And, I actually have to disagree slightly about the idea that "deep inside" the devices would work the same way (if there were no Jobs).
I have to disagree with your disagreement. I offer a simple example as proof. Originally, iPhone was made to work on AT&T's GSM / GPRS / UMTS system. Then, only later was it reworked to work on Verizon's CDMA system. iPhone was changed to work on a different network. The network, I can assure you was not changed to work with the iPhone. :)
I'm going to guess -- having had a few of these discussions -- that the patent system supporters in our comments (including patent lawyers and USPTO employees) are going to deny this.
They can deny it if they want, but's it's obvious to anyone who has a degree in Computer Science.
The idea that a huge number of players might come together and work together to, in a somewhat ad hoc fashion, build a much, much more complex system, and not seek to profit directly from the overall system but from the pieces and expertise, is antithetical to the entire structure and premise of the patent system.
Apparently, you have never heard of Linux, Copyleft, GPL and the Free Software Foundation. Well, you say, those aren't commercially viable entities. Really? Google Android is built on the Linux operating system and it's free. Did Jobs or Gates, ever, ever give anything of significant IP value away for free? No, Linus Torvalds did.
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