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Apple is looking to pile on with a Galaxy S III ban, despite that phone not being involved in the case.
South Korean analyst: Samsung "may lack in innovation, but right now, no one can beat Samsung in playing catch-up"

The crippling U.S. patent court $1.05B USD copyright infringement verdict against the world's largest smartphone maker, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), is far from over.  

I. Ban 'Em All

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is pushing the San Jose, Calif. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to ban all currently on-sale products that were found to infringe in the case plus another couple products not listed in the case, which include Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III smartphone.  

Apple previously tried to ban the Galaxy S III, but failed.  I predicted it would now try to lump in such a ban on the wings of its massive victory, and indeed it did.
 
If Apple's request is granted, Samsung would essentially be banned from selling any smartphone other than its Focus 2 Windows Phone and its non-Android quasi-smartphones.

In Samsung's home nation of South Korea, shock is in the air.  Days before the U.S. verdict a Korean court had ruled that both companies had infringed on each others' work.  That verdict stood in stark contrast to the American jurors, who decided that Samsung stole a plethora of technologies and designs from Apple, and that Apple stole nothing from Samsung.

Questions of bias persist -- at least one of the jurors had a family member who held a large quantity of Apple stock, according to past reports -- but South Korean analysts fear that there may be a hint of truth in the ruling. They fear that perhaps their culture relies a bit too much on imitation when looking to conquer a new field.  But many of the critics also express feelings of pride in the company.  Even if Apple does "kick it out" of the U.S. market, what Samsung did -- beating Apple in an unregulated market battle -- was impressive.

Comments James Song, KDB Daewoo Securities' Samsung-centric analyst, in an interview with The New York Times, "The ruling makes us reconsider the brand value of Samsung because it depicts Samsung as a copycat.  But a copycat or not, what Samsung has done with its smartphones was a brilliant move.  Look what has happened to companies like Nokia, Motorola and BlackBerry, which didn't do as Samsung did.  Samsung may lack in innovation, but right now, no one can beat Samsung in playing catch-up."

Indeed -- outside of Samsung, nearly ever phonemaker that isn't named "Apple" is in bad financial trouble.  Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Motorola and Taiwan's HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) are both posting disappointing earnings and shrinking market share.  Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) is creeping ever closer to a breakup liquidation/fire sale.  And Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) is requiring deep financial support from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to stay afloat.

But JoongAng Ilbo, a local newspaper, takes a more cynical bent, commenting in an editorial, "Copying and clever upgrading are no longer viable.  Samsung must reinvent itself as a first-mover, despite the huge risks involved in acting as a pioneer, if it hopes to beat the competition."

II. Can Samsung Stay Ahead of Apple?

South Korean analysts acknowledge that Samsung's phones are "similar" to Apple's and that it arrived cautiously to the smartphone market, versus some other early adopters, such as RIM and Nokia, who plunged in headfirst.  But they point out that for the similarities, Samsung established a unique look for its products, made them cheaper than Apple's, and endowed them with arguably superior hardware.

The company's expertise in display and chip-making gave it a key advantage, when it eventually did elect for a full-on smartphone push.

Anthony Michell, author of “Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership of the Electronics Industry", tells The NYT, "Koreans do things quicker than almost anyone.  Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership of the Electronics Industry.  This allows them to change models, go from design to production faster than anyone at the present time. Korean companies continually set themselves challenges, like the challenge to overtake Sony in terms of brand value in the past."

Some say its legacy of rapid adaptation will allow it to survive Apple's patent assault.

Samsung smartphones
Some say despite the pending bans, Samsung may be able to stay ahead of Apple.
[Image Source: Reuters]

Even with Apple seeking to ban all its U.S. Android smartphone sales, Samsung is racing to modify its operating system to remove features -- such as "rubber-band" graphical flourishes that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple exclusive rights to animate in a mobile user interface setting.

If Samsung is able to remove the features, the ban could be reduced from months to days or weeks.

Some analysts are convinced that Apple will actually fall farther behind Samsung in U.S. sales in Q3, despite the damage to its image and potential bans.  Comments Kevin Lee, an analyst at Korea Investment and Securities, "The patent ruling and Samsung’s copycat image will have a negative impact on Samsung’s sales of cellphones and other products.  But Samsung will further widen the gap with Apple in the third quarter, though not as much as expected before the ruling."

And, of course, Samsung also has an appeal of Apple's court win in the U.S. federal court pipeline too -- so it potentially could undo or mar Apple's greatest legal triumph somewhere in the near future.

Source: The New York Times



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RE: Good luck Apple...
By NellyFromMA on 9/4/2012 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 5
To play devils advocate a little, one could argue there's virtually no level of innovation amongst the collective of Android phone manufacturers.

In many ways, there's not the biggest world of difference most users will care about between the iPhone and and given current Android phone EXCEPT most notably the screen size.

If Apple added an option for or otherwise matched the S3's screen size I'm sure the majority of Apple's consumers would be just fine with that and I'm betting that if Jobs were still around we'd see just that.

Mind you, I bought a Galaxy S3 despite being irritated beyond belief with my Droid Incredible and am quite happy with it and in general don't personally care for Apple products. (although its new, and most new phones perform well..)


RE: Good luck Apple...
By retrospooty on 9/4/2012 1:36:13 PM , Rating: 3
"In many ways, there's not the biggest world of difference most users will care about between the iPhone and and given current Android phone EXCEPT most notably the screen size."

Agreed. Androids big advantage is flexibility. Want a large screen with removable battery? If that is what you want, there is a phone for you.

"If Apple added an option for or otherwise matched the S3's screen size I'm sure the majority of Apple's consumers would be just fine with that and I'm betting that if Jobs were still around we'd see just that."

I bet we still see a larger than 4 inch iPhone in the future. MAybe 2012 or 2014... And that is a good thing. I'd like to see that.

"Mind you, I bought a Galaxy S3 despite being irritated beyond belief with my Droid Incredible and am quite happy with it "

Agreed, Android 2.3 is just... blah. 4.0 and up is pretty damnd good though. Loving my S3 as well.


RE: Good luck Apple...
By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 2:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
"In many ways, there's not the biggest world of difference most users will care about between the iPhone and and given current Android phone EXCEPT most notably the screen size."

Screen size is MAJOR when it comes to the smartphone experience.


RE: Good luck Apple...
By Jeffk464 on 9/4/2012 2:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
and why can't apple do like samsung and offer different size phones to match costumer preferences?


RE: Good luck Apple...
By tamalero on 9/4/2012 4:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
a) Costs
b) Apple mantra is "people should adapt to us, we do not adapt to their tastes".


RE: Good luck Apple...
By NellyFromMA on 9/4/2012 5:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying Apple shouldn't, in fact I think they should... That's my point in a way ...

And yeah, screen size is a huge factor in UX. I guess that's my point...


RE: Good luck Apple...
By Samus on 9/5/2012 1:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
Have you used an iPhone recently? It still feels like the same product they launched 5 years ago. Last time I checked, BBOS has had more UI changes than IOS in the past few years and that is ridiculous. Sure, you can argue Apple's UI is great so no improvement is neccessary, but the fact they haven't IMPROVED ANYTHING in FIVE GOD DAMN YEARS totally lacks innovation. I'm sure they could do something, like at least add a pull-down menu or SMS notifications....ohh wait, they copied those from Android!


RE: Good luck Apple...
By NellyFromMA on 9/5/2012 10:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah. A coworker hereis a bit oh a phone fanatic and often switches between premium Androids and the latest iPhone at a given point although he's just moved off the 4s to an S3.

We also got the 'new' iPad the other days for in-the-field demos and what not with the 4g modem (I presume?) in it. It's really heavy for a tablet and without a case it's basically destined to hit the pavement. That in itself I think turns of the casual user. Not sure if the Wi-Fi only device is less heavy or not.

As far as the OS in general, it's just what Joe Generic needs to feel like they are tech saavy... 5 years ago...

It's very dated feeling. I don't know if Steve Jobs would really allow that to have happened on his watch. The hi-res display didn't even really impress me as much as I thought it was going to. Maybe if the OS leveraged the display more it might not have felt that way.. idk but I agree with you on that.

Who knows how fickle the consumers are. I'm betting in Apple's case quite fickle if they don't receive a stunning upgrade sometime in the next 1.5-2 years


RE: Good luck Apple...
By Aloonatic on 9/6/2012 3:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
They might be able to do that now, as phones are so powerful, but I think that a big part of Apples initial success was how smooth and pleasant to use the iPhone was as it rotated and zoomed in and out neatly and smoothly.

A big part of how nice it was to use was probably down to a fixed screen size with a resolution that worked well for it. When you start adding the option for different screen resolutions, you are bound to lose something in the quality of experience unless you are very careful or have a lot of power available.


RE: Good luck Apple...
By GotThumbs on 9/4/2012 2:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Seems there are lots of one dimensional views here.

People have overlooked the other important factors...such as Apples ecosystem. Try using your freedom of choice when purchasing content for your phone. Android you have the Google "Play" store, Amazon, plus many others (see below). Where can you get apps for your IProducts...only ONE PLACE. For the idiots out there....apple does protect them from bad apps...most of the time. But for those who have a brain....but still have an IProduct...you give up your freedom of choice when you bought your first IProduct.

6 other places to get Android Apps:
http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/01/09/6-alternativ...


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