Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apple: Samsung Copied Design

Apple: Samsung Copied Design, WSJ article.
Apple Inc. sued rival Samsung Electronics Co., claiming its Galaxy cellphones and tablet "slavishly" copied Apple's iPhone and iPad, in another sign of the escalating intellectual-property tensions in the mobile market.

I didn't see that one coming. Everything is iPhones these days, and I had not thought Apple would think it could do anything about it.
But then I'm not familiar with all brands, perhaps Samsung is more blatant in the copying than others.

I'm not sure what to think. Litigation, and conflict in general, seems such a waste of time, energy and emotion. But then, it must be frustrating to see one's innovations mercilessly copied every time and by everybody. If everybody is just allowed to do that, then years of hard work and real innovation only gives a few months of head start in the market, a meagre reward for driving an industry forward.

1 comment:

Stephen A said...

A.) Pot meet kettle.
If Xerox/PARC had anywhere near competent lawyers Cupertino would be a smoking hole 25 years ago.

What PARC had in 1976

What PARC had in 1990

B.) Apple doesn't make stuff, it "makes" brand, design and rent extraction.

A Genuine Coach bag costs $10 to make in China. A sizable proportion of the "Fake" Coach bags are made in the same factories. In the same fashion many of the components for the iPad come from Samsung and the assembly is done in China. Eliminate the mystique of the glowing Holy Fruit on the back and you lose a 200-300% mark-up. Tablets are becoming commodities at record speeds CVS is offering an android tablet for $75 this week. Not the XO-3 by a longshot but quite sufficient for books movies and surfing, i.e. what tablets are actually used for.

When GM sells a car, or Boeing sells a jet, a good proportion of the stuff inside is made by GM or Boeing. The iPad is much closer to the Jaguar X-type, a Ford Mondeo with wizzy bits added to make it a Luxury car. Had some enterprising fellow offered a conversion kit for a Mondeo, Jaguar would have had to sue him into the ground.

Apple has become a luxury status brand. If an android tablet does the same or better for half or even a tenth of the price, most of the elan disappears. Also most of the rent extraction potential.