We’ve heard only whispers lately of the mobile patent wars of 2012, but this weekend President Obama vetoed an International Trade Commission import ban on older iPhones and iPads, which the agency had ruled were violating Samsung patents. At this point, Apple can use a little help, even from the White House. Indeed, at Apple’s new pace (read: slow) it’s unclear which iPhones and iPads don’t fall under the “older” label.
Samsung continues to flood the market with new phones, trying out every shape and size and name; I mean, honestly, “Mega”? What’s next, the Samsung Absurd? But the company has a couple of unmistakable hits with its Galaxy S line (now at S4) and it’s phabulous phablet, the Note (now at Note II). I have been using both, and while I prefer the S4, sometimes I find that I rarely have to use my iPad when I’ve got the Note II.
Meanwhile, in less than a month, Samsung will likely come out with the Note III, if the tea leaves are being read correctly. The company has invited the press to an announcement on September 4. The screen size is expected to bump up to 5.7 inches (from 5.5 inches), with a resolution of 1920×1280 (from 1280×800), and it is also rumored to have a 13 megapixel camera (the Note II has an 8 megapixel camera).
This follows the much-anticipated announcement of Motorola’s Moto X, the company’s first real flagship phone as part of Google. The Moto X was more modest in hardware features, but made up for it with some exciting software additions.
Meanwhile, HTC is rumored to be announcing its own phablet, the HTC Max, in September. (What comes after “Max”?)
All of which begs the question: how can Apple possibly keep up, introducing one device at a time? The company long ago ceded the smartphone category to Android, but now it seems to also be losing its edge in tablets: IDC’s latest numbers reveal the slippage, in the midst of a continued tablet boom.
A helping hand from the President isn’t going to help. Your move, Apple.