Get the most important digital marketing news each day.
Verdict: Samsung Owes Apple $290 Million More But It Won’t Matter
The Judge (Lucy Koh) in the landmark Samsung-Apple patent trial in California ordered a partial retrial on damages. Today the damages case was sent to the jury, which deliberated and awarded Apple $290 million more according to AllThingsD.
In total, Samsung owes Apple nearly a billion dollars in damages not counting legal fees.
Yet for both companies, this doesn’t end their global legal battle, nor does $1 billion matter much to Samsung. In the third quarter Samsung made roughly $9.6 billion in profit, roughly two-thirds of which come from the sale of mobile devices.
Android is the dominant operating system — not just mobile — around the globe and Samsung is the dominant Android device manufacturer (even to Google’s detriment in some ways). Though an Apple partner, the Korean company was in the past obsessed with matching or besting Apple’s iPhones and tablets.
While many will disagree, I believe the original Apple-Samsung patent trial evidence showed the degree to which Samsung self-consciously sought to copy the iPhone’s most of the important features and capabilities. In some respects, it’s reminiscent of Microsoft’s early 1990’s adoption of an Apple-like UI for its PC OS, which was in turn inspired (or if you prefer “stolen”) by Apple from Xerox’s experimental graphical user interface.
Samsung’s drive to beat Apple has also extended to trying to be first to market with a “2.0” smartwatch. Ironically, Apple didn’t release its anticipated iWatch, however.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch was largely panned as “not ready” and “rushed to market.” Earlier this week, in response to a Korean newspaper report saying that only 50,000 Galaxy Gear units had been sold, Samsung announced the real number was actually 800,000. However what Samsung reported was shipments to retailers, not sales to consumers.
One area where Samsung has been innovative is with displays and smartphone screen sizes, putting more and more pressure on Apple to build larger iPhones.