Apple ‘Places’ trademark could hint at mobile social network

Apple Places could be a mobile social network
Apple Places could be a mobile social network

Apple has reportedly put together a trademark for “Places” and this could be an indication that it is looking to launch its own social network based on locations.

According to Patently Apple, the “Places” trademark could be:

Places is primarily about online social networking services related to a social networking site and will assist in locating people using GPS on Apple’s mobile devices. Whether this will be coordinated with Apple’s iTunes social networking music service called Ping is unknown at this time.  

A trademark doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as patents and trademarks are often filed and nothing is done. Still, the idea of an Apple Places social network is an interesting one because the online/social networking space is still the one place where Apple is badly hurting.

I’m of the opinion that Facebook has already won the larger social networking space and I think piggybacking off its Facebook Connect for new services is the way to go – Loopt finally ceded and saw its user base increase.

Still, if there’s one company which could put a major dent in this, it’s Apple because an Apple Places service would have the advantage of being built into iOS devices. I don’t think it would kill Facebook on these devices but it could create a nice social network for iOS fans.

I would imagine this could be similar to Research In Motion’s BBM service, which is still wildly popular with business folks and consumers alike. Apple Places could allow iOS users to quickly connect and share app and music recommendations in a way that Ping has failed so far.

Still, the idea of Apple Places social networking is just a pipe dream for the moment but you’d be a fool if you didn’t think the company is looking at this space. Would you be down for this type of service? What would you want from an Apple social network?

[Via Patently Apple]

  • More of this nondescript, nonrestrictive trademark crap. Companies should not be able to trademark simple english words like this. Look at how many services out there now use “places” as part of their nomenclature. Are we now going to have Apple suing those companies for trademark infringement?

    • Yes.

    • Anonymous

      Interesting and I agree but I think it’s probably “Apple Places” or “Places” in a certain context because you can’t trademark normal words I believe.

  • Anonymous

    They must have a case for the upsto to grant them this mark. If not, they’ll kill it quickly. Apple is likely trademarking it so that Google or Facebook can’t sue them. It’s not always about Apple suing others. In fact Apple does little suing considering the amount of patents they’re amassing. I agree with Geek-News that everyday words should be off the table. Facebook is trying to trademark the Face. Is that stupid? Yes. But it’s a part of their brand and they need to protect themselves. It’s a slipperly legal world. I personally think that this trademark will be a part of another service like Ping or whatever.

  • Marin, this is very interesting news coming from Apple. I am primarily concerned with Apple’s focus on only including users of their products. I assume the iPhone/iPad, and perhaps the broader smartphone audience will be able to participate in “Places” while the rest of mobile audience will likely be left out. My company, Cherple, aims to provide ANY mobile user in the U.S. today with access to dynamic mobile social networking. This is achievable leveraging a technology we all already know and love in SMS messaging (texting). By utilizing SMS, users are provided with the perfect means of communication between their mobile and online devices. Suddenly participating in mobile social media is no longer exclusive. Also appealing about our solutions is the ability to offer advertisers with targeted in-text ads, which ensure views, unlike the haphazard banners you see on popular Web-based social networking sites. Thanks for the great read Marin!

  • Anonymous

    It’ll probably have something to the effect of the best Ping interface, integration and some brilliantly interwoven through MobileMe and such. 

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