“When a jury in San Jose, Calif., ordered Samsung Electronics to pay $1.05 billion in damages for violating Apple’s patents for the iPhone and iPad, it did more than decide who had infringed upon whose intellectual property. To South Koreans, the legal battles that the two giants are waging across continents have highlighted both the biggest strength and the worst weakness of Samsung in particular and of their economy in general,” Choe Sang-Hun reports for The New York Times. “‘The ruling makes us reconsider the brand value of Samsung because it depicts Samsung as a copycat,’ said James Song, who monitors Samsung for KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. ‘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,’ Mr. Song added, referring to competitors whose failures to adapt quickly to the smartphone boom driven by iPhones have drastically reduced their market shares. ‘Samsung may lack in innovation, but right now, no one can beat Samsung in playing catch-up,’” Choe reports. “South Koreans took pride in the fact that Samsung, having already overtaken Sony and other Japanese companies it once mimicked, has now grown powerful enough to make Apple, the current icon of consumer electronics, feel threatened. But Samsung’s legal trouble was also seen as a referendum on the way Samsung — and, by extension, the South Korean economy — has done business.”

Choe reports, ” Samsung always had an image problem, a stereotype that it tried to dispel through a patent tussle with Apple, the epitome of American innovation. Although Samsung may be pulling in more cash than ever — 6.7 trillion won, or $5.9 billion, in profit on 47.6 trillion won in sales in the second quarter — it was seen not as an innovator but as an imitator, though a very efficient one, in products that it has eventually dominated… Mr. Song said the fight for the smartphone market was over and had been decided in Samsung’s favor.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even South Koreans will line up in long queues for Apple’s next-gen iPhone and iPad. Nobody in their right mind lines up for anything from Samsung.