Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung?

Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung?

Summary: When did Apple get so frightened of Android that it decided to try to sue the competition into the ground instead of competing with them in the marketplace?

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samsung-galaxy-tab-10
Seriously, you really think the Samsung Tab 10.1 can be mistaken for an Apple iPad?

Most people like some products, but Apple fans love their products. And, who can blame them? I own an Apple TV, five Macs, an iPad, and two iPod Touches because they're darn good devices—and I'm a Linux fan. So why is Apple so frightened of Samsung and the other Android smartphone and tablet vendors that it's trying to sue them into the ground instead of competing with them?

Apple isn't just suing Samsung in the US. Apple has sued Samsung around the world. In Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom and more than two-dozen other countries, Apple has made the same lousy patent design claims: Samsung has stolen the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad.

These claims are bogus. There's nothing unique about Apple's iPad or iPhone designs. That's not just my opinion. A UK judge told Apple it must tell the world on both its UK . website and in British newspapers that Samsung had not in fact infringed on the iPad's design. See for yourself just how unique Apple's tablet design is:

Apple's iPad Design Patent: Been There, Done That (Images)

You may have noticed that all smartphones and tablets tend to look like each other. There's a reason for that. They all do the same things, they're all meant to fit in a human hand, and the phones are meant to place the receiver at your ear and the transmitter at your mouth. None of Apple's design patents should have been granted in the first place.

They were through and Apple is determined to keep these lawsuits running to the bitter end. Back in 1994, Steve Jobs said, “Good artists copy great artists steal". He should know. Jobs took Xerox PARC's Windows, Icons, Menu and Pointer (WIMP) ideas and used them to create the Mac interface.

Near the end of his life though, Jobs changed his tune. "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong...I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this,” said Jobs.

This is crazy, but while it's not going to cost Apple $40-billion dollars to keep these lawsuits going, I do have to wonder why, now that Tim Cook has stepped into Jobs' shoes, Apple is continuing these lawsuits.

Apple's goal, as Pamela Jones of Groklaw, has looked at Apple's legal claims and she's found an explanation. Apple wants nothing less than “all of Samsung's profits from any product found to look too much like Apple's. 100%, without even subtracting for all the other features and technology that Samsung worked hard to invent, and paid R & D to think up, and put together. On top of that, Apple goes on to say, it wants damages for lost profits, in this case $500 million just for that, with interest and costs. And then it wants 'similar remedies'  for trade dress infringement and dilution as for patent infringement. Ka-ching.”

I doubt very much Apple will get that, but if that's the goal, I think what Apple really wants is to ban all sales of Samsung, and other Android smartphone and tablets from the market. In court after court, Apple demands that sales of the offending products be stopped.

Why? I think it's because Apple, without a well Jobs, has gotten frightened of competition. Apple can afford to make nice with Microsoft. The boys from Redmond with their smartphones and tablets have never been competitive in either market. Android is another matter.

Sure Apple still owns the tablet market, but Android tablets like Google's Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 are starting to give it real competition. In phones though, Android has 68% of the smartphone market. Apple? They're a distant second with a mere  16% of the market.

In short, what I think is behind Apple's lawsuit mania is that the company saw that it was in danger of losing its marketing mojo. Without Jobs, Apple knows it's coasting rather than moving forward. Of course, there's still lots of Apple product hype. Every day sees another iPhone 5 rumor.  But, how long can Apple  keep the excitment going without  without Jobs pulling rabbits out of the product hat? As ZDNet UK writer Ben Woods put it, “Apple is in danger of becoming boring."

So, if you want to keeep making more money than many countries, but you have reason to believe that you can't keep the product money magic going for much longer, what do you do? Why, you do what many a corporate bully has done before. You try to keep your rivals out of the market by hook, by crook, or by lawsuit. It's what frightened business bullies have always done and Apple is no different.

Related Stories:

Apple v. Samsung timeline: The guide to what's happening

Apple is in danger of being boring

Rotten Apple: Apple's lousy design patent lawsuits

Why Apple should abandon its 'thermonuclear' war against Android

Apple's Worldwide War on Samsung and Android

Topics: Samsung, Apple, Legal, Patents, Tablets, Tech Industry

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210 comments
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  • Woah, calm down.

    So your conspiracy theory revolves around a single court saying they didn't.

    There are plenty of other courts that say they have.

    I don't know who is right or who is wrong.

    I agree that they're going a bit far with the lawsuits, but get real. They're making more money than ever, marketshare has never mattered to them. I don't see why it should matter, since a company isn't there to do anything but make money.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Apple money

      Who is Apple making the money for?
      Clearly it isn't making profits to pay dividends to the shareholders like any normal bluechip stock.
      If they are making money just to blow it on lawyers, it would be tentamount to kickback corruption.
      Shareholders should be revolting against the Apple board for not paying proper dividends but recklessly blowing money on arrogant pursuits.
      warboat
      • Replaced?

        Exactly, Tim Cooke can be replaced, and will be if this keeps up. He can't afford to be reckless, or he can be voted out. Google on the other hand can steer the course, and get hard nosed with Apple if they want, because the Corporate officers still own 51% of the stock. Google can make it a vendetta if they want, Tim Cooke can't.
        bigpicture
        • Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung?

          @bigpicture
          "Google can make it a vendetta if they want, Tim Cooke can't."
          they won't kill the goose that lays the golden egg...
          kc63092
          • i do not get what you send

            ????
            zacsaturday
      • Where have you been?

        Apple does pay dividends now and it was big news so either you don't read any Apple news and only post comments about what you don't know or you have something against using facts. Based on your post history I think it's pretty obvious, facts are your issue. Regardless of dividends, an investor does not have to receive them for something to be a good investment. Share holders of Apple stock have been very happy with Apple even though they weren't getting dividends, because they were making money on the stock price.
        non-biased
        • Apple Dividends

          Yes I'm well aware of the recent dividend issue by Apple.
          If you think getting $2 on a share worth in excess of $600 is anything but a slap in the face for owning the richest company in the world, then you are most gullible.
          Apple has of course paid dividends in the past. None of it close to being worthy of being called dividends.
          warboat
          • Not gullible at all

            I own Apple stock and while it's nice to get the dividend the real value is the ROI based on stock price. Of course I'm not blinded by small minded hate so unlike you I can think logically about the topic.
            non-biased
      • Dividends

        Well, actually I just cashed my first Apple Dividend Check. Then I went out for a nice dinner.
        William Carr
    • It's SJVN after all,

      and everybody knows they're not supposed to take this troll seriously.
      G'Dammit!
      • He lost me at...

        misinformed mention of PARC. If he is going to make a comment like that why bother reading the rest expecting any facts.
        non-biased
        • Probably because it's not mis-informed.

          I know there's a lot of spin on the whole PARC story. Including the grant of a license to "borrow" the things they came up with regarding GUI designs.

          Buying pre-IPO stock is not the same thing. PARC clearly neglected to make Jobs and co sign non-disclosure agreements, and mostly because in the golden age of these pioneering efforts, things were not so mired in legalities.

          Whether they had a design in place already or not is made irrelevant by the insistence that Jobs got to visit their facility in exchange for that privilege for buying stock. Clearly they had a piece of the puzzle missing, and PARC's engineers had that missing piece. And consequently poached engineers from PARC after that visit. This was all done reluctantly or with naive trust from a company point of view as illustrated with the lawsuit that followed, but the PARC engineers were probably happy someone was taking their work seriously.

          So they've done as they've always done. They've taken designs of some other entity, even if they've started down a similar path and hit a dead end. They added their own spin, and have claimed to be innovative to those who are willing to believe it. Having someone else figure out the missing piece or "empowering" you to do so is just as much in the same context of stealing as the patent claims are.
          PolymorphicNinja
    • Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung?

      @Michael Alan Goff
      "... marketshare has never mattered to them." get real! any company who doesn't care about market share, is run by a looney! and apple is not run by a looney by any stretch of anybody's imagination. us market is no longer the single biggest market ever, the very reason for the existence of the euro market. the emerging market of china (roughly 10% of its population) and of india (5% to 10%) plus the asian tigers and japan is nearly as large or even bigger than both euro and us market. so market share is VERY BIG in any corporate boardroom.
      kc63092
    • I think the real loser in all of this will be Microsoft

      MS is only around because of it's legacy software based on windows. Unix, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android are all based loosely on Unix. Drop to a command line in any of them and Linux folks are all at home in an operating system that runs on everything from a router to a massive server. It's just the shell that varies (well I simplify) but DOS/NTFS needs to go away.
      LarsDennert
  • Clicks for Industry

    This oughta be good. Yesterday's clickbait special was designed to make the Softies' heads explode... and it did, with 205 comments and counting.

    Today SJVN throw his spears at Apple, and you watch: it will once again be the Softies whose heads explode.
    Robert Hahn
    • Actually most of the comments

      seem to be from Open Source types jumping on the band wagon. Softies pretty much stayed out. Steven pandering to the main audience yet again.
      Cynical99
  • Apple have lost their mojo and are just releasing hardware refresh

    after hardware refresh, there's a lot of "me too" also.

    The iPhone 5 really has to be something special because comparing the Galaxy S3 with iPhone 4s and it's so obvious which is outdated.

    Tablets, Apple can relax because they have usability and apps on their side. Oddly whilst Android OEMs are coming up with very usable smartphone user interfaces, they're struggling to replicate this on tablets.

    Personally I think (long term) it's Windows RT tablets that will give iPad a run for it's money. The Metro interface is a lot simpler and cleaner than either Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean and I'm a big Android fan (who'd pick an Asus Transformer over Surface RT but I'm a techie).

    Windows 8 tablets I see remaining as "business devices" (and they'll likely do good at that), not a core Apple market. Just looking at the Surface RT vs. Surface Pro shows a device that's much heavier for one thing and whilst business needs legacy desktop apps, they'll just detract from the user experience in the consumer space.
    bradavon
    • IDK

      With more people sending stuff between their tablets and phones I really dont see a windows tablet getting the necessary hype or traction especially considering the awful history of windows phone software. Perhaps enterprise customers will come to the rescue, being typically slow boring and me-too in their approach. But for the consumer spending his own money, MS faces a struggle.
      oldvices
    • IDK

      With more people sending stuff between their tablets and phones I really dont see a windows tablet getting the necessary hype or traction especially considering the awful history of windows phone software. Perhaps enterprise customers will come to the rescue, being typically slow boring and me-too in their approach. But for the consumer spending his own money, MS faces a struggle.
      oldvices
  • Scared? Seriously?

    It's quite simple:

    1. Steve Jobs felt betrayed by Eric Schmidt and Google (remember when Mr. Schmidt was on Apple's Board of Directors and Apple and Google were partners?). And, today, mobile devices running Google's Android OS are Apple's biggest competitor in the mobile space.

    2. Samsung, an OHA member, is the largest and most successful Android-based device OEM.
    Rabid Howler Monkey