Monday, November 5, 2012

Apple Hides Samsung Apology

Emil Protalinski:

This [JavaScript] code essentially ensures that the iPad mini advertisement takes up the whole page. In other words, no matter your resolution, you won’t see the statement without scrolling down the page. It’s no wonder that it took Apple so long to post the second apology; the company was likely looking for loopholes.

This is the sort of attitude Microsoft displayed in the late 1990s.

Update (2012-11-09): Emil Protalinski:

As pointed out by CNET, the Javascript code in question is still on Apple’s site, but it just isn’t being used any more. The code ensured that the iPad mini advertisement would take up the whole page; regardless of your resolution, you wouldn’t be able to see the statement without scrolling down the page.

Now both the US and UK sites use the vertical layout, and neither scales the iPad mini photo to an unreasonable size. The homepage looks much better.

Update (2012-11-12): Chris Foresman:

The England and Wales Court of Appeal has ordered Apple to pay all of Samsung’s legal fees arising from a dispute over whether or not Samsung violated Apple’s registered design for a tablet computer. The order comes after Apple flagrantly thumbed its nose at a previous court order requiring Apple to post public notices that Samsung did not infringe, instead using the notice to claim other courts had concluded Samsung “copied” the iPad.

This is in relation to the original apology, not the hidden one.

Update (2012-11-14): Groklaw quotes the order (via John Gruber):

Mr Beloff, on instructions (presumably given with the authority of Apple) told us that “for technical reasons” Apple needed fourteen days to comply. I found that very disturbing: that it was beyond the technical abilities of Apple to make the minor changes required to own website in less time beggared belief. In end we gave it 48 hours which in itself I consider generous. We said the time could be extended by an application supported by an affidavit from a senior executive explaining the reasons why more was needed. In the event no such application was made. I hope that the lack of integrity involved in this incident is entirely atypical of Apple.

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My understanding is that the same responsive design is present on a number of Apple's international sites, though not on Also, Microsoft's behavior was predicated on maintaining a monopoly position within computer operating systems. Apple has no such monopoly among phones, tablets, computers, or their complementary operating systems. Do you really think Apple's behavior has gotten worse after the notoriously petulant Steve Jobs is gone? Remember "sosumi" and other Apple stunts of old?

Unless Apple is serving different code to me than to UK based visitors (or changed the code since that article was published), I would call FUD on this. I don't see any difference in site display between last friday and today, and the footer has always been below the fold (using any browser on Mountain Lion). I noticed also that the link text about that silly judgment is larger than the rest of the text in the footer.

@Paul Yes, it seems that Apple is sharing the site template among the the international sites, but apparently this JavaScript wasn’t added until the revised Samsung statement was posted. So it seems to be intentional. I’m not sure why the monopoly is relevant, and I didn’t say that Apple had gotten worse since Jobs. However, I do think this behavior is worse than ”sosumi.” Sosumi was Apple’s response to being sued over a silly codename. Whereas this behavior is a response to the UK court’s finding that Apple misled the public (which you’re free to disagree with, but as I understand it that’s what the court found).

@Philippe The U.S. site is different. The footer used to be below the fold on certain displays. Now Apple has recoded it so that on larger displays it’s still below the fold. The layout changes so that “iPad Mini” is on top rather than on the side, and the Cook/Ive videos are below, and that still isn’t all enough to hide the statement so they scale up the iPad mini photo as well.

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