So far after each round in the courtroom, the combatants in the never ending pissing match between Samsung and Apple would retire back to their respective sides of the Pacific Ocean, Samsung to South Korea and Apple to it’s home base of Cupertino California. That’s all about to change however as it looks like Samsung is expanding stateside to Silicon Valley.
In addition to their Menlo Park, CA innovation center, Samsung has designs for both Palo Alto and San Jose. The plan is to apparently “erect a massive new semiconductor campus with a distinctive design destined to compete with Apple’s proposed spaceship-like campus for the title of Silicon Valley’s most distinctive architectural landmark.”
To Samsung’s credit this move isn’t just to give the middle finger to Apple, it’s also about taking their brand out of the shadows of Korea. Up until now they have done the majority of their innovations in house. By moving to the United States the company is opening itself up to inject some new blood into their system. Now they can directly compete for the same employees that Apple does. Additionally the move allows them to invest in and partner up with more US startups.
This move is also meant to try to shed the image that they are constantly following Apple’s lead. According to Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies: “The reason they’re doing what they are doing now is that Samsung is in a position of market strength. They now are beginning to do the R&D, which will allow them to control their destiny instead of relying on other people to make breakthroughs. But to get the kind of growth they’d like, they have to make the transition from being an innovation follower to an innovation leader.”
The Silicon Valley expansion is actually part of a greater worldwide plan. However, the main piece is clearly the centers that will be in California where the hope is to go from a couple of hundred employees to “several thousand” by 2020.
It’s great to see a manufacturer take it to Apple like this. Granted this just became a viable option because the company was just another Android manufacturer until the Galaxy S III. Maybe someday soon we’ll actually see Google along with Motorola put a full on assault in Apple’s direction as well, instead of just silently backing their licensees when a challenge comes about.