Now we are honestly surprised that this particular myth has lived as long as it has, but when you have people like Steve Jobs and Tim Cook repeating it and Apple as a whole patenting everything they can (they even tried to patent the small rubber feet on the Macbook Air). We can see why some would feel that Apple is an innovator. As a company they hold a rather large number of patents and continue to file more under the new “first to file” laws in the US.
However, looking at the actual course of history suggests something else entirely. Apple’s claims that they “invented” the smart phone with the original iPhone have been shown to be untrue as both HTC and Palm had smart phones out for years before Apple hit the market with theirs. The iPhone did change the way we use our smart phones making them much more media centric as opposed to being a PDA (Personal Data Assistant) with a phone attached. But they did not invent the smart phone.
The same can be said with the iPad and the Myth that Apple “invented” the tablet. In 2001 and before Microsoft and other companies were releasing touch screen computers that fit the tablet form factor. Some even came complete with docks and keyboards. Since these were commercially available in 2002 that puts them eight years ahead of Apple as a consumer product.
Now the reason that this is entertaining to us (and to many) is that Apple continually makes the argument in court and to the public that they are the world’s inventor and people keep stealing their ideas. This comment is ludicrous in almost every way. Yes, Apple does invent and create products, but in many, many cases they are improving on someone else’s idea. The iPod came from Creative Labs’ Nomad MP3 player, the iPhone was a conglomerate of existing technology into a single package…. You get the picture.
Now as the next generation of iPhone gets ready to hit the market we see them copying the rest of the world again as they drop in things like 4G, NFC and a few other technologies that have been on the market for a while. We are sure that Apple will claim they were the first to do it when they launch the new product, but maybe, just maybe, someone will remember that Samsung, LG, HTC and a few other companies that Apple continually claims are “slavishly” copying them had all of this technology first.
Looks like Tim Cooks comment “We just want people to invent their own stuff” could be so that Apple has new ideas for their own products and not that Apple is the source of all the creativity in the world.
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