Apple and Samsung: You can't make this stuff up

Wacky claims aside, Cringely says patent trial affects more than iPads, iPhones -- the whole notion of tech innovation is at stake

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I understand: Innovators need to be protected, and Apple is clearly an innovative company. But its innovation has less to do with electronics and a lot more to do with attitude.

Apple did not invent the smartphone, the capacitive touchscreen, or the idea of a flat-panel tablet computer. Apple's true innovations were a) the realization that people want things that look and feel like something they saw once on "Star Trek," and 2) they like those cool things to work when you turn them on (unlike the plastic versions they saw on "Star Trek").

Apple does a better job than any other company on the planet of executing on those two things, and it does so by limiting its customers' options and exercising dictatorial control over how these devices are used. I don't think you can patent that -- at least, I hope you can't.

As for the harm that Samsung is doing to Apple, well, have you looked at sale figures lately? iPads are outselling Android tablets -- not just Samsung's but all Android tablets -- by a margin of more than two to one.

In other words, the marketplace is doing a fine job of rewarding Apple's innovation all on its own, no juries required.

My gut is telling me this is all a big show, and the two companies will be heading toward some kind of settlement. But I hope it doesn't happen too soon. Because this is just too fun to watch.

Who are you rooting for, Apple or Samsung? Cast your lot below or email me:

This article, "Apple and Samsung: You can't make this stuff up," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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