they want to tie sale of their OS to sale of their hardware so they can sell hardware at a high margin. Selling above market value is a key indicator of monopoly. They have similar attitudes with the iThingies by suing anyone who makes a product of the same/similar shape, for instance. That’s a bullying tactic consistent with monopoly. They tell their locked-in customers that they are unique, better, worth the price etc and that they must protect their intellectual property even if they have none. They are like a dog protecting the feeding dish. Figure out what the dish is and you will know Apple’s monopoly. I think rather than a market it is a mindset, that you get more by paying more even in the face of strong evidence that lower-priced goods are every bit as good. Sometimes they come from the same factories in China… Perhaps Apple has invented something, the virtual monopoly. It walks, talks and looks like a monopolist. I think it is.

    If I had to define Apple’s market which it monopolizes, it would be over-priced personal computing devices. Lenovo and Sony have similar markets they keep to themselves along the same lines but not nearly as obvious. I defy anyone to explain to me why a good ATX box from Lenovo is worth twice the price of a very similar box from Dell. The last school where I worked got in 12 ATX boxes running XP that were $800 each and not special in any way, dual core, 3gB, only one hard drive. All of the components were bog-standard COTS stuff. They certainly weren’t any more useful than our 8 year old boxes we got for freight, as a thick client. I even had to modify the frame just to install an additional hard drive. As a thin client the old boxes gave better performance, too. Lenovo could charge that price because the buyer just checked off “pc” on some purchasing list from an approved supplier… That ability to be a default choice is a form of monopoly. It’s more about exclusive dealing than price/performance.

  2. aardvark

    I don’t wish to be too picky about this, Mr Pogson, but how can you describe a company like Apple as a “monopolist?”

    Their desktop share is about 7%.

    Their server share is derisory.

    Even their flagship iPhone/iPad share hovers between 40% and 60%.

    Does that actually look like a “monopoly” to you?

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