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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt enjoy a cozy relationship thanks to Mr. Schmidt being on Apple's board of trustees. If recent reports hold true, that relationship may have played a key role in Google choosing to bend to Apple's will and not include multi-touch in its G1 phone. By doing so it protected its relationship and protected itself from an Apple lawsuit.  (Source: Venture Beat)
Google's smart phone may have been a little smarter were it not for an Apple intervention, according to sources

As a legal showdown between Apple and Palm mounts over Palm's use of multi-touch technology, which Apple recently gained a patent on, new details are emerging about Apple's efforts to prevent its competitors from offering multi-touch.

Many have wondered why Google's G1 smartphone, the first smartphone to run on Google's new Android OS, didn't feature multi-touch.  Going up against the iPhone, many considered Google's omission of multi-touch to be an unusual slip for the company.

However, according to newly emerging details reported on Venture Beat, the omission was intentional and triggered by strong-arming from Apple.  According to a key Android development team member, Apple demanded early in the development of the phone and OS that Google disable multi-touch.  And Google, which has a relatively healthy financial relationship with Apple despite competition in some sectors, complied out of concern of damaging the pair's business relationship and possible legal action from Apple.

The source expresses relief that Google caved to Apple's demands.  He points to the potential mess that Palm is in with the Pre phone and says that Google did the smart thing in playing by Apple's rules.

Google and Apple share a great deal of business, with Google tailoring its maps and search products for Apple systems, including the iPhone.  Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is also on Apple’s board of directors.  The cozy relationship would seem to give Google extra incentive to meet Apple's alleged demands.

 The G1 and Android have both been shown to be multi-touch capable, but the functionality is disabled or not fully implemented in different parts of the design, puzzling many users.  Now it appears there is finally an answer to this mystery.

The key question that remains is whether Google will continue to bend to Apple's will, or whether multi-touch will become such an essential technology that it will be forced to include in its future smart phones, at the risk of incurring Apple's wrath. 

Google’s future dealings with multi-touch will likely hinge on Palm's success in defending its right to use multi-touch on the Pre.  A Palm loss would seem to make Google less inclined to go against the grain, while a victory would likely embolden it.



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By afkrotch on 2/11/2009 11:32:53 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, this arguement is kind of retarded. Hey, stop buying a car. Those parts for your specific car only work on your specific car. A Zebra pen has zebra pen specific refills. Those HP printers have only HP specific print cartridges.

Any electronic company is going to try to get consumers to only buy their products.

I don't buy Apple cause it's products are usually overpriced compared to competitors and I like Windows more than OSX anyways. Buying a Mac, then loading Windows on it, kind of defeats the purpose of buying a Mac.

As for the iPod, it's specific accessories has more to do with it's overall dimensions/design. You can't buy a Zune case and put it on an iPod. But you can buy a Griffin iPod case and use it or whoever else makes iPod cases.

The connection is specific though, but not sure why a regular USB connection on it wouldn't have been fine. The same can be said about the Zune also or many other mp3 players.

My problem is Apple attempting to push around it's competitors with ridiculous patents that somehow get passed. I partially understand getting these stupid patents, so that another company doesn't grab them up also and then try to sue your ass. But just share out something as simple as this. That or charge a very low fee for others to use it.

It's like patenting a goodbye wave. At times like this, I hope someone else owns this patent, sues the hell out of Apple, then shares out the patent to Apple's competitors for free.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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