Intel used patents in this way for years to intimidate and harass potential competitors in the desktop platform that it effectively monopolized for years. Apple is doing the same thing now with respect to its platform. What amazes me is not that Apple is being a jerk about this but that so many believed it would be otherwise. While Apple may in many ways be a rebel company (or at least has cultivated its image this way), when it comes to IP protections, it plays strictly by the standard script.
Look, Apple defines entire classes of devices. That's what they do. Look at the history of PCs, media players, and smartphones: everything that came before Apple's entry into the market was a rough prototype, and everything that came after was a knockoff. Their IP claims are not overly broad for a company whose work shapes the entire industry.