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Apple and Samsung’s Unending Fight Continues

November 17, 2013 | About:
Neha Marwah

Neha Marwah

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Apple (AAPL) and Samsung are occupied in lawsuits over each other’s patents. One of the executives of the Cupertino tech giant complained that Samsung’s action of imitating the company’s iPhone and iPad is damaging the marketing, product perception and sales.

Continued fight

At the damage retrial the Marketing Chief of Apple Phil Schiller, who appeared as a witness, said that Apple has always worked for offering better products. Even when it launched the iPad Mini, the purpose was not to increase competition in the tablet market, but to make a better offering. He also said that creating demand is a very tough job, as people tend to question the innovation and creation. In addition to this, Samsung’s act of copying devices and selling them is weakening “the world view of Apple as this great designer and innovator”.

The fact that Samsung made its devices look so similar to the company’s iconic iPhone brought huge difficulty for the company to market and differentiate the product. It became quite a bit of challenge to convince new buyers to purchase the smartphone from Apple.

The litigation between Apple and Samsung seems unending. Last year Apple was given more than $1 billion after it filed suit over Samsung. According to the lawsuit the Cupertino company blamed the South Korean multinational corporation for imitating iPhone specifications such as using fingers to zoom or pinch the display screen, back screen made of glass. Samsung’s manufactured phones are powered by Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system.

Apple’s loss not yet compensated

Though Apple was rewarded a sum of $1 billion, the matter did not settle completely. Apple says that Samsung needs to compensate another $379.8 million for infringing 5 patents of iPhone. This also includes an opportunity loss which is estimated to be approximately $114 million. Apple’s loss is pretty much justified. Had Samsung not incorporated similar features to what the iPhone offer, Apple would have sold more iPhone. Many customers who wanted such iPhone touch feature purchased it from Samsung which copied those specifications in its Android powered handsets. This accounted for customer loss to Apple. Early this year in March U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh went for a retrial for around $400 million additional for damages claiming that the previous judge made calculation errors.

Company representatives of Apple preferred to stay mum on Koh’s ruling, while Samsung defends saying that it is only liable to pay a sum of $52.7 million.

Schiller says that the only reason Samsung’s Android handset got such recognition in the mobile market is because it copied Apple’s unique features. This is the primary reason why Samsung has been able to grab such a huge chunk of the smartphone market, and in turn spoilt the iPhone maker’s uniqueness. There are other handset makers of Android devices as well, but not as successful as Samsung. The entire business design of Apple to give a high quality, enhanced, premium and unique experience to its customers gets shaken with such imitation by fellow rivals.

The loss indeed is immeasurable. Samsung might pay Apple something in monetary terms. But I really wonder if ever the amount can fill in the product loss and perception that it brought to the iPhone and its target market.


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