Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This old head-scratcher has been causing debate in school-yards for decades, and it seems like, in 2012 and 2013, a similar concept is being debated in the courts. The argument and legal case is between Apple and Samsung, and it is all about Apple proclaiming it invented the ‘smartphone’ concept and that Samsung effectively copied Apple’s ideas for a new-generation mobile telephone device.
It has been going on for months, and many thought the battle was over in August 2012 when Samsung were ordered to pay an astonishing $1.05bn to Apple in America. Unfortunately, it is far from over, as a judge has recently reduced that payment by $450m and also demanded a new jury trail to see if Samsung really does need to pay such damages.
It is an incredible twist in the story which has dominated the smartphone world and market in recent times. Many prefer Apple and their iPhone device, but Samsung has a strong presence in the European market thanks to products such as the Galaxy S II and III. So it is not just a case of Apple vs Samsung – it is more a case of who invented and protected their ideas first. Apple basically claims Samsung took their basic smartphone concept and made amendments, while Samsung argues Apple’s ‘invention’ was seen on phones before the iPhone made it to market. It is all very complex.
Many believe Apple are jealous of Samsung’s incredible popularity in markets such as Asia and Europe, but the more the two battle it out, the more PR damage is done. Both companies look bad, and it will undoubtedly affect sales and brand image. You could argue Apple’s image is close to perfect, but while the brand may be experiencing an all-time high, it is important to keep public relations as a priority, and maybe this Samsung battle is just a nasty distraction.
So, what happens next?
Well, according to the reports, the new case will take place in 2014, as Apple still believes Samsung has copied other inventions and technologies from other devices. At the end of the day, most consumers don’t care whether the technology is copied or innovative. If someone said to a Samsung Galaxy S III owner that the technology in their phone was copied from Apple, the chances are the owner would reply with “so what?” As long as it works, and it gives them what they want from a mobile, then they probably won’t care too much.
Whether Apple will win the case or not is irrelevant, but what it does prove is that this sector is ridiculously competitive. Apple is determined to stay on top of the pile will its products like the iPhone and iMac, but it also knows that Samsung’s popularity is soaring, and no company likes competition – that is just a fact.
Are Apple’s days numbered? Definitely not, but its legal case against Samsung, and the constant changes to the verdict, it seems it may not have as strong as a case as it may have once believed. Time will tell just how right both companies are, but one thing is for sure; it is going to be very exciting to see.
Author: Many thanks to Jenny Ann Beswick and the dialtosave calls team who contributed to this article. How do you think this trial will end?