If There Were No IP Restrictions, What Kind Of Mobile Devices Could You Build?

from the mashing-up-innovation dept

I'll have a post forthcoming sometime soon about a very interesting book on the value of companies being able to imitate and build on the work of others, but there are times when you can see it in action. Jack Everitt points us to a short, but fascinating blog post by a guy working with contract manufacturers in China. While there, he went around looking at some of the gray-to-black market products built in China with no regards for intellectual property laws and found some unique, but interesting combinations:
Walk around the electronics markets in Shenzhen and you'll see these devices. I saw a great iRobot-branded iPad knock-off with the Android character on it, which was a pretty excellent combination of three brands.

But here's one I really liked: the G1-on-the-outside + iPhone-on-the-inside smartphone.
Of course, the traditionalists will be horrified at this sort of blatant "copying," but these kinds of "mashups," while certainly not legal, are actually an interesting way to experiment and potentially innovate, by not being hindered and held back by artificial rules that block such interesting combinations. As the blogger notes:
It's easy to dismiss these products as the work of cheats and counterfeiters, but that is only half the story. A lot of innovation is occurring in the Pearl River Delta, unencumbered by law and protocol. As an entrepreneur here in the USA, it is fascinating to observe this kind of hardscrabble creativity playing out in different ways in different places.
I think this even undersells the importance of understanding what's going on here. China is an increasingly important player in the technology space -- and, yes, much of the work they do today is imitation and copying, but it certainly isn't always that way, and it won't be in the future. Because these firms are able to experiment and innovate, where firms in other countries are blocked, just watch and see how future generations of innovation from China will come out ahead. They have the opportunity to experiment and increment and (most importantly) learn from what happens when you do that -- while those of us elsewhere are held back for no good reason at all.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    I heard that in Japan and China they already have very advanced devices that act as book readers / mobile device hybrids and that have way more features, features they don't put into U.S. phones partly because of patents.

     

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    Techno Notice, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Isn't this exactly what happened in Japan 30 years ago? They started off with knock off electronics and computers now look at them.

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Restrictions on learning

    Shouldn't we (US society as a whole) be most worried about the restricted or non-existent learning?

    Even those markets (like recorded music, or the US defence contractors) that don't want or need innovation surely want lots of cheap, intelligent, well-educated labor.

    Denver's now-defunct newspaper "Rocy Mountain News" carried an editorial by the chairman of Lockheed-Martin's space launch systems group claiming that the US "needs more spacey kids". His point was that LockMart couldn't find anymore ex-farmboys to do engineering cheap, and that the public education system was failing his company by not supplying it with an endless supply of clever, intuitive engineers.

    Sort of the same as the Otellini editorial of a few weeks ago, and the "creativity crisis" of a few months ago, right?

     

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    Jay (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    It was the US in the Industrial Revolution era, Korea in the 80s and 90s, and Japan in the 70s and 80s.

    If you name an industry, the story continues to be the same, the law comes in and puts a damper on innovation to the detriment of that industry. Innovators go elsewhere and continue to create but it comes at the expense that the country lags behind until the rules change.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re:

    "If you name an industry, the story continues to be the same, the law comes in and puts a damper on innovation to the detriment of that industry. Innovators go elsewhere and continue to create but it comes at the expense that the country lags behind until the rules change."

    Yeah ain't it grand, to protect an industry, is to destroy an industry. All the companies lobbying for protection end up with temporary monopolies. The longer a monopoly lasts the more rigid, defined, set in its ways, and inflexible it becomes. Leading to innovation elsewhere and the eventual collapse of that industry because it can not adapt or deal with the new competition.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    No IP restrictions for personal use.

    Innovate all you want. There's an existing patent for an MP3 player-washing machine "mashup", but it doesn't stop me from enjoying such gadgetry -- should I wish to.

    OH. I suppose you mean that you wish to get rich by selling results to a *mass* market. And of course, to realize the product from a mere idea, since *you* don't intend to learn anything but "business management" on how to make "widgets", as Ediger above says you'll need "lots of cheap, intelligent, well-educated labor", especially engineers. I'm afraid you people regard yourself as the privileged "capitalist" class, when that niche is already filled. The capitalists have gone overseas sheerly for cheap labor -- though also import many for here, so long as they'll work cheaper than locals.

    Problems with innovating here are well-known, beyond the "IP" bit: high start-up costs because markets are controlled by cartels; lack of manufacturing base because it's been moved overseas for cheap labor; an overall loss of brains because life is easy here; and above all, the sick culture that promotes getting filthy rich as the only measure of success, while most rewarding those who merely entertain the greatest number of fools.

    The one constant in the above is The Rich exerting control for solely *their* benefit. They don't mind that the US is heading toward fiscal disaster; a whole specialty of them actively promote that by sheerly fantasy shenanigans on paper, and when the scheme collapses, the costs are put onto taxpayers.

    IF you truly want a society that encourages innovation, you must at least reduce the numbers of Idle Rich, who both drain the economy as parasites and suppress innovation by various machinations.

    Anyway, assuming that I did offer up a bit of clever gadgetry here, wouldn't it likely be stolen?

     

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    AJ, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Simple is better...

    Instead of combining devices, what about a dummy device? A simple, cool looking, phone-like device that has a full time connection to the internet regardless of where you are. Maybe a satellite smart phone with an open source os? I could install whatever communication tools i wanted, and change these services on a whim. Google talk today, Skype tomorrow.... no contract, no coverage area's, flat rate 24/7, unlimited.

    Somebody wake me up please.....

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re:

    China will follow the Microsoft curve; evolving from ignoring IP to being a major proponent and enforcer of IP.

    What does this mean to the US? Should ACTA go into effect we will be paying China a "licensing fee" for everything technological that we use. I wonder how the US IP crowd will react? Won't be pretty.

    Another implication, many IP advocates seem to believe that the US is technologically ahead of the rest of the world. But as I read these posts (others who have experience in other countries) point out that the US is actually behind. So why do these IP proponents refuse to look into the mirror and attempt to figure out why we are losing our technological edge? Could it be that patent/copyright law are actually counter productive? That seems to be a question that the IP crowd refuses to even consider despite the overwhelming evidence.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "But as I read these posts (others who have experience in other countries) point out that the US is actually behind."

    Oh, that's the great fun. Once the giant companies that have forced this kind of legislation through finally hash out their differences and try to patent "X+Y ON THE INTERNET" (or whatever) they'll find that some Chinese company has already done it.

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: No IP restrictions for personal use.

    Oh come on, don't hold back. Tell us what you really think.

     

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    Eugene (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re: No IP restrictions for personal use.

    Here meaning where? The U.S? Europe? China? Some other place? This website? The internet? The answer differs vastly depending on location.

     

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    Danny, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    To answer your question...

    Frankly the answer to the question in the title of your post would be, "We would have mobile devices like the stuff we see on tv and in movies by now."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    Bottom line is that the knock-offs are super poor quality. The software is crap. And there is no support. You'll have to buy the next mashup next year to replace your broken and unsupported crap. So, if you like low quality junk that you have to replace all the time go for it. 'Artificial rules' or not, building a good product and a reputable company takes a lot more than access to technology. Besides that the excellent mobile phone that I use everyday shows just how little the so called 'artificial rules' are holding back innovation in the mobile space.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "So why do these IP proponents refuse to look into the mirror and attempt to figure out why we are losing our technological edge? "

    Lawyers, the patent system, and the schools being 12 years of LCD baby sitting.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Forgot monopolies

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    Can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    What, from Verizon or Sprint or AT&T? Sometimes, but not very often.

    Ha ha, I kill myself. But seriously folks, if the hardware is super cheap do you expect support? The only reason that I took my wife's malfunctioning "Droid" to the Verizon storefront the other day is because it costs $200 at least. If it cost $20, I'd probably just have gotten a new, improved phone (Droid X anyone?) rather than a replacement.

    If we have no "IP" in the phone, then software updates probably end up more-or-less free too. Once a week I type "pacman -Syu" into my Arch linux computer, and it goes out and plucks the latest and greatest packages.

    Or maybe, if someone chose to sell support, hardware and/or software, for the supercheap mashups, they could make a go of it in that market. I like Arch linux *because* I get to decide what to do as far as upgrades, not in spite of that.

    I don't think you've made valid points at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    "I don't think you've made valid points at all."

    Actually, you are the one making stuff up.

    Where does your price of $20 come from? You made it up.

    Show me one of those phones that offers free software updates at all. That does not exist.

    Show me a company that actually offers hardware or software support for the phones in question. It does not exist.

    Since none of the things that you mentioned actually exists related to the mashup phones in question, all of my points stand and are perfectly valid. A mashed up piece of crap built with no regard for IP proves only that mashups can be made, their existence does not prove that better things can be built. Even if better things could be built, if there is no support then the product is worthless. You can make stuff up all day, that does not make you correct, it makes you full of it.

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    Re: No IP restrictions for personal use.

    Anyway, assuming that I did offer up a bit of clever gadgetry here, wouldn't it likely be stolen?

    yes, and without ip laws, you get to steal it back. it works like this:

    you develop something clever and bring it to market: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666

    retail price: $30

    the market loves it, and your product becomes famous.

    then people "steal" it and make cheap/specialty knockoffs:

    http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=72
    (retail price: $17.50)

    http://evilmadscience.com/tinykitlist/180-diavolino
    (retail price: $13)

    and you "steal" those ideas for your next version, where you embrace the idea of affordability and do it better, or you abandon affordabiltiy in favoir of more features:
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9152
    (retail price $64)

    or you simply take the product line in a new direction that your copiers didn't think of:

    http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardLilyPad

    then they unleash their knockoffs, and the cycle repeats.

    and in this process, because there is fierce competition, there is Real Work(TM).

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    You'll have to buy the next mashup next year to replace your broken and unsupported crap.

    right, like you won't do it anyway when the iphone 5 comes out, boasting 4g and iSomethingNew.

    'Artificial rules' or not, building a good product and a reputable company takes a lot more than access to technology.

    it also takes a lot more than monopoly control of an idea.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    "it also takes a lot more than monopoly control of an idea."

    Who is arguing that? I did not say anything about monopoly control, good or bad. What I said is that we have really great and innovative mobile phones despite monopoly controls. So, its hard to argue that the monopoly controls are holding anything back.


    Anyhow, if we look at little deeper, TFA says:

    "First, the real last-mile polish is just not there. The touchscreen is just difficult to use: you have to scrape with your fingernail and really push. I think they used a cheaper resistive touchscreen."

    Even the article author notes that these are poor quality products.

    Then there is this gem:
    "A lot of innovation is occurring in the Pearl River Delta, unencumbered by law and protocol"

    That is an interesting use of the word 'innovation', it does not fit the standard techdirt definition as the folks making these mashups phones are NOT successful in the market place.

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Simple is better...

    i was thinking sort of along those lines in that i would like to see a decoupling of the phone hardware with the mobile service. so in instead of getting a phone with a SIM/ESN chip, i get a collection of mobile and/or fixed network devices that i add my mobile service credentials to.

    then i could use a number of different, task or location specific devices to access my mobile service, like a desktop client on computer with a webcam, or a stationary hardware desk phone with a comfortable handset and high quality speakerphone, or a dedicated hands-free car kit that uses a high quality noise canceling mic and the car speakers.

    this way, rather than having a separate service and phone number for each thing (VOIP, work phone, mobile phone) or requiring each of those things to connect and talk nicely with my mobile, each device would implement this client in hardware and always be connected. no more worries about leaving my phone somewhere, no more having 5 different phone numbers, and no more worries about battery life on my phone since i will have at least 3 other devices that can receive calls.

    if separate devices all using the same credentials is impossible, and a single device is required, then why not make the device super small, like key fob or thumb-drive sized, no-frills, all battery, all antenna, and virtually indestructible? as in no screen or buttons, no interface at all, just a couple of LEDs to indicate service and signal quality. it would be made of high impact plastic or rubber with a water-tight seal on the power/data connector cover. then you could use blue tooth and/or some other combination of wired/wireless technologies (wifi + usb, perhaps?) to connect to various other devices? extra points for a full sized USB plug so i could charge/connect it by plugging it directly into different things.

    this way, i can get online and receive calls and other messages from whatever device i happen to be near, be that a computer, a tablet/e-reader, a desk/home phone, or my car, or any combination thereof.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    There is nothing magical about a mobile device.

    > "I don't think you've made valid points at all."
    >
    > Actually, you are the one making stuff up.
    >
    > Where does your price of $20 come from? You made it up.
    >
    > Show me one of those phones that offers free software
    > updates at all. That does not exist.

    Once you liberate the hardware, then ANYONE can release software updates for it. You don't have to be held prisoner by Apple or Verizon or Google.

    THAT was the whole point of his "Linux on a standard PC" remarks. He was comparing open mobile computing platforms to desktop PCs.

    For some devices, that's not too far off. You can get your own alternate firmware based on Linux or FreeBSD for them. This includes things like MP3 Players, Routers and NAS appliances.

    There is Free Software for iPads and iPhones.

    I expect the new AppleTV to be hacked in short order so that Linux can be installed on it. (it's mostly a less mobile version of the iPad and iPhone)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: There is nothing magical about a mobile device.

    If its such a great idea then why it is not happening already? Cheap knock-off phones have been available for years but somehow the development and support environment has not developed around them. When the knock-off makers start being successful then I will believe they have something special. So far the IP free knock-off phone environment has not created anything special.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    Here the iPed that cost $100 bucks and runs Android which gets updates frequently.

    http://www.techi.com/2010/05/iped-launches-for-105-in-china-runs-on-android/

    $20 I don't know but for $80 you can get a cheap one running Android.

    http://www.chinasaledeal.com/china-hiphone
    http://www.chinasaledeal.com/smartphones
    ht tp://www.chinavasion.com/index.php/cName/mobile-phones/

    Ok $74 bucks
    http://www.bigboxstore.com/cool-2-8inch-touch-phone-m5000-wifi-tv-dual-bluetooth-handwritting .html

    Android will rule the market and it is fueling innovation beyond the wild dreams apple ever had.

    You were saying?

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    Many People are willing....

    ...to release software updates for free. How many freeware programs have you seen online? I just recently downloaded a massive 3D lego building tool, perfect for what I needed for my engineering classes. This one man built a beautiful piece of software and constantly updates it. It is all free.

    Or what about software updates that are free that come with advertising, or paid update services free of ads? There are a million business models waiting to spring up to fill the need.

    An open source, open service, piece of electronic equiptment, with a large touch screen and decent battery life. If you build it, you will be a millionaire.

    the question is...will they let you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    "Who is arguing that? I did not say anything about monopoly control, good or bad. What I said is that we have really great and innovative mobile phones despite monopoly controls. So, its hard to argue that the monopoly controls are holding anything back."

    You have some others have the full spectrum people are not looking at the U.S. for cool stuff, they are looking east for that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: There is nothing magical about a mobile device.

    Then you are not looking at the right places.

    Because knock offs dominate the market.
    Otherwise they wouldn't be manufactured would they?
    If there is no demand for them why would they pop out like weed everywhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    http://hackaday.com/

    The U.S. is loosing the hacker allure. They are the base for the success and innovation inside any country, they are the nursery that keeps the edge on any country, from where companies draw their talent.

    Maybe that is why there are so many theoretical papers on the U.S. but real implementations are happening elsewhere, is just anecdote but I was looking at the output of cientific papers on the U.S. and they all seem to talk about some great thing that could happen in 10 years or more and then I look at Asia and I see ready to sell papers.

    e.g.

    Tissue regeneration for dentistry applications.

    The American study proposing something but not validate yet.
    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-05/new-technique-uses-bodys-stem-cells-regenerate-t eeth

    The Japanese study showing how to grow a tooth and hair follicles not in the realm of speculation anymore but with actual successful experiments.
    http://www.tsuji-lab.com/en/research/organ.html

    Who is going to pay who in the future?

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    Glory Be! The Anti-Mike Is Back!

    Well, hello, The Anti-Mike! Glad you brought your straw men back with you!

    "About $200" is the price the Verizon Wireless sales rep quoted me for a Droid X. My last contract expired, so they want to retain my business. They're offering a slight discount for a Droid X with a 2 year contract. I didn't make that up.

    I did, in fact, make up $20. But it's true: if Droid X's were $20, I'd already have one. And I wouldn't have brought my wife's Droid Whatever back to the store for a fix - I'd have bought a new one and thrown out the broken one. I stand by that statement. You can call it "made up" all you want, but that doesn't make it less true.

    Weird that you're focusing on a $20 price point that really doesn't make any difference, except that it's arguably untrue. I think you're just trying to pick fights and divert attention from the real problem(s).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Glory Be! The Anti-Mike Is Back!

    Straight to name calling, nice one, very respectable.

    Your pretend scenario is fine but it is not reality in the case of the mashup phones we are talking about here. The mashups are creative but they are not inventive and certainly not innovative. As always, execution matters, the mashups/knock-offs are interesting but there is a lot missing for them to be more than just knock-offs. They need a lot more than someone else's ideas.

     

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Glory Be! The Anti-Mike Is Back!

    Thank you for acknowledging that execution matters, and that the mashups are creative. Spoken like a true gentleman.

    But you're missing the point that in another market (desktop PCs) software updates are free: I do, in fact, run Arch linux (http://www.archlinux.org/) on one of my desktop PCs. For free. I do type in "pacman -Syu" once a week or so, and the software packages I've chosen get updated. For free. The Arch linux folks have an enormous documentation site (http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Main_Page) and very active and helpful on-line forums (https://bbs.archlinux.org/) For free. I've gotten lots of software help from the Arch linux forums and wiki. For free.

    Now, tell me why a mashed-up phone, without any limiting IP, would be any different?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Glory Be! The Anti-Mike Is Back!

    I'm familiar with linux and PCs but at the moment that has little to do with mashup phones. We are not talking about PCs, we are talking about mashup phones. Mashup phones with proprietary software. Did you RTFA? I'm not saying that mashup phones *would* be any different, I'm saying that mashup phones *are* different than PCs. The IP/no IP part is a red herring, doesn't matter. The reality is that currently we have better stuff available that really does have free software and we also happen to have IP. I'm not saying that IP enabled what we have, I'm saying that so far the lack of IP has not produced anything as good or better than what we get with IP - the IP or lack of it is a red herring, it proves nothing.

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    The U.S. is loosing the hacker allure.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Chaos_Computer_Club

    the US never really had it.

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    its hard to argue that the monopoly controls are holding anything back.

    maybe you don't understand the sheer size of the mobile market in shenzhen:
    http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=287

    the market for mobiles *alone* dwarfs all of akihabara in tokyo.

    there are no market places like that in the US, which leads me to believe that the difference between american and chinese IP laws might have at least something to do with that.

    if such a market were possible in the US (due to a number of factors in addition to IP laws, such as zoning) the american mobile phone market would probably be a lot different.

    Even the article author notes that these are poor quality products.

    no one is arguing that when compared to a phone that costs ten or twenty times as much these products are inferior. what i am arguing is that in the mobile market in the US, there isn't much room for products that are "good enough", "task specific" or simply economical

    i think that this is due to the fact that with staggering licensing and R&D costs, the deck is pretty much stacked against new legitimate entrants to the market.

    i was at a verizon store last year and i saw a couple lamenting the availability of simple phones. they didn't want music, texting, or data, they just wanted a basic phone and preferred verizon's network and were disappointed in the selection of no-frills phones. you see people chime in here from time to time with similar concerns and that seems to me to be just one example of the failure of the american mobile market.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: But can you get ongoing hardware support or software updates?

    Knock-off phones are available in the US, if you know where to look and they have been for a long time. Yet somehow they have not taken off. As you note, there is no market for the knock-offs in the US. It has nothing to do with IP laws, it has to do with standard of living. Most working folks in the US make more money than working folks in China. Folks in the US buy the better quality product because they can, in China the knock-off probably makes more sense. IP law has nothing to do with it, its simply a standard of living difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Pete Braven (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 2:19am

    Re: Re: Re: There is nothing magical about a mobile device.

    The first 'mobile device' I had was a rather bulky thing the size or a couple of house-bricks and weighed considerably more due to the power being gel-acid batteries! Ok, so I must be an old fart and I'll admit to that.
    Point about China having so many knock-off items is that nearly everything you buy with a very expensive western logo on it was made in China anyway! If western companies did not outsource to places where they take advantage of workers being paid a pittance for their skills, those workers might have the money to afford the 'genuine article',.. rather than having to create something more suited to their meagre incomes.
    That also begs the question, if these 'knock-offs are so cheap yet have the same functions, why are we paying so far over the odds? Oh,.. some posh git wants a new Ferrari,..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Nothing like a really late post...

    Why is it that we do not see headlines like the following coming from the markets where the knock-off phones are produced?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100915/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_intel_developers_mind_reading_comp uters

    Intel is talking about phones that can predict your behavior. That is real creativity, that is real invention. As long as the knock-off market is focused on simply making knock-offs then they will never progress to the point of real invention. IP has nothing to do with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: There is nothing magical about a mobile device.

    The knock-off makers are already successful. If you live outside the US and Europe, where IP rules rule, these cheap knock-off phones actually have a significant market share. Look at the guy next to you on the train. He's playing a game on his iPhone. Or so you think. You look closer and do a double take. It's an iFhone (a not even clever misspelling of the famouse brand) .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    data64, Jun 17th, 2011 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Simple is better...

    I believe you just described the Modu phone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    android pad, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 3:12am

    IP law has nothing to do with it, its simply a standard of living difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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