I was reading the latest post on Daring Fireball about Apple, Google, and Palm when I read the following:
…the other feature that Apple objected to was using a standard headphone jack. Apple apparently owns a patent on controlling software using buttons connected by a standard 3.5mm headphone jack (at least for music and video playback controls), and would not grant Google a license to the patent. Hence the G1’s use of a proprietary ExtUSB port rather than a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
So let me get this straight? No cell phone company is going to incorporate a standard 3.5mm headphone jack anytime soon due to the possibility of feeling the wrath from Apple’s lawyers? What has the world come to? How come one company can lock down the use of a jack forcing others to offer a pointless dongle to get around the issue? What would happen if the dongle was built into the phone so while not technically a straight 3.5mm jack but would appear like one to a normal person? Would this be allowed?
This pales in comparison to Apple’s dubious multi-touch patent.
Now I’m all for taking a crack at challenging problems, but being forced to work around an issue because someone holds a patent on it is holding back innovative ideas.