Apple to judge: Samsung became top smartphone maker thanks to infringement

By , May 8, 2012

Less than two weeks before Samsung and Apple chief executives will meet for court-moderated settlement talks in San Francisco, the two frenemies cut the number of claims roughly in half in an effort to expedite the process and ahead of a summer trial.

That didn’t stop the parties from the usual bickering, with Apple saying Samsung’s copyright infringement practice has allowed the South Korean conglomerate to claim the top spot in worldwide smartphone sales.

Returning favor, Samsung argued Apple is “unable to compete”

According to patent expert Florian Müeller, writing for his own blog FOSS Patents, the iPhone maker in court documents underscored “massive sales” of Samsung’s “copycat products”:

While the parties have been readying the case for trial Samsung has vaulted into first place in worldwide sales of smartphones, with massive sales of its copycat products. Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s intellectual property has already resulted in damages that reach billions of dollars. […] It is critical to Apple to start trial on July 30, to put an end to Samsung’s continuing infringement.

Firing back, Samsung argued:

Samsung claims Apple is “[u]nable to compete in the marketplace” and “instead seeking to compete through litigation, requesting injunctions against the full lineup of Samsung’s mobile phones and tablet products”. Samsung also says that “Apple has only been able to muster utility patents covering extremely minor user interface features, and design patents and trade dresses that offer far narrower protection than Apple urges”.

I am no patent expert, but it seems to me that Apple is trying to add “damages that reach billions of dollars” to any potenitial injunction stemming from an eventual abuse of its patents.

In related news, an ITC judge threw out 3,000+ pages filed by Apple to challenge Samsung’s patents, forcing the company to focus on its strongest points as the ITC clearly is unwilling to evaluate thousands of pages that attack Samsung’s patent claims element by element.

As you know, Apple conceded the top smartphone vendor title to Samsung last quarter. Although Apple blew analysts out of the water with 35.1 million iPhones sold, Samsung’s first-quarter smartphone shipments were in the range of 45 million units, depending on who you ask.

The South Korean conglomerate stopped reporting handset and tablet shipments last summer, citing competitive reasons. Apple continues to report iPhone and iPad unit sales in their quarterly earnings. Samsung also became the top cell phone vendor, beating Nokia for the first time.

Together, Apple and Samsung accounted for the 90+ percent of mobile industry’s profits, leaving rival vendors with loose change.

Is Apple right to cite infringement as the reason Samsung beat it to the smartphone punch last quarter?

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  • http://twitter.com/IbrahimRIAlBora Ibrahim R.I.AlBoraey

    SAMSUNG got a lot of smartphones in the market, most of them are cheaper than APPLE iPhones, plus most of SAMSUNG smartphones aren’t locked on one service carrier, APPLE with this two limitation still takes the lead from time to time in the smartphone market, and I know a lot of people who will never pass a chance to get an iPhone.

    • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

      I totally agree with you. Samsung and other Cell phone making make like a 1000 different phones. Sometimes it’s because Companies like AT&T & Verizon what something new and will not carry a port from other carrier. In Apple case, apple has a rep for telling companies you take what we give you. Samsung and other cell makers don’t get treated the same. Thats why there freeware on Andriod phone. Apple makes 1 phone, 1 iPad, 1 Mac Air, 1 Mac Pro a years. Different storages of course. They recycle parts and save money this way. Look at the iPhone 3G & 3GS, even better iPhone 4 & 4S. A few tweaks some recycled parts faster process = new iPhone. Samsung and Others can learn from this and yes Samsung copycats the hell out of Apple. Galaxy S3 is design by lawyers. Hello.

  • Anonymous

    I do agree with Apple, since the first iPhone came out, Samsung has been copying there phones. It’s pathetic.

    • Anonymous

      Samsung is not the only company that copies. Why dont you google what apple has copied, and see how many results you get.

  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    Samung had made 1,000’s of phones. Apple has made 5… Pretty impresive to me

  • http://www.facebook.com/wahaab Wahaab Jalal Bhatti

    lolz!, if Apple would have spent more time in iPhone development instead of patent wars, then maybe Apple would be the top vendor.

    Besides!, Samsung rules because it’s not for just rich people!, it’s for everyone!. They have middle-class based smartphone lineup which almost everybody can afford to buy!. That’s the reason they made more money and sold more smartphones!.

    Apple Should just quit complaining all the time!, so cheap of Apple! (disappointed owner of iPhone :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/cesargmorales Cesar Morales

      First of all, iPhones SOLD and Samsungs SHIPPED are not the same. They ship phones to stores and those are still sitting there. It would be a fair play if we count all the iPhones sitting in warehouses and stores.

      Second, apples is not complaining all the time. They have the right to do so. Those 3m+ pages that the court threw out explain exactly why apple feels it has been stolen in every aspect from design to manufacturing process, including intellectual concept.

      Third, apple is not about making cheap products. Apple is about making a product that fits your needs in the most simple of ways and that “just simply works”. The same thing with macs and pcs, PC ppl are always talking about processor and what not. If PCs where to be the fastest and better of the bunch, then, why all the heavy work like post-processing, and designing are done in the fastests and most reliable hardware/platform? Macs.

      If you invented something that suddenly changed the world… And someone else comes and copies it claiming its better than you and that it’s original. I don’t know about you, but I would certainly kick their butts in court until life is in me.

      Or do you believe that if Apple didn’t invent the iPhone, Samsung was coming out with this anyways? Haha haha, go look at the patients Samsung filed on those dates. The phones were PATHETIC.

      Think different….. Think smart….

      • Kok Hean

        The only downside is the price, it seems.

      • Aaron de Silva

        I’ve had a Samsung phone before my iPhone 4 and trust me when I say this, Samsung phones and UI before the iPhone was worst than a Nokia (indestructible models) phone… They jut looked pretty bad had a horrible OS (perhaps better then some phones of “that time”).

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JFDZXSTUH2HWGIM6NSZX66KWA Kurt

        @Cesar….what is “PATHETIC” is you who is taking this personally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/luisreyespr Luis

      Apple Lawyers cant program u smart…

      • Anonymous

        My thoughts exactly!
        Although apple could’ve spent the money paid to these lawyers into hiring an ethics committee and software devs/engineers.

  • Kok Hean

    I think the reason is because those who hate Apple for no reason chose Samsung Android phones instead because they want to be “different”, which is ironic now.

    • Anonymous

      hey mate not ‘sansung’ but Samsung d giant smartphone manufacturer. #Samsung rule and will continue to rule simply because they value both the lower,middle and high class customers.

      • Kok Hean

        I typed in Samsung -.-
        I’m serious, most of my classmates chose Android devices and they claim that they hate the “iPhone”, and that basically means iOS. When they think that a phone is a mobile operating system, I realised that they truly dislike Apple for no reason. They have yet to give reasons why they dislike Apple.

        I agree with you that Samsung value most customers, but have you seen its latest anti-Apple campaigns? It’s insulting its potential future customers.

        Anyway, the main reason why most people chose Samsung as their phone is because it has Android, the OS with freedom and packed with powerful customisation, and second, Samsung’s powerful hardware in their phones.

      • Anonymous

        well said but I think your last last paragraph said everything why Samsung is leading the market and it should worry apple if they don’t free their OS.

      • Mark Petersen

        I think even though most people CHOOSE Samsung; they WANT an iPhone. Cost is always a factor. Most times you get what you pay for. I think Samsung makes the best Android devices out there, however, I prefer iOS over Android.

        It would be nice to see either Samsung develop their own OS, or Apple have Samsung make an iPhone. Discuss…

      • Bervick

        Your last para is prob why your classmates did not buy an iPhone. Secondly,you are being judgmental in assuming they do not know the difference between iOS and the device. That is like saying they only know about the Samsung phone but they do not know what is Android.

        I do not wish to be associated with an iPhone. My feeling about this is these are for people who buy into brand image. Like only buying a Sony TV or a Panasonic phone or a Bose system or a Toyota/Honda car (I own a Honda :-) or whatever. But while I own a Honda today and might buy another tomorrow, I still weigh the competition and could buy something different altogether. With (some) Apple fans, they cannot think for themselves because they have conditioned themselves to believe Apple is quality and will refuse to even educate themselves on the outside world. THIS is why people detest their fans. I like Apple’s designs; beautiful works of ART, love their marketing. But I do not have blindfolds on. I will look at other stuff too. Today Samsung, tomorrow HTC, the next might be a Nokia Windows phone. Or a new OS.

        I might consider a Macbook Pro or Air someday because I see some value in it FOR ME, albeit at a steep price. OS X has not been overly restrictive, you can plug in industry std devices, it has a file system, etc. etc. I’m not dictated to. With the iPhone, size is my first issue. Glass on the back is the 2nd issue. It looks good but it is more fragile and more heavy as a result. Also, almost sealed and not as easy to replace. I do not want those tradeoffs at a device level. iOS looked fantastic when it came out. Today, I find it looking horridly stale and I don’t even use it. Thank goodness. A few yrs ago, I would have chosen iOS because of better quality apps (which is still true, but not where it matters; most popular ones are the same; if they don’t exist like Instagram, they come eventually and then get a massive user base). I do not find this to be a compelling reason anymore because Android has plenty. Even Windows has plenty of apps. When you are dealing with tens of thousands, it will grow. When you’re say you have hundreds, then it’s shaky.

        @Mark Petersen
        I accidentally clicked like and wanted to reply instead. I WANTED my Samsung phone. I DID NOT want an iPhone. I’m not alone in this.

      • Kok Hean

        @Bervick most of them talk about the iPhone and not iOS. Here are some examples.

        “I would use any Android device but not an iPhone.”
        “How about an iPod touch or iPad?”

        “Android is better than the iPhone!”
        “In terms of freedom and customisation, that’s true, but since when is the iPhone an operating system?”

        Yeah. I’m not assuming that they don’t know the difference between iOS and a device, I’m talking about how they always use the iPhone as an operating system.

  • http://twitter.com/pranavshankar93 Pranav Shankar

    But we must unanimously agree that the galaxy s3 has Really good specs, does not resemble the iPhone in any way!!! well done Samsung!!
    PS-Also it’s an UGLY plastic piece of shit!!!
    Just saying

    • Anonymous

      What you mean by that: “(except the pentile screen)”? What a iBS:)
      Do you really mean that you can see it with human eye at 309ppi? The best color and contrast display today on smartphones. Or you want to trade unnecessary sub pixel for battery life?

      • http://twitter.com/pranavshankar93 Pranav Shankar

        Lol not at all
        If you look close enough in a pentile screen some images aren’t as sharp as real stripe screen. Because of the pixel arrangement in pentile type of display, Some pictures with ‘certain’ colors look grainy which will not happen with real stripe arrangement.
        Samsung is using pentile only because it’s easier to manufacture.
        That is one really sad thing about the galaxy s3. Htc one x has really good hardware(and a kickass screen), but their “customized” android is very bad. They should just offer stock android
        Nope I haven’t seen it but I’ve seen enough pictures and videos, so I can say that I prefer the htc one series any day!!(to each his own:))

  • http://twitter.com/Dongiuj DonGiuj

    Why even bother entering the game if you can’t hack competition?
    “Meow, meow, meow, cry , cry, cry, boo friggidy hoo”. Bunch of whiners.
    You don’t see a F1 team cry about other teams that look like each other, do you? Grow up girls!
    You either like Ferrari ( guess who ) or you like McLaren. You either like iOS or you like android. You either like apple products or you like Samsung products.
    And yes, I do believe that if one company didn’t invent something another company would, at some point.
    Apple invents the smartphone but what, nobody else can make anything that looks like it? Ok, what about a laptop then apple? The only thing that looks different is the apple logo on the case. It’s only until you switch it on and start using it that it becomes different. A bit like smartphones.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derfaust.mobile Der Faust

      apple did not invent the “smartphone”…… but they were the first ones to really get it right.

      • http://twitter.com/Dongiuj DonGiuj

        Ok, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    The only reason why Samsung is leading the market is because of the price. Ask any person on this planet earth which smartphone they would like to buy and they will tell you Apple. Since not everyone is rich they would go with a company which would offer same or closest features in a cheap price.

    I personally don’t like the interface or the OS of Samsung. It’s clumsy and it takes time to figure out the functionality of the phone, the icons are not impressive and so is the font they use. Whereas iOS is concerned it is simple and user friendly and it has everything you need!

    Guys its all about Quality but not Quantity!!

    • Anonymous

      You a wrong. There are many Samsung’s models that are on the same price level as Apple.
      And many people that will never buy 3.5 inch smartphone with restrictive iOS. And they are more and more every day.

      • Anonymous

        Seriously?? Please name any one Samsung model which is at the same price level as of Apple’s iPhone.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JFDZXSTUH2HWGIM6NSZX66KWA Kurt

        are you retarded? some of samsungs phones are more expensive. are you trying to say they are all cheaper? idiot

      • Bervick

        I hope you feel foolish along with @Sila Hasla. Even educated Apple fans know there are more expensive Android phones with the same capacity. I paid $300 for my Galaxy Note when I could have gotten the iPhone 4S for $200.

        You two prove the point. Thinking all Android phones are cheaper. This is just Samsung. HTC, the next big player also has expensive phones with their ONE range. There are a few. One X, One S. Not sure which one is the most $. The Galaxy Nexus and Motorola RAZR were also at the same price as the iPhone 4S.

        If you live outside the US, then yes, in some countries, you have to pay a premium for an iPhone that is more than top Android phones. This is only in countries where Apple is not officially selling their product.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003072559308 Siła Hasła

        Name one.

  • Anonymous

    @Kurt: Retarded? If you are so confident about your lame Samsung devices being more expensive than an iPhone then let me know. If you don’t know then haul your sorry ass back to Korea!