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Samsung Was Obsessed With Beating Apple in 2011, But Did They Copy Apple Products?

April 7, 2014 - Written By Syed Sofian Rabbani

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, although at times the creative types take ‘inspiration’ from something they admire and try to present their own take of it. However, try to draw your inspiration from any Apple product and chances are you’ll get hit by a huge lawsuit, and that lawsuit will be pursued with an almost rabid fervent. The latest information to leak out of the Apple vs. Samsung patent troll wars points out some aspects which could be damaging to the Korean manufacturer Samsung. Documents which were presented during the latest round of court cases reveal that internal Samsung memos in 2011 were focused on a ‘Beat Apple’ strategy, during which period Samsung had aggressively researched almost all iPhone and iPad variants, with the purpose of understanding the competition.  The documents clearly state that “Beating Apple is #1 priority (everything must be context of beating Apple).

The documents reveal that Samsung’s watchful eye was on Apple since the launch of the first generation iPhone. It is also evident that Samsung decided to shift focus from resistive touchscreens to capacitative touch screens to ensure their devices stand in competition to Apple products. However, these documents also show Samsung’s aggressiveness and honesty in identifying their competitive position compared to Apple. A direct outcome of Samsung’s research into beating Apple is evidenced by the launch of all those Galaxy devices in 2011-2012 by the Korean manufacturer. The Galaxy series of Android devices by Samsung was flooded with both high-end and mid-tier phones, also the documents show Samsung’s focus shifting towards competitive marketing strategies during 2011-2013, especially of Samsung’s move to launch the ‘Fanboy’ campaign before and during the Super Bowl. All in all though these documents show off Samsung’s acumen and the methods they used to reach their current position at the top of the manufacturing chain, where they even make Apple sweat.

However, it’s also clear that with the kind of details leaking out, Apple would try to convert this focus on their products’ research by Samsung, against the Korean manufacturer. For example, a leaked 2010 email which was circulated internally at Samsung shows requests  to get the iPhone’s ‘bounce effect’ and other improved animations onto Samsung products – a request which came in through developers who believed that “the animation effect for multiwindow deletion is plain in comparison to the iPad.” Points such  as this would be crucial during the deliberations of these patent wars. What needs to be seen, however, is whether the jury would believe Apple’s view that Samsung infringed on their patents or it’ll be something elsewise? What’s your view? Do let us know in the comments below.

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