Did Apple and Samsung just pull the greatest trick in the mobile universe?


The verdict is finally in. Samsung has lost the lawsuit against Apple, which means the court decided they were copying iPhone's design and user experience. The decisions seems legit, specially if you saw the internal document from Samsung, a case study comparing and improving the Galaxy's user interface based on iOS's. On the other hand, it's hard to say if the decision is morally right and what it means for the mobile industry. Software patents are a problem and some companies like Google have already made a stance agains them (even though they've supposedly acquired Motorola because of them). But could all of this be just a marketing trick? Where Apple and Samsung set out to dominate the mobile industry?

Collectively, these two companies hold 50% of the smartphone market share, and take 90% of the global industry margins. Samsung is the only Android manufacturer that is really profitable. Around 25% of the iPhone is made by Samsung. The corporations publicly don't like each other, and don't have any problems suing each other while making business. A weird situation indeed.

Apple's biggest quarter brought in $13 billion dollars of profit on $46 billion dollars of revenue, most of it from iOS devices. Samsung's revenue is around the same, with lower margin ($5 billion). Yet the whole legal fiasco ended up in Samsung having to pay around $1 billion to Apple. Peanuts, if you ask me. We have been listening to this bullshit for years now, yet the decision doesn't make any significant different to any of the giants. Except the fact that people are taking side with one or the other. Not Nokia, HTC, Motorola, Sony or anyone else. Other manufacturers don't seem to exist anymore. Just Apple and Samsung, abusing the legal system to own the mobile world. Which could easily be one of the most brilliant marketing stunts ever. Two rings to rule them all.

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written 25.8.2012 9:09 CET on chronolog
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