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A sudden! Apple by Japan FTC review, involving serious patent "plagiarism"?

date: 2019-08-29
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The 'apple-style approach' is causing 'panic' among apple suppliers around the world.


The fair trade commission (FTC), Japan's antitrust agency, is investigating apple over its pressure on Japanese parts makers and whether it abused its position to violate antitrust rules, Reuters reported earlier this morning, citing the mainichi shimbun.


According to the report, the FTC found that apple signed contracts with companies that forced them to provide parts manufacturing expertise for free.Apple has threatened to end its business with companies that have challenged it for infringing intellectual property rights and demanding changes to contracts.Apple has also pressured some Japanese suppliers to lower prices for parts, bar them from selling parts and technology to other companies and require them to bear the cost of any unforeseen problems, according to a person familiar with the matter.The FTC and apple have yet to comment.


Apple has a habit of 'stealing' supplier technology


Forcing suppliers to transfer technology is already a familiar tactic apple USES to boost its competitiveness.It is the same vendors that have been at the top of the technology league in the past that have made apple the brainy apple it is today., of course, in addition to the familiar plagiarism qualcomm wireless technology patents, play hard to get win Intel baseband chips departments, get rid of Imagination and dig Dialog corner these case, apple in more subdivision technology have been secretly profit through plagiarism supplier technology, using various means to rescind, developed for ourselves from dependence on suppliers to overall paving.


Last August, for example, apple's former supplier Zomm sued apple for patent theft.The reason is reported to be that Emergency SOS, a new feature Apple has added to the Apple Watch operating system watchOS 3, is actually a steal from Zomm's patented technology.Zomm claims to have developed and applied for an sos-related patent that, at the press of a button on a remote device, can help invoke local emergency services, but apple USES it on its own watches without authorisation.


Zomm claims that at CES 2010, the company successfully introduced a bluetooth device called Wireless Leash, which aims to help users make sure their smartphones are nearby.After reaching a confidentiality agreement with apple, Zomm began to develop Wireless Leash Plus for iPhone.Zomm also revealed an pending patent that allows users to automatically call local emergency services from anywhere in the world, without touching their phone, by pressing the Wireless Leash button for three seconds.


But months after Zomm first introduced Lifestyle Connect, an emergency dial-up product at CES in 2012, apple terminated its agreement with Zomm about Wireless Leash Plus.In June 2016, Apple revealed that it would add an 'SOS' feature to an Apple Watch running watchOS 3, including one described in the Zomm patent, and that it was protected by confidentiality agreements between the two companies.As a result, Zomm became very angry and sued apple.


Of course, Zomm is not alone in this case.Apple was also investigated by the us international trade commission (ITC) in 2017 for infringing another company's patent, AquaConnect.AquaConnect claims to have been providing MacOSX with a unique remote desktop solution since 2007, which is widely used by apple's corporate and government customers.


But apple abruptly ended its relationship with the company in early 2011, without explanation.Then, in June 2011, apple released a new version of MacOS with a redesigned remote desktop system and terminal server solution called ScreenSharing.AquaConnect contends that the plan USES its proprietary technology without permission, including apple's Mac computers, iphones, ipads, ipods and appletvs.In addition, apple's 'AirplayMirroring' in iOS5 also USES AquaConnect's patented technology without authorization.In this way, apple has largely adopted this model of slowly climbing the ladder on the shoulders of suppliers and gradually acquiring innovative technologies.


Plagiarism is more than innovation!Apple no longer competitive?


As apple's recent lack of innovation has confirmed, it is clear that too many ideas of plagiarism make technology less innovative than it used to be.Taking the most typical smartphone field as an example, apple is increasingly lagging behind its competitors compared to huamiov in the launch of technologies such as sub-fingerprint, full screen, AI photo taking and multi-shot.


This also on apple mobile phone sales made directly reflect, according to a recently released well-known market research firm IDC 'in the second quarter of 2019 global smartphone shipments report shows that under the control of the factors of a trade war with China, Q2 growth of huawei has't been as strong as last year (40.9%), the year-on-year growth rate is only 8.3%.However, due to the severe decline of apple's shipments (18.2%), the gap between huawei and apple in the sales of mobile phone shipments has been close to 25 million, which has widened a lot.


And while apple remains in the top three, the gap between its shipments and those of xiaomi, no. 4, has narrowed to 500,000 units this year from nearly 10 million in the same period last year, meaning that even its no. 3 position is now in jeopardy.If apple allows this trend to continue, the Q3 list could be completely knocked out of the top three by the android camp.For now, it may be Sept. 20, after the launch of the new iPhone 11, before apple can regain its former glory.


Summary:


Under one investigation, there are bound to be more similar cases that have not been discovered.Apple's brush with the Japanese FTC is just the tip of the iceberg in the company's efforts to squeeze and steal technology from its suppliers around the world.This further solidifies the fact that apple has ramppedaround the world in recent years, engaging in a variety of unfair competitionactivities with its market dominance.


For the vast majority of apple suppliers, presumably apple's plagiarism will one day hurt themselves.However, it is not realistic for suppliers to escape apple's 'claws' immediately. After all, they still have numerous business links with apple, and it is difficult to find a second big customer to replace apple.Therefore, many suppliers still dare not break their business ties with apple. After all, it is difficult for a large number of manufacturers without strong strength and financial background to survive, let alone to quickly find such a large number of end customers as huawei.In this predicament, many suppliers are left to their own mercy.


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