Short on sight, darkness without a light

It is the Washington Post who gives (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/22/qualcomm-violated-antitrust-law-judge-rules) a stage that is now three days old, but this is one event that keeps on getting bumped to the top of the list for a long time to come. With ‘Qualcomm violated antitrust law, judge rules‘ we see a dangerous step into a murky road, a road that is all about the bottom dollar and those who are pushing for decisions have not considered the long game and how it ends a lot more. Perhaps you remember the issue with anti-trust, why it came into existence in the first place. With “protect consumers from predatory business practices“, it is the foundation that is at play, especially when we consider the quote “U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Qualcomm had used its monopoly power to bully companies such as Apple into overpaying for royalties on Qualcomm’s wireless inventions, ordering Qualcomm to renegotiate its business deals“. I wonder who she serves in this case, because I am personally getting the feeling that it is not the law, or the case.

To understand that you need to consider a few items, the first is Intellectual Property. Qualcomm has something everyone wants and no one bothered to redesign or improve on it, and now at the start of 5G, the bottom line of Apple, who has always been eager to bleed its consumers dry, they now see the bottom line and they feel wronged. For three generations they became iterative, and as they now have a second iMac, for sale at A$22,197.00, (mainly because of the colour I reckon). That is the joke that once was Apple. A similar PC for High end gaming will remain under $10,000 (and that is with all the bells and whistles. As apple gives us that we must pay for exclusivity, than so must they.

In addition when it comes to royalties, the judge merely needed to look at iTunes to see that the stream income has settled at $0.00735. Artists on Apple Music would need around 200,272 plays to earn the US monthly minimum wage amount. And important side part is that Apple is by no means the worst there. (Google got that distinction).

From what we see, I have a few reservations whether Justice Lucy Koh has a good view on what ‘predatory business practices are. I do not think that Qualcomm is innocent here, yet to see the example “bully companies such as Apple into overpaying for royalties” voiced, whilst from more than one direction we see that this could be a case of the pot calling the kettle Space grey.

The Post also gives us “Qualcomm is the only U.S. company making 5G chips for mobile phones, the components necessary to connect smartphones to cellular networks. The new generation of cell networks might create another round of innovation and economic growth as start-ups figure out how to use it in new products and spur the development of self-driving cars, smart appliances and remote medicine, which rely on a stable Web connection“, as well as the mention of Adam Mossoff, a law professor at George Mason University who gives us: “the FTC’s case against Qualcomm the result of “self-serving arguments by some companies looking to benefit their bottom line.”” and I agree with him. Whilst the FTC was too stupid to sound the horns when iterative technology was the key in ‘their’ profits, others realised that new borders will always come and they will be ruled by the true innovators, as this happened and that firm is not an American one, but a Chinese one. We see these cases come up so that optional momentum can be gained, all whilst Apple had 10 years to find an equal solution, to reengineer technology to equal, they never did that, they merely copied old ideas and let their marketing department spout some innovation story. To their credit Apple Marketing is extremely good at their job, so when we accept: ‘They create something that is designed to improve the lives of their customers. To market that, they create experiences that are memorable and keep people coming back‘. It is brilliant in the now, but innovation is about tomorrow and the Apple board of directors forgot about that part in 2004-2017, so they can only move forward with Qualcomm and that is hitting their bottom dollar hard, especially in 5G. That is the market and the gap between US industry and Huawei is increasing, the US is falling further behind.

Yet the bigger issue is not seen and the article was not about that, so there is no blame. The issue now is that the US is a mere 325 million and they are left in the dark that the larger world with well over 2 billion have (with the exception of politicians kissing US ass) embraced Huawei, equal or better quality at half the price, which is in light with the iMac Pro and normal maximised PC’s. True innovation sells itself, the rest needs marketing to get to the base of their revenue needs. In my case I have an older Huawei, the Nova 3i, it is older than the P30 series, yet still for the most on par with the latest android phones released this year. They learned, when others refused to learn that storage is everything to consumers, so whilst Samsung and LG started jerking around the consumers with ‘sorry, we only have a 32GB model‘, or the ‘that specific model was not available to us‘, Huawei decided to give us 128 GB (Google did a similar thing early on). The rest followed much later. The mobile industry has for the most all been about ‘Iteration to facilitate for exploitation‘ as I personally see it. Both Google and Huawei were instrumental in turning that around. So whilst I can get an iPhone for A$1,299.00, the Huawei I got has the same storage and for the most an equally able phone for A$499 (6 months ago). As we see the issue of ‘bully companies such as Apple into overpaying‘, whilst Apple has been known to be the biggest bully of all (optionally a shared #1 spot with Microsoft). It seems to me that the FTC is about the bottom line and not losing more distance with true innovators like Huawei. So when we look at the FTC and we see: “Competition in America is about price, selection, and service. It benefits consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice of goods and services high. By enforcing antitrust laws, the FTC helps ensure that our markets are open and free“, is the Apple iMac pro not a direct violation of that directive?

In addition, as the Trump card of bullying was given regarding Huawei, we see: “Google said complying with the ban would mean future phones sold by Huawei would be without a license for its Android operating software and would have no access to its Play app store, which would render them nearly useless“, so what happens when that becomes actuality? When Huawei has its own ‘app store’ and its own system in place? When hundreds of millions are willing to switch, what would it cost Google? What happens when we demand action on taken paths and Google is seriously impacted? Will the FTC wake up and see the folly that they created?

And let’s be clear, the biggest issue is not the Trump administration. It is the collection of technology dumb fucks (to coin a phrase) that have been so eager to rely on iteration and now that these people no longer matter in their respective board rooms, what remains? Apple relies on computers that almost no one can afford, especially as hundreds of PC assembly providers can build equal powered solutions at less than half the price, that too will impact 5G, because even as we are a mobile planet now, when we are at work (over one third of our daily life), it is the workstation and not the mobile that rules our needs.

So now as we look at the impact that 4G had with: “When the United States took the lead on 4G mobile technology, for example, it gave rise to the app economy, which is still dominated by U.S. firms, according to Cisco“, Cisco is a player there, yet with the severe vulnerabilities it showed and remains showing until the end of the year, they too are in the dump. Even now as TechTarget gives us a mere 9 hours ago: “The Cisco vulnerability fix for thrangrycat could make affected hardware unusable. But the vendor said it’s ready to replace products, if needed.” At what point do you realise when you read the article (at https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/news/252463965/Cisco-vulnerability-fix-for-thrangrycat-carries-risks) that Cisco is not merely falling behind too, the impact that they have to deal with will hinder them for some time to come. In addition, the quote “If an affected product becomes unusable and requires a hardware replacement, it will be replaced according to the terms of the customer’s support contract or warranty,” gives rise to other considerations too. How many would sue when they lack the support contract or warranty? Let’s not forget that they have advertised for the longest of times on ‘the Trust Anchor‘. It was innovation, true innovation. But there we see how iteration can diminish innovation. Once the feature is surpassed and dealt with, the issue becomes a much larger concern. So as Cisco is trying to deal with the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Huawei is moving forward another leap. Now, there is no chance that Cisco will be replaced, they are too big and they have good hardware. What do you think happened to the Samsung with their Samsung ISIS (with exploding battery), it took Samsung 2 years to recover and now they are surpassed by Apple and Huawei; that is how the cookie crumbles. Samsung is still in the race and could regain momentum (especially with the power share novelty), but it took them 2 years and now in the start of the 5G dimension, 2 years is a lifetime, it is the difference between the locomotive that drives the innovation and the caboose that gets all kinds of shit. That is the game and the US is in and not in the caboose, but on a hand trolley trying to catch up with the train that has already left the station, the US is in that deep at present.

Oh and when it comes to the FTC, as they see themselves as: ‘The FTC protects consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace‘, so when it comes to AT&T 5G Evolution, how much action has the FTC undertaken, whilst the media in many places have clearly stated it as deceptive conduct. Even whilst AT&T hides behind “5G Evolution is a lot more than just a name“, yet it is not 5G and the FTC remained silent on it all, which as I personally see it is all about the bottom line, as such, how much credibility does America have left? Even as Sprint and AT&T settled, Sprint was not the only player and as far as we can see the FTC did nothing, so when we see (in several sources) ‘speed tests have confirmed that AT&T’s 5GE service is no faster than LTE from Verizon and T-Mobile‘, I merely wonder how the antitrust ruling could be given whilst the market itself is in such disarray that this case should not have made it to the courts for years to come, but that is the problem with a nation that is $22,000,000,000,000 in debt, the bottom line becomes everything and the concept of the rights of any consumer will be hung out to dry until that noose has been removed from the neck of the US economy. Too bad they relied on iteration; a nation that relies on innovation might be able to move forward on its merits, an option the US seemingly no longer has at present.

So what happens when the next step is open to all non-Americans? What happens when one of the 10 competitors does come with a truly innovative step? You see that is the nice part of true innovation, what goes down, might come up, so if the setting changes and for example the Kodenshi AUK Group finds some solution in 5G that the others did not consider, how will that play out? There is a long term short sighted approach to IP and the drive to truly push it forward in a non-iterative way. The 5G players will soon and quickly learn that 5G will not have space for iteration; it would almost literally play out as: here today, gone tomorrow.

I don’t think that technological America realises that danger to the degree it needs to, that is the vibe I have been getting for a while now.

 

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