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Apple may have had Google drop Nexus One multi-touch

updated 02:30 pm EST, Mon January 18, 2010

Apple allegedly has weak patent on iPhone input

An apparent leak in the latest episode of Windows Weekly hints that Apple may have pressured Google and HTC into dropping multi-touch from the Nexus One. Citing Google sources, show co-host Leo Laporte says Apple "politely" asked Google to omit support in the US for alleged concerns about its patent portfolio. The iPhone maker supposedly has a 'weak' patent that would cover the Nexus One and sought to avoid a fight knowing that it might lose.

Other tips also suggest that Google has already narrowed down the release date of its CDMA-capable Nexus One for Verizon to March 23rd, or just two days into the official "spring" target release window. The timing hints that a GSM version for Vodafone's frequencies would be ready at or near the same time.

Neither Apple nor Google has yet commented on the rumor.

While as yet unverified, the news is partly supported by the strategy behind the Motorola Droid. In the US, the phone lacks any default multi-touch apps and at most uses third-party apps with the feature. Its European and soon Canadian equivalent, the Milestone, does support multi-touch out of the box despite no differences in hardware.

Apple and Google are believed to have maintained a longstanding informal agreement on such terms to avoid a legal battle that neither considers necessary. However, it also hasn't taken action against Palm, whose Pre and Pixi both support multi-touch in the US. Palm has said it has patents of its own, and critics believe it may be using these as bargaining chips against the prospect of an Apple lawsuit.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Sweet, if Google really is Apple's biyatch.

    I'm torn between Apple not allowing any Android phones in the U.S. to use multi-touch or should Apple just charge them a fortune to be allowed to use it.

  1. very

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    What leak? Leo Laporte was speculating.

    If you're believing anything from Windows Weekly, you must be crazy. There are no leaks except about Microsoft News; leaked by their own P.R. Paul Thurrott.

    Leo Laporte always jumps the gun on rumors.

    Does anyone remember what Leo Laporte confirmed on his Radio Show regarding the iPhone?
    Yes on his Nationally-syndicated show Laporte confirmed that the iPhone casing would be made of Zirconium and equipped with 2 batteries.

    Take whatever you hear with a boulder of salt.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    Droid doesn't have Multi-touch in its default apps either.

  1. facebook_Jim

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2010



    If you listen to Laporte, you also had talk over the CES weekend about the fact that the reason why they don't have multitouch is that the OS has multitouch, the hardware is ready for it, but Google hasn't yet updated their apps! Leo's a great guy, very knowledgable, but also a bit of a rumor w****-- and if his Windows guy was "speculating," Leo would never be so rude to say, "Bullshit!"

    I also heard Paul Thurott say that Microsoft was first to try a "tablet." He apparently forgot about the Newton.

  1. bradbissell

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003


    Correction to Nonsense.

    Just incase you didn't listen to the show, Paul wasn't the source of the speculation. It was Leo who stated that he had a source within Google who made the comment.

  1. flip2428

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Google needs to grow a pair

    they should tell apple to shut up about multitouch for android or they pull out of iphone for search, google maps, youtube and all their other apps

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005


    iPhone apps

    flip - maps was developed by Apple, not Google, using Google's APIs (the same ones you are free to use) - the only specific thing they did for the iPhone was supplying non-Flash H264 video for YouTube. But then they wanted to do that anyway (it benefits them with Android, etc, not to be dependent on Adobe).

    And search makes Google, not Apple, money. There are plenty of other search engines out there, and some of them are becoming more attractive (the more Google results are gamed).

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