Apple gets more triumphant

Yesterday we reported several Apple policy changes that appeared to show the company on the back foot. But today the company has had some good news from both analysts and courts.

After CEO Tim Cook made an address this week that referred to the rapid take-up of devices such as the iPhone in comparison to Apple’s more traditional computers, Horace Dediu of analyst firm Asymco had a thought, reached for his pocket calculator, and came out with an amazingly telling statistic:

Apple sold more iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) in 2011 than it has sold Macs in the computer’s 28 year history, by a margin of 156 million to 122 million.

Meanwhile Apple has won a court verdict against Motorola in Germany for violating a patent on the familiar “slide to unlock” feature on phone handsets. It’s the first time Apple has won a patent victory against Motorola, and may also strengthen its case against other Android manufacturers.

Motorola believes that changes made to its unlocking feature since the case began are sufficient that even with the loss, it won’t have to pull phones from store shelves or face delays in future production.

The court postponed a ruling on a second Apple patent, covering the swipe feature for flicking through photos in a gallery.

In what appears to be coincidental timing, Patently Apple reports that Google (which is in the midst of taking over Motorola) has filed a patent on two unlock techniques for smartphones. One involves swiping while the other involves voice controls; the key to both is that they allow the user to both unlock the phone and carry out a particular action with a single command.

Even what looks on the surface to be bad news for Apple is getting a positive spin today. BestBuy appears to have removed the Apple TV box from both its website and its store inventory. However, there’s already speculation that move could be laying the path for either a new model, or even a full-blown Apple television set that would take over the Apple TV brand name.

(Image credit: Asymco)

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