News Roundup: Steve Ballmer Disses the iPhone, Apple Sued (Again!), and More

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News Roundup: Steve Ballmer Disses the iPhone, Apple Sued (Again!), and More

Reactions to Ballmer's iPhone rant: When Steve Ballmer told USA Today that the iPhone would flop, he didn't know what he was in for. (Because, you know, pro-Apple commentators can be ruthless! Or, at least, kinda harsh.) InformationWeek's David DeJean offers a level-headed analysis of Ballmer's comments in a blog posting whose title, "Sometimes Steve Ballmer Just Takes Your Breath Away," made us giggle. DeJean and others rightly point out that Ballmer just doesn't really get the mobile phone market. Still, it's fun to watch him go all kooky, calling the iPhone a device that just "doesn't appeal to business customers." Maybe so, but he seems to forgets that Apple isn't after the entire business market - just 10 million consumers.


Apple sued for patent infringement on iTunes Store: Here we go again... (Hey, we don't write the news - we just report it!) Internet media firm Individual Network LLC has filed a lawsuit in Marshall, Texas, claiming that the iTunes Store violates a patent that Individual holds related to targeted media delivery. Individual claims that aspects of the iTunes Store's interface that help users find content easily - such as the genre tabs and the Just For You feature - directly infringe on its patent. The complainant is demanding a jury trial and hopes to get a cut of every iPod and related device sold. No comment from Apple so far (natch) - but if the suit has legs, it could have much more far-reaching consequences than any other IP lawsuit before it, according to AppleInsider.


Apple, meanwhile, is doing a bit of legal crusading of its own. As a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance, Apple and others (including Microsoft) are accusing Canada of being soft on piracy. "Canada lacks effective border controls on pirated products, and most of its other enforcement efforts suffer from insufficient resources and a lack of deterrent impact," the IIPA report states.


Steve to keynote WWDC: As expected, Steve Jobs will be the keynote speaker at the Worldwide Developers Conference to be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center from June 11 to 15. Scheduled at 10 a.m. on June 11, Steve's speech will focus on all the new features of the full beta version of Mac OS X Leopard, which Apple will hand out to each and every developer in attendance. We'll be there, of course, and we'll share all the juicy details!


More Apple love from Mr. Munster: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster can't seem to shower enough praise on Apple - and, wait, there's more! Munster released a "market-share sensitivity map" showing that an increase in market share for Apple could significantly add to its bottom line (Really? You don't say.). Imagine, for example, that Apple exceeds market-share estimates of 2.7 and reaches a share of 3.5 percent. If that happens, Munster and Co. estimate, earnings per share could increase by 71 cents, a 12.3 percent jump. Kinda makes you wonder: Should you save up for a new Mac, or just put your cash into Apple stock?


Apple to double your support options: MacRumors reports that Apple is set to announce a new two-option support plan on Wednesday, effectively splitting its ProCare service into two $99-a-year options: ProCare and One-to-One. The main difference between the two is that One-to-One replaces a lot of the ProCare features (including priority repairs at the Genius Bar, free annual tune-ups, and more) with 52 hours of "personal training" on the Mac.


Microsoft demos Silverlight on Macs: In a move to "support 99 percent of the [computer] users out there," Microsoft surprised audience members at a demo of Silverlight, its new player for Web browser-based multimedia, by demo-ing the software on Windows PCs and Macs. Silverlight, which will compete with Adobe Flash, will run natively in Safari, as well as Firefox. However, Silverlight's development tools remain incompatible with Mac OS X.


In other news: Students at Texas Tech who miss class can soon head to iTunes U to get copies of other students' class notes and other student-created content, such as news articles, videos, and more. Hear from a happy Apple TV user (and see his goofy home-made "super remote"). Why one Apple watcher thinks iTunes will never offer subscriptions. Care to wax nostalgic about your first- or second-generation iPod?




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Ed Hart

Good Day to All,

Steve Ballmer? Never heard of him.
Fifteen years ago, I went into an electronics store in Oklahoma City, I had just moved here from California, I know what you’re thinking, I’m a reverse Beverly Hillbilly. Yea, I bought a trailer, knocked out a tooth and opened a Meth lab. I’m kidding, I didn’t knock out a tooth. Anyway, I was trying to buy the latest Mac, some $3000.00 Power something model, with 32mb, 2G, Lighting! Who could ever need more? But I’m getting off track, when the salesman that worked there showed me that all of their computers were IBM, he added, “Why would you want to buy an Apple? They are going out of business.” I left and drove to Tulsa, because there were no Macs in Oklahoma City then. The moral of this story or what I’m trying to say is, I think Mr. Ballmer shall loose whatever credibility when the iPhone comes out. I predict it will be as big or bigger than the iPod and I can hardly wait for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th generation iPhones.
Oh, and I coined the term iPhone years ago, in a comedy skit, maybe I should sue.

Peace and Love



You know .... when I saw that picture of Steve Ballmer again today.... just like yesterday.... I threw up a little in the back of my mouth...

Please take down that Vapid Fat Asses photo before I barf all over my computer....;)

And as for the sue happy company in Marshal TX.... are they the same ones that tried to sue Apple recently? If you go to their web site they have lots of fine, useful products.....LOL.... NOT. I think they're about as useful as a life coach...... or most consultants.




actually jeffrey,

My father is the ceo of individual network, you may remember the rjr nabisco takeover in 91.Well he made 25 million off that, I think he knows what he is doing. What community college did you go to again?



You know, as a Canadian, I can definitely see that Canada is a huge piracy zone. It sucks and though I use the iTunes store for the majority of my music downloads, I have to say that, as much as I like Apple, they don't really have much to say in this situation. Their store, with it's HUGE legal download market share may be making a great impact on cracking down in the US, but it was HOW long ago since TV shows were put on the store for Americans? Canada's still waiting for that, not to mention movies and a music selection closer to the size and selection of music. I know I'm still waiting to buy All She Wrote by Ross Copperman here... (after it's Feb 2007 US release) Copyright laws may be an issue on the across the border aspect, but someone should be more actively pursuing solutions to this- And what about Canadian TV content? There's no Corner Gas up for download either. If the Canada iTunes had a more comparable selection to the US store, I have no doubt that piracy wouldn't be quite as bad.

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