Why the ITC’s ban on Apple importing the iPhone and iPad doesn’t matter

U.S. agency: Apple infringes Samsung patent on older iPhones, iPads:

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled on Tuesday that the Silicon Valley giant had infringed on a patent owned by Samsung that involves the ability of devices to transmit multiple services simultaneously and correctly through 3G wireless technology.

The independent federal agency slapped a ban on the import or sale of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G distributed by AT&T, the biggest seller of Apple devices in the United States when Samsung filed its complaint in 2011. The products are assembled in Asia.

U.S. President Barack Obama has 60 days to review the ruling. If he does not veto the order, it will go into effect.

60 days from now, we’ll probably be about two months away from the release of the next iPhone. Assuming that there isn’t a lower-cost iPhone introduced as well, we can assume that in September or October:

  • The iPhone 5S will become the new $199 flagship model.
  • The iPhone 5 will move down to the mid-range $99 position.
  • The iPhone 4S will become the new “free on contract” model.

So the iPhone 4 is either not going to be a factor or will be $300 or so off-contract. Meanwhile, the iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G models are already irrelevant. Even without Apple appealing the decision (which it will on principle alone), this ruling will cause *literally* zero damage to Apple’s bottom line. But hey, at least it makes a good headline for news sites:

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Meet the real-life Lucille Bluth: Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board

A Publication’s Spirit, Captured – The Atlantic:

I’ve always wondered how exactly to describe the temperament, the broadmindedness, the analytical subtlety, the Id that through the decades have shaped the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Conveniently, the Journal has filled that need, via this video interview with one of its editorial board members. Henceforth when you read the Journal’s editorials, I invite you to hear this voice, expression, and tone.

She’s arguing against letting people use bikes at a low cost. No pedestrians have been hit by a bike in New York in the last four years – while 597 have been hit by cars and trucks. She is told this and responds with a monologue that could easily pass for the words of the Bluth matriarch:

“Before this, it was dangerous. Before this, every citizen knew – who’s in any way sentient – that the most important danger in the city is not the yellow cabs, it is the bicyclists who veer in and out of the sidewalk – empowered by the city administration with the idea that they are privileged, because they are helping, they are part of all of the good forward-looking things.

The fact that the city is helpless before the driven, personal ideological passions of its leader – in the interests, ‘allegedly,’ of the good of the city – this can take many forms, but we have seen the most dramatic exposition of this in our city…

This woman is on the editorial board of the largest newspaper in the United States. Good lord.

Apple screwed, iPhone sales increasing by only 33 percent this year

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Noel Randewich for Reuters, “Apple’s iPad to fall behind Android as tablet war grows”:

In the latest criticism from Wall Street, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek on Tuesday compared Apple to Blackberry saying the iPhone is now on the defensive against Samsung’s devices.

“Historically when handset makers fall out of favor (e.g., the Razr, Blackberry, HTC) they fall faster/further than expected,” Misek said.

Oh man, sounds like Apple’s fallen pretty far from its peak, huh?

Now, IDC says Apple may begin losing some its lead on tablets as well, though it remains the top seller among manufacturers.

Oh, so it’s still ahead, but shrinking.

Apple is expected to grow its revenue by $26 billion in its fiscal year ending in September, just over half of the $48 billion increase in revenue it saw the year before, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Wait, what?

Samsung is likely to sell 290 million smartphones this year, up 35 percent from 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple’s smartphone sales are projected to reach 180 million this year, up 33 percent.

So the company that sells the two most popular smartphones in the world is going to sell 33% more phones this year, and it’s going the way of Blackberry? How does Peter Misek have a job as an analyst? Why doesn’t Noel Randewich point out how reality completely flies in the face of the subheading, “IPHONE COULD GO WAY OF BLACKBERRY?”

It’s as if the Wall Street Journal and Reuters are reporting on some bizarro-tech industry where Apple is one month of bad iPhone sales away from being where it was in 1997.

Speaking of the Chinese iPhone 5 launch

So we know that on a “per 3G user basis,” the iPhone 5 did better in China than in the US. So why did everybody spin the story so negatively?

Brad Reed at BGR starts off with a jab at Apple fans’s self-esteems in a post titled “CHINA GIVES THE IPHONE 5 A CHILLY RECEPTION“:

Chinese consumers must not need self-esteem boosts, because they don’t seem interested in lining up overnight outside Apple (AAPL) stores for the launch of the iPhone 5. The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5′s launch in China has received a surprisingly muted response so far, as only two Apple fans had lined up outside Beijing’s flagship Apple store on Friday morning to buy the device.

Charles Arthur, “iPhone 5 launch fails to excite China“:

Apple shares fell 3.9% in early trading on Friday after the launch of its iPhone 5 received a frosty reception in China, and two analysts cut shipment forecasts.

Paul Mozur’s post for the Wall Street Journal is titled “A Frigid Launch for iPhone 5 in Beijing,” yet contains this interesting tidbit:

Tian Jisheng, one of the two waiting in the cold when the store opened, said the lottery was competitive. He said he used four identities to apply for phones, but was only given an appointment for one. “I thought I didn’t get it, but then after 8 pm I received a notice I had gotten one,” he said.

Two of these sources only had the Wall Street Journal’s information to go by, so they a) made up some smarmy shit about Apple fans waiting in line and b) totally ripped off the WSJ’s cold adjective thing. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal didn’t have much information to go by, so they came up with a sensationalist headline to get page views. This is tech “journalism” at its finest.