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More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

August 26th, 2011 08:30 admin View Comments

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ attention to the finest of details is well known throughout the tech world, the latest testament to that is Google VP Vic Gundotra’s recollection of his phone call with Jobs in 2008 about an imperfection in the Google logo on the iPhone when pinned to the homescreen.

Another example of Jobs’ immense attention to the finer aspects of product design and everything else is Apple’s patents, 313 out of which list Jobs as an inventor.

These patents cover a broad range of products including Desktop Computers, iPods, iOS devices, product packaging, power adaptors and even the glass staircases you would find in Apple stores.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates has 9 patents to his name while Google’s Larry and Sergey have a dozen patents, which is nowhere near Steve’s 313.

Some of the filings date back to the 1980s, when Apple was a relatively young company, which was about to challenge the might of IBM, and in the future a lot of other companies as well. We have a look at some of Jobs’ most remarkable patent applications, some of which made their way into the consumer market while some stay buried inside Apple’s offices.

Jobs’ First Patent Filing – The Design For A Personal Computer

Apple I

This patent covers the design of the Apple I, the company’s first product which was hand built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, which sold for $666.66 because Woz liked repeating digits. The patent claim reads “The ornamental design for a personal computer, substantially as shown”. To get an idea of how complicated the process of getting the Apple-I to work as compared to present day computers was, have a look at the Apple-I manual (PDF link), which also features the earliest Apple logo with Newton sitting under an Apple tree.

Macintosh

Apple Macintosh

This device, which was unshered in by the famous “1984″ commercial, was the first successful computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. The patent however doesn’t say anything about the GUI, it instead talks about the all-in-one design of the computer which can be found even in today’s iMac models.

The Dock

Dock

This patent was filed on behalf of NeXT Computer Inc., which later went on to merge with Apple. The patent, filed in 1991, describes the concept of a dock found in modern day operating systems like OS X and iOS. Although the idea of a dock may seem trivial right now, twenty years ago it wasn’t all that common. The patent has various flowcharts describing different tasks like launching applications, rearranging icons and adding new applications to the dock.

Power Adapters

Steve Jobs’ desire for perfection showed not just in software but even in accessory design. The iPad 2 smart cover, USB cables and power adapters are all examples of excellent design. (In some cases however the priority given to design makes the product more vulnerable to wear and tear, for example iPhone and iPod cables.)

Apple Adapters

Apple has multiple power adapter patents to its credit, each of which illustrate a different kind of design. The first patent filing showed a circular adapter, which later changed into a rectangular avatar and finally became the roundrect Magsafe adapters we all know of.

iPod

ipod patent

This was Jobs’ way of revolutionising the music industry. First a device, then a digital store both with a large number of users forced music companies to sell their songs for a dollar resulting in a win for customers. Steve’s name appears on 85 iPod patents, most of them dealing with the design of the product.

Pre-iPhone Patents

Pre iphone patents

A number of patents filed in 2005 give us a glimpse into the iPhone’s birth stages. The patent applications nowhere explicitly mention the iPhone, but familiar UI elements like table views, battery indicators and page indicators make an appearance in the images. One of these filings also reveal that at one point of time Apple envisioned an iPod clickwheel style of phone as well.

iPhone UI And Hardware Design

iPhone Patents

Numerous iPhone patents have been filed by Apple since its launch, perhaps foreseeing that it would have to battle out other hardware manufacturers in the future. An interesting image found in one of these patents, embedded above shows a trial option in a mockup of the AppStore.

Glass Staircases

Apple Glass Staircases

Like Apple’s products, its stores have been constant subjects of admiration. Turns out the glass staircases found in many Apple Stores has also been patented, with one of its inventors being Jobs himself.

Jobs has been named an inventor in more than 300 other patents pertaining to iPod headsets, packaging, laptops, displays and keyboards. While products like the “Clickwheel phone” didn’t hit the shelves, many of these inventions were and still are critical to Apple’s success. As New York Times points out, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design guru, shares more than 200 patents with Jobs hinting that Steve and Ive share the same design instincts.

The New York Times has a nice interactive feature on Steve’s patents, hit the source link to have a look at it.

[via NYT]

Source: More Than 300 Patents In Steve Jobs’ Name Stand Testament To His Attention To Detail

Look Vic Gundotra, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop Can Also Tweet Cryptically!

February 11th, 2011 02:26 admin View Comments

Google VP Vic Gundotra raised some eyebrows with his apparently ‘brilliant’ tweet commenting on the Nokia / Microsoft partnership that was announced this morning.

#feb11 “Two turkeys do not make an Eagle”, the man tweeted. Yes, well, Gundotra, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says two bicycle makers from Dayton, Ohio, one day decided to fly.

Nokia has confirmed to me that the tweet was posted on Elop’s real Twitter account – it looked legit enough, but you never know. Obviously, the tweet refers to the infamous Wright brothers, who started out retailing and manufacturing bicycles before moving on to airplanes.

I’m sure I won’t be the only one noting that one of those brothers died at a relatively young age (45), though I’m pretty sure that’s not the message Elop wanted to convey.

Now someone please organize a panel featuring both gentlemen – I’m sure having both former Microsoft execs on one stage would turn out to become one phenomenally quotable event.

Via Mobile Tech World and Engadget.

Source: Look Vic Gundotra, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop Can Also Tweet Cryptically!

Google I/O Tickets Sell Out In 59 Minutes

February 7th, 2011 02:17 admin View Comments


Maybe Google hasn’t lost its mojo, after all.

This morning, a little after 9 AM, tickets to the tech giant’s annual developer conference Google I/O went on sale. 59 minutes later, Google VP Vic Gundotra tweeted that tickets were now sold out. To put that in perspective, Gundotra also tweeted that the 2009 conference took 90 days to sell out, and the 2010 conference took 50 days.

That’s a pretty stunning jump, and the apparent explanation is that developers are simply way more interested in building on Google platforms (namely Android and Chrome). Remember, when tickets went on sale for Google I/O last year, the original Droid had only been out for a few months, and the rush of powerful Android phones was just picking up. Obviously the landscape is much different these days, and Android tablets are about to lead to even more developer interest.

Developers may also have caught on to Google’s habit of handing out new Android phones at such events (everyone received an Evo 4G last year), which makes the $450 ticket price seem even more reasonable.

This year’s event runs from May 10-11.

Source: Google I/O Tickets Sell Out In 59 Minutes

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