Samsung patent infringement trial reveals Apple’s long-hidden U.S. iOS device unit sales figures

“The high-stakes Apple versus Samsung court battle taking place in the Northern District of California has seen highly confidential sales figures (pdf) for the US market released,” Electronista reports.

“From the release of the iPhone in 2007 though to the second quarter of this year, Apple has sold 85 million iPhones in the US alone, which amounted to revenue totaling some $50 billion. It also sold 46 million iPod touch devices yielding $10.3 billion,” Electronista reports. “The iPad did not launch until 2010 with Apple having sold over 34 million iPads to US consumers alone in just over two years, which generated $19 billion. Although the US sales reflect a large portion of its overall sales, Apple has been adding more and more countries to its list of world wide markets, further driving its sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

26 Comments

      1. It is still a matter of debate how many sales Apple would have made. It seems practically impossible to prove consumer activity was based on patent infringement. If Apple’s sales data were negatively impacted by Samsung one could hypothesize that Apple was harmed. If Apple’s sale increased, but at a slower rate, it is pure speculation that Samsung was to blame. Samsung could argue that the Apple market was saturated. Using sales data seems less convincing than side by side comparisons of the two companies devices.

        1. You’ll have to produce a survey done by a credible opinion poll company as to the degree of lost sales by polling a random sample of people by asking a simple question like, “Which product would you choose based on look and feel?” Then have the product displayed side by side (the real product, not pictures) with a sticker price attached.

          Depending on the results of the survey you could make a strong argument to extrapolate the results to the sales data that Apple is producing in court. So if 20% of the people said that they would buy a competing product when in fact their original intention was to purchase Apple because they were misled as to the look and feel of the product, then you’d apply that to the actual sales data and arrive at lost sales.

          It’s not precise but you’ll have expert witness for either side arguing the pros and cons.

        2. Once the decision comes down that Apple has been harmed, the rest is just negotiations between the two parties and the courts. No one can know the actual damage that has been done, but that is not the point. If Samsung is sanctioned at too high a value, that is just the risk they took when they started down that path. If Apple is not restored fully, if the sanction is stiff enough, it sends a message to others not to risk trying the same thing. Any way you look at it, once the payment is made, the page turns and we start a new chapter. Hope Apple wins big.

    1. Apple is arguing in essence that due to the nature of the mimicry of Samsung phones and tablets (and music player to a lesser extent), consumers are misled as to their purchasing intent.

      In other words, consumers think that due to superficial similarities between an Apple and Samsung product, that the Samsung product is as good as an Apple product. Therefore, the dissimulation has led to lost sales.

      The quantification of lost sales lies at the basis of determining the amount of damages that Apple is seeking, besides other issues such as patent infringement which results in damages assessed for licensing fees foregone.

      1. It is insulting to say consumers are too stupid to know the difference between an Apple and Samsung product. If consumers are too stupid to distinguish the difference it is unlikely that they would be capable of using the device. If consumers are unlikely to use the device it is doubtful that they would purchase either the Apple or Samsung product. Therefore, no damages. I don’t need speculative sales data to known that Samsung copied Apple products.

        1. Consumers really are that stupid – especially when mom and pop are buying presents for teenagers in a place where the assistant offers ‘helpful’ advice.

          Samsung have already released figures showing that products were returned because they were mistaken for Apple products.

          1. if the product was returned how can damage be assessed? Surely the correct product was purchased later.

            I’m sure the vast majority of teenagers know what they want and repeatedly exhorted their parents to buy it for them. My advice to the teen crowd, get a job and buy the damn thing yourself.

            1. Look, either people are stupid enough to mix up the two phones or they aren’t. You can’t have it both ways. There is proof but you say if returned, no damages.

              Go troll elsewhere.

          2. People do not have to be “stupid”. Most of the general public does not spend as much time learning about alternate products as many of us on these sites. I spent a good hour showing my first gen iPad to a friend a year or so ago. He was very excited to get one, went to the store and told me the next day he got an iPad and pulled out a Galaxy Tab. When I pointed out that it wasn’t an iPad, he argued with me that it was an iPad made by Samsung according to the salesman. He still to this day referees to his Tab as his iPad.

            I am now much more careful to emphasize “iPad” when showing people my “New iPad”.

        2. Legal damages fall into several categories. Compensatory and punitive. Compensatory or liquidated damages are assessed on sales data predicated on lost sales that are quantifiable by experts to the largest extent acceptable to the jury (and judge who directs the jury).

          Punitive damages are damages assessed for wilful infringement and is used to dissuade (or punish) the infringing party for wilful conduct that disregards the legal rights of the plaintiff. Punitive damages are assessed by the jury but may be ameliorated or increased on appeal.

          When a case is brought up for appeal, questions of compliance with the law will be asked and any deficiencies attacked by counsel. Therefore, it behoves Apple to build as strong as case as possible in the Superior Court before it is brought up for appeal.

          Also the sales data helps the judge to make the right directions to the jury as to quantification of damages which must be based on actual data and not assumptions based on speculative opinion.

        3. It’s not stupidity, it’s naivety… If a consumer has never used a smartphone how could you call them stupid for not knowing how to use it? If they simply choose a model based on how it looks or feels in their hand, then of course copying another manufacturers designs come into play.

          If they look at a home screen and see how clearly icons are displayed and differentiated to their purpose and function, then yes, copying that as well could result in lost sales.

          It’s more about misleading people, taking advantage of those who might not know any better. That’s why popular products are copied.

          1. Consumers have the right to spend their money as they please, no matter how foolishly. If an uninformed consumer buys a product that does not meet their needs and expectations they may be more savvy the next time.

      2. It is not just a matter of being misled, although that is likely the case for some buyers. Samsung used mimicry to reduce differentiation and entice buyers to choose a Samsung product based upon other factors, such as price, Android claims, etc. Some buyers might have purchased an iPhone if the Samsung units had not copied key elements of the iPhone experience.

        It’s the familiar “just as good as” approach, but based upon allegedly illegal mimicry.

    1. Samdung sold 37 thousand Galaxy Tabs last quarter compated to Apple’s 5.7 million iPads. Check out Philip-Elmer Dewitt’s post this morning. Very informative:

      tech dot fortune dot cnn dot com/2012/08/10/apple-sold-5-7-million-tablets-in-the-u-s-last-quarter-court-documents-show-samsung-sold-37000/

  1. Samsung’s sales figures are also being revealed:
    “Samsung, which once claimed its GalaxyTab shipments were in the millions, saw sales of the devices fall to a paltry 37,000 units in the United States last quarter, suggesting that although Korean electronics maker is holding its own in the battle for smartphone unit share supremacy, it’s clearly lost the war it waged against the iPad.”

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/08/10/court_docs_show_samsung_has_lost_the_war_for_tablet_supremacy_in_the_united_states.html

  2. Damages? Really?

    Claims that these figures were released for the purpose of damage assessment ignore the fact (reported in previous articles here) that it was Samsung, not Apple, that wanted these numbers entered into court as evidence.

    Not sure what Samsung’s motive was for doing it, unless it was to show that Apple had such a huge market share that Samsung’s paltry numbers would indicate that little, if any, damage was done to Apple.

    With that consideration (among others), one could also understand Apple’s reluctance to want such numbers revealed. Comparing Apple’s 5.2 million units sold to Samsung’s ridiculous 37,000 sold (with some number of those returned) would appear to support any Samsung claim that Apple had sustained little harm.

    1. Perhaps Samsung is hoping that the collateral damage to Apple’s cherished secrecy will push Apple to drop the lawsuit or, at least, settle out of court?

      That is a vain hope, if true. Apple is not going to give up!

      1. Why would Samsung want to point out the fact that their tablet sales are anaemic? It’ll be a negative publicity and marketing stunt of ginormous proportions, in that irrespective of the millions poured into promoting the Galaxy Tab in the U.S., they can’t move it for love or money.

        It also speaks to the inadequacy of Android as a tablet operating system since Samsung is seen as its chief promoter and sales have been totally eclipsed by the iPad. So in effect you’re telling people not to buy your tablet because it’s only got a tiny market share.

        That would be tantamount to admitting that your tablets are crap and nobody wants to buy it.

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