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Samsung vs. Apple – The smartphone wars Essay

The Samsung Galaxy S has a better operating system than the Apple iPhone, which is why Apple is suing Samsung over infringement rights; greed took over. The smartphone craze was started in 2007, when the Apple Corporation strove to be the next innovative mind in the electronics world. These innovations were followed by greed and a desire to own the market. Samsung and Google wanted a piece of the smartphone market; they released the Android smartphone in 2011. This release is what spawned the lawsuit that still drives on today. Apple vs. Samsung: the war to own the smartphone market.

The Original Lawsuit

The Apple Corporation reinvented the cell phone industry in 2007 when it came out with the iPhone. This phone took the consumer from just playing games and talking, to multi-tasking within the confines of a lightweight handheld device. This phone offered functions such as a multi-touch screen that allows users to control the phone with their fingers, music storage and playback, a mobile computing platform for handheld applications, and full access to the Internet. The simple yet innovative design was carried over to other Apple products; the iPod and iPad, because of innovative technology and distinctive design these products achieved instant success.

With these achievements Apple felt the need to patent the utility, design, trademarks and dress protection to ward off competitors trying to emulate their products (United States District Court Northern District of California, 2011). Samsung, one of Apple’s key competitors, introduced the Galaxy line of mobile phones and the Galaxy Tab computer tablet. These devices use the Google Android operating systems. Apple believed that Samsung deliberately copied the “technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design, in violation of Apple’s valuable intellectual property rights” (United States District Court Northern District of California, 2011, p. 2).

The Parties

Apple is a California corporation that was started by Steve Jobs and Steve Woznaik in 1976 after creating a new computer board in their garage. Jobs and Woznaik stayed with Apple until 1985, where they left to pursue other interests after a clash with co-founder John Sculley. Jobs went on to form Next Inc., a new computer company making high-end machines for universities. In 1997 Steve Jobs returns to Apple as Interim CEO. In 2000 Jobs Interim title was dropped, he was once again CEO of Apple. In 2007 the iPhone is released (The Associated Press, 2011). Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (referred to individually herein as “SEC”) is a Korean corporation and is one of Asia’s largest electronics companies. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (referred to individually herein as “SEA”) was formed in 1977 as a subsidiary of the SEC. Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (referred to individually herein as “STA”) was founded in 1996 as a subsidiary of SEC. Shin Jong-Kyun the CEO of Samsung paired up with Google’s chief executive officer Eric Schmidt. Eric served as a member of the board for Apple from 2006 to 2009. In October 2011 Samsung and Google introduced the Galaxy Nexus (United States District Court Northern District of California, 2011).

Smartphone Similarities

Apple uses a system called IOS6; this operating system has been refined several times since its origin. This operating system consists of Mac OS X 10.7. Mac OS X 10.5 PPC, Mac OS X 10.6 Intel. The iPhone features a camera that has a 5.0 megapixels, with live video capture and playback, iTunes® that supports AAC, MPS, MPS VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and Wav. Extras include world phone, USB connectivity, and hands-free speakerphone. The dimensions are 4.54×2.31×0.37 inches with a weight of 4.83 ounces. The resolution is 960-by-640 pixels at 326 ppi. The Bluetooth® technology is 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate (Apple iPhone 4, 2012).

Samsung uses a system called Android. The Android operating systems have been refined sense the start of the smartphone invasion. This operating system consists of Android Ice Cream Sandwich that is the fourth in its line. The Galaxy series phones feature an camera that has an 8MP autofocus with LED flash, with live video capture and playback in HD 1080p video capture, and a music player that supports MP3, AAC, AMR, MIDI, WAV, and WMA. Extras include world phone, USB connectivity, and hands-free speakerphone. The dimensions are 5.15×2.75×0.37 inches with a weight of 4.65 ounces. The resolution is 480-by-800 pixels resolution (Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, 2012).

There are other specifications included on each of these brands of phones, as can be seen they are fairly similar with the exceptions of the name. Other added applications to both phones can include Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, miscellaneous productivity applications, and both have text messaging and games. The biggest difference is the consumer will decide on the best price and look of the unit. Based on consumer reports, the Android fared better in the marketing scheme; it had better graphics, easier user interface, and all together a better phone (“Smart phones” 2011) (“Smart Phones” 2012).

Court Decision’s

With the similarities of the units, the California courts decided that Samsung had infringed upon the rights of Apple. Apple’s request for Samsung’s most popular smartphone and tablets be removed from American markets was granted based on the findings as follows: “The scorecard highlights:

* Jury found Samsung infringement of Apple utility, design patents for some (though not all) products. * Jury found willful infringement on five of six patents. * Jury upheld Apple utility, design patents.

* Jury upheld Apple trade dress ‘983. * Jury found Samsung “diluted” Apple’s registered iPhone, iPhone 3, and “Combination iPhone” trade dress on some products, not on others. * Jury found no Apple infringement of Samsung utility patents. * Jury found Samsung did not violate antitrust law by monopolizing markets related to the UMTS standard. * Damages owed by Samsung: $1.05 billion ($1,049,393,540 to be exact)” (Lowensohn, 2012, para. 3).

Samsung not agreeing with the court’s decision filed a countersuit against Apple. The countersuit claimed that because Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive officer, was a member of the board at Apple when the iPhone was released, that he took design patents with him to help improve Google’s Android OS. The creation of the Android OS infuriated Steve jobs and left him feeling betrayed, especially since the Android market was overtaking the Apple IOS market. Samsung also added in the countersuit that Apple does not have the monopoly on the smartphone market. Court Overturns Decision

When Samsung’s countersuit was dismissed there was an appeal submitted. The appeal was based on one of the juror’s patents for a smartphone. Jury supervisor Velvin Hogan failed to mention his lawsuit against Seagate and his bankruptcy. Samsung has a strategic relationship with Seagate, and the lawyer that filed the complaint against Hogan is married to an attorney that works for the firm that is representing Samsung (Bode, 2012). Even though Samsung had proven that the juror was not completely truthful about his past, this is not what turned the case to Samsung’s favor. The overturned case came from the “U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit” which had earlier slapped a stay on the injunction, ruled that Koh’s court had “abused its discretion” by issuing it in the first place (Paczkowski, 2012, para. 3).

It also overturned the ban, ruling that “Apple has presented no evidence that directly ties consumer demand for the Galaxy Nexus to its allegedly infringing feature” (Paczkowski, 2012, para. 3). With this decision in their favor Samsung was elated and issued a statement saying “Today’s decision confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products” (Paczkowski, 2012, para. 4). Samsung has continued to introduce new products despite the lawsuit. These products underwent slight changes of name and configuration, this entire lawsuit has allowed Samsung to surpass Apple with a better product and more costumers.

Conclusion

With Apple as the originator of the technology that is now called the smartphone, they have a right to certain aspects of this technology which is their propriety right. Samsung and Google might have infringed on some of the patents that Apple had. What it all comes down to is the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, was upset about the fact that the android technology, which mimicked the Apple technology, was created to compete with Apple’s IOS technology by some of the people on his own board. Steve was upset that his people wanted to be like him, innovative and successful in the ever so popular smartphone market. This is the driving force behind the lawsuit that is already showing signs of failure. Even with the lawsuit and after the lawsuit there will still be the Android operating system, which is more user-friendly and more widely available throughout all providers. The United States is not a place to have a monopoly on any market; it is a place for people to strive to be everything they can. That is what has happened here, and greed got in the way.

References
Apple iPhone 4. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/apple/iphone/4-8gb-black.html#fbid=MCcmcDGQHX4 Bode, K. (2012). Samsung Attacks Juror to Get Apple Verdict Overturned. Retrieved from http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Samsung-Attacks-Juror-to-Get-Apple-Verdict-Overturned-121473 Boghani, P. (2012). Samsung wants Apple’s patent win overturned. Retrieved from http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/companies/121003/samsung-wants-apples-patent-win-overturned Lowensohn, J. (2012). Jury awards Apple more than $1B, finds Samsung infringed. Retrieved from http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57500159-37/jury-awards-apple-more-than-$1b-finds-samsung-infringed/ Paczkowski, J. (2012). Court Overturns Apple-Won Ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Retrieved from http://allthingsd.com/20121011/court-overturns-ban-on-samsungs-galaxy-nexus/ Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/samsung/galaxy-s-ii-skyrocket-white-refurb.html#fbid=MCcmcDGQHX4 Shontell, A. (2012). Samsung And Google Are Meeting To Discuss Apple. Retrieved from


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