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Having a smaller market share may help a tiny bit too

Having a discussion with a source close to Japanese Android smartphone maker Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) I noted how remarkable it was that Sony had escaped any sort of litigation or publicly discussed licensing with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  While Apple hasn't sued everyone, it has sued most of the top Android phonemakers.  But Sony has escaped scott free.

How is it doing it?

Our source close to Sony confirms that he indeed knows the face of patent belligerence all to well, saying he's been called on as an expert to testify in several cases.  He remarks, "A lot of those [lawsuits] have been pretty frivolous."

When asked specifically about Microsoft and Apple and how Sony has escaped lawsuits (or licensing demands) he said, "We've had a number of discussions... We've been pretty successful at fending off these onslaughts... [laughs] I guess we should give credit to our lawyers."

So there you have it; the electronics industry has devolved into how good a lawyer team is.

Sony has reportedly used some lawyer "kung-fu" to avoid lawsuits.
[Image Source: Sony Pictures]

It's no wonder why some of the U.S.'s oldest and most respected federal judges are saying the patent system is broken in the U.S.  That same sentiment is also being echoed by top investors like Mark Cuban who bemoan the power of litigation to kill startups.

Sony for its part must have some pretty good lawyers.  After all, its latest and greatest Xperia phones have slide to unlock graphics (which other Android phonemakers have been sued over) and also have a "Cover Flow"-like transition animation (Apple owns a patent on Cover Flow's animations).

With its new "superphones" hitting the product stream, the phonemaker's remarkable ability to ward off Apple lawsuits may boost its profitability and sales, assuming that situation does not somehow shift.

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RE: Sony Music
By ViewRoyal on 1/12/2013 1:00:31 PM , Rating: -1
Apple hasn't gone after Sony because they are not one of the larger players in Android phones. That is why Apple has focused on companies like Samsung and HTC.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/12/2013 1:06:03 PM , Rating: 5
Apple should really go after hiring more software engineers. The companies they are suing for copying them have all surpassed them. Time to innovate not litigate. Clearly when Apple innovates, they get record profits. Lawsuits wont bring anything close to the revenue.

RE: Sony Music
By ViewRoyal on 1/12/13, Rating: -1
RE: Sony Music
By Uncle on 1/12/2013 2:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if apple has reached its peak in selling their high priced phones in the US and the record sales are to recycled customers. Might be the reason there's talk of different models priced cheaper. Apple might fear that if they do that so many of their customers would move to the cheaper phones, because they realize the cheaper phones do what they want and the rest is fluff and hype,unless the cheaper phone won't have the apple logo on the back or they shrink it in size for esthetic reasons.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/12/2013 2:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
No, I am not talking about how ANdroid is outselling it 5 to 1 and climbing, nor profit. We are talking about tech, copying and suing. What has surpassed Apple is the OS. In forma nda funtion, IOS is the least desirable OS on the market and iPhone is missing the most features. IOS is in desparate need of a UI update. Its old and gut-wrenchingly boring.

Other than that...
Larger Screens
Higher resolution screens
Better Mapping software
Plays HD content without downscaling
Faster Voice search
Mini HDMI port
Multi user support (for tablets)
Multi Window support
Flexibility in OS (Tons of Custom ROM's, etc)
- Flexibility in hardware (qwerty models, removable batteries, larger models, smaller models, high end models, mid range models, cheap models)
- Micro SD card
- Micro USB

That enough for ya ? Thats a long freeging list of things missing on a supposed high end phone.

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/13/2013 9:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Almost half those things are tied into having larger chassis. Others like "downscaling" are irrelevant, a point pulled out of thin air. Playing video out of native res doesn't matter on a laptop and it doesn't matter on a phone. On top of that you're looking at far inferior color profiles on any smartphone display that is not in an Apple or latest HTC device. The only place non-native scaling matters are in static page elements like text and web pages, but for video players it is a non-issue as long as the source resolution is high enough. 1080p on a higher res iPad looks spectacular, as it does on displays with a lower res like laptops or even phones.

Pixel density (up to a point) and color accuracy are the most important elements when it comes to a display, other things like resolution are the product of physical size, which affects other things like ergonomics and portability.

Other things like better mapping and voice search software are ironically on iOS thanks to Google. Seriously, the best versions of Google Maps and Google Voice Search are on iOS, not JB, but don't worry, the Android versions will be brought up to parity sooner or later.

And lest I forget, the retrospooty drinking game where I take a swig every time he does his standard copypasta.


A man can get hammered quick playing this game while reading DT. ;)

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 7:15:03 AM , Rating: 2
As good as any drinking game where you drink when you make another excuse for Apples lacking in features and competitive specs ;)

Hey, at least you didn't compare it to the S3 this time.

RE: Sony Music
By EasyC on 1/14/13, Rating: -1
RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/13, Rating: -1
RE: Sony Music
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/14/2013 11:49:26 AM , Rating: 2
He's a parrot...

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 1:51:00 PM , Rating: 3
I've worked in multimillion dollar color correction suites since the late 90s. I hardware color calibrate all of my computer monitors (a high end NEC) and my HDTV (Pioneer Elite Kuro). Anandtech's display analysis corroborates Apple having proper color profiles. Color gamut in particular is spot on.

Look up the color gamut and saturation charts:

I've been doing this so long I can properly set up a monitor without additional hardware at this point just by eyeballing it. You work in IT. :)

Looking at pictures, as well as websites. We all 3 agree the S3 looks better.

There are also people who like the "sports" look with cranked brightness and color combined with that awful motion smoothing mode on LCD HDTVs, it doesn't make them right.

I know these days everyone is supposed to be an expert at everything, but it just isn't the case. "In our opinion" doesn't work when there are objectively correct definitions and analysis that says otherwise.

If you think that "looking better" is better than "looking correct", and Samsung's color profiles are truly awful with their contrast and saturation, then that's a different story. Again, some people truly like HDTVs with contrast/saturation cranked and motion smoothing that makes everything look like a soap opera turned on. There is no arguing with bad opinions or taste.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 2:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. If I were working with professional graphics and perfect color representation was important, the S3 wouldnt be where I viewed it (Then again, neither would any phone). And as I have said, I probably wont be going with Samsung on the next round... But for games, web viewing and anything and everything I do on a smartphone, it does look better. Not just my optionion. SAMOLED looks better to alot of people. Deal with it.

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 2:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
it does look better. Not just my optionion

Anecdotal evidence ahoy!

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 2:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said... If I were working with professional graphics and perfect color representation was important, the S3 wouldnt be where I viewed it (Then again, neither would any phone)

I am not calling it evidence, I am just saying perfect color representation is not on my list of things to look for on a phone screen.

#1. First and foremost, let me be clear... Size matters
#2. Resolution
#3. Everything else

And again, I prolly wont be going with the S4 for the next phone. I am thinking Experia Z or possible the next HTC or Moto/Google X-phone depending on specs, price and availability.

RE: Sony Music
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/14/2013 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Quit feeding....

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 2:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I'm done.

ANyhow, all that aside. This thing has really got me thinking.

It's basically spec wise, just like any of the many 1080p Androids we have seen lately, but also water resistant, supposedly up to 3 meters. I would be willing to overlook that its from Sony and get this puppy depending on what else is out over the next few months... then again, a few months is a long time for Android. I am sure we will be looking at some even better stuff.

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
Resolution is mostly the product of physical size. Not everyone wants a big phone.

Pixel density is the real important factor here, everything else follows behind that.

Now if you frame it as "I prefer bigger screens", that's fine. Talking about it in context of resolution is a whole other thing.

As for me, good color is always important. Hell, we use iPads on shoots for quick color checks (do a temp color correction on the DaVinci Resolve and shoot it over to the iPad). It looks better than most "real" monitors and its easier to show looks to clients/co-workers. Way better than taking Polaroids with a Land Camera in the old days!

All of the other phones you mentioned, particularly the HTC, would be better than the Samsung right now.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 2:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
"Pixel density is the real important factor here, everything else follows behind that."

That is where todays Androids really excel. 1920x1080 at 5 inches = 441ppi.

As for the rest. Meh, we've heard it before. It's a pretty well known thing that todays std LCD's are sharper and have better true color reproduction, and SAMOLED has brighter colors and better black levels. It's really a matter of preference. You parroting that only your one matters is getting old. Not everyone deals with graphic art, etc. or cares. Some people like really good black levels. I wish my TV were as black as my S3.

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 3:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
Having true black is one thing, that's why I have a Kuro HDTV.

Accurate color contrast reproduction through the entire range is something entirely different though. An AMOLED screen with an sRGB color profile would have that good black, but it would also display color and grey values properly all the way through rather than having too much contrast and color saturation where there shouldn't be.

AMOLED and a bad color profile are two completely different things, and there is no good excuse for it. If a plasma HDTV can have far deeper blacks (talking CRT levels here) and dynamic range than any AMOLED is capable of while also having good color calibration, there is no reason why Samsung can't do the same with their phones.

Come to think of it, Samsung's HDTVs don't have the best color either. That's why Panasonic still holds the crown there.

As for PPI, displays ones like in the Droid DNA are great. That said, once you get past a certain point (over 250 PPI) then it doesn't matter for quality. At that point it is a means for getting more pixels in there. I've seen it and telling between a 330PPI and a 440PPI is futile, you can't see individual pixels in either case. The hit on performance, especially given the relatively choppy JB and slower hardware, is something to take into account at that res though.

The iPhone getting 1080p would be cool on paper (practically it wouldn't really benefit), it is certainly possible, but it would break app compatibility in a big way. That's no good considering that applications are where iOS really shines over other mobile operating systems.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/14/2013 3:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 3:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
AMOLED is no excuse for a bad color profile, Samsung just does a bad job with their setup.

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
I wish my TV were as black as my S3.

That's easy, and you can get an excellent color profile at the same time.

Buy a Panasonic plasma. The 2012 ST or GT series are both great, VT if you want to spend even more for a few more percentage points of black.

Then there's this bad boy coming out this year, the ZT60 series:

RE: Sony Music
By TakinYourPoints on 1/14/2013 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
Those "washed out" colors are actually a proper sRGB color profile.

AMOLED may be a lot of things but properly calibrated is not one of them, far from it. Do you crank up the contrast and saturation on your other monitors as well?

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/12/13, Rating: -1
RE: Sony Music
By momorere on 1/12/2013 4:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
I believe this may be the link you were looking for the other day in another story. It is weird though as it comes from pro-Apple BGR. If Apple said they were closing their doors tomorrow, those guys at BGR could somehow make it out to be Apple's greatest thing ever.

RE: Sony Music
By ViewRoyal on 1/13/2013 1:39:13 PM , Rating: 1
As I mentioned in my comment (but which you obviously did not read) the USA has the iPhone for sale through almost every mobile service in the country, while Android phones of all makes and sizes are available form every single service. This gives us an Apples to apples comparison (pardon the pun ;-). And in this comparison, where availability of the iPhone is almost equal to the availability of Android phones, the iPhone does have "53% market share, while ALL Android phones combined dropped to only 41%?"

It is for this reason that sales of the iPhone is starting to climb in other countries around the world. It's not because people don't want to buy the iPhone... it's because they can't yet (but they will in the future)!

Many services in many countries don't yet sell the iPhone... but Apple is continually improving the availability in these areas, and as they do, sales of iPhones grow.

Look at China. Recently Apple started selling iPhones through the two smaller services in China.. but not yet through the largest, China Mobile, which has over a Billion subscribers.

In the short period that the iPhone has been available for sale in China, those two smaller mobile services have stolen millions of customers away from China Mobile, because they sell the iPhone. China Mobile is in the process of having an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone, which they now want to do to stop the drain of their customers to the other services.

RE: Sony Music
By retrospooty on 1/13/2013 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
"It is for this reason that sales of the iPhone is starting to climb in other countries around the world."

You arent looking at the whole picture. You are looking at a picture that is designed to make Apple look better and that just isn't the case with regards to market share. Sales for all makers are going up, as the whole smartphone sector is growing. Market share is quite the opposite of what you rae saying. As I mentioned, in 2011 it was outsold 2.5 to 1. In the 1st half of 2012 it was outsold 4 to 1. In Q3, 5 to 1. Q4 will see a sales bump as Apple releases once a year, but it will level out. Android is expected to outsell it anywhere from 5 to 1 to 6 to 1 in 2013. Why? Not because of availability, because of the HUGE list of features the iPhone is missing and because of flexibility.

RE: Sony Music
By Bateluer on 1/15/2013 4:06:43 PM , Rating: 1
Latest market share numbers have Apple's iOS market share at 35%, with Android at 55%. iOS grew at .7% with Android growing at 1.7%. iOS has been flat for a while now. Get your numbers straight.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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