South Korea reassesses its great imitator, Samsung

“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.


  1. what planet u living on? let me tell ya europe asia and oceana are samsung mad. iphones are for old people. u cant do jack with a iphone. my samsung has triple boot. im running windows. Ics and jellybean. try that with a crapple.

      1. @Radio Moscow … You asked the perfect question!  Chris doesn’t want to run windows on an iPhone — he wants to prove that he can, and that you and I can’t. 

        Most young guys focus on hardware (their own plus their toys) rather than ease of use or design.  Chris is unaware that the iPhone’s success rests on its operating system and availability of quality apps — i.e., software.  His sole mention of his own phone’s operating system (Jellybean) was in the context of software he could boot.  Triple boot!

        Very few of the comments from other readers (below) are pertinent to Chris’s outburst.  He’s a man-child, so he’s gotta act like one. 

        Nuff said.

    1. Inferior products are inferior, Chris. The iPhone is always supply constrained because it’s the most advanced handheld computer that can place calls on the planet.

        1. so can you speak Korean or write it? if you only know nothing but your damn English, just be quiet. you have no idea. nowadays, you should speak and write three languages at the same time at least. I can. you can’t. fuck off, loser.

          1. 야 에드워드야!!! 나 한국말 아라. 나 한국 살아요. 의정부에서. 메롱 ㅎㅎ
            You talk and act like a typical korean. Its obvious to everyone here. Can you speak 3 languages well? I doubt it. You are very closed-minded and clueless and it shows.

        2. Wow, it really doesn’t take much to get the racist comments going. Shall we address the substance of the comment, or mock the color of the writer’s shoes, or better yet, hair-style?

    2. Chris – I get the strangest feeling that your comments have blown in on a brown smelling wind. Based upon your inability to write complete sentences and use the full spelling of words, I am sure that 5th grade will help you with those issues. Apple is becoming so dominant that people are holding off purchases to buy the next iPhone. Have you ever seen that with a Samdung?

      Good luck when the plastic melts…

    3. Chris,

      15 & basement = your age & living quarters. Get off your Xbox and get a job. Oh wait…..go to school first and learn some basics of the English language and perhaps some elements of basic etiquette, too.

    4. Wow I can instal 3 os’s on G3? 3 has to be than one right? Unless you’ve used iOS of course.

      But sure, if you have no morals, more time to play with os’s, don’t care about the cheap build quality, or security, or the fact your phone looses value everyday n the likelyhood the next os released won’t be available for your phone, battery issues, freezes and that awful screen…go ahead.

      In Australia the Samsungs are available heavily discounted secondhand EVERYWHERE while the iPhone (all models) sell at nearly new price. I recently sold a few older iPhones and iPads and was continually offered Samsungs as a swap – no thanks!

      The only S3 I’ve seen in the wild had a smashed screen dropped 2 min earlier from lap onto ground IN A CASE and still broke. How many ppl have owned the iPhone 4s n switched & been happy? I know none but know a few that couldn’t stand it n went back to iPhone. And that’s before the next gen coming soon.

      So Pat, Chris, Edward take your pathetic comments somewhere they will be appreciated and believed. Too much iq around here for you sorry.

    5. And how many average consumers do you think care about rooting their devices or running three mobile operating systems on their phones?

      I think people who participate in online tech conversations often don’t realize that none of us represent the average consumer. To think that the average smartphone buyer cares (or even understands) to run multiple operating systems is foolish at best.

      Look, I once was a serious geek/hacker, but I got older and busier, and now just don’t have the time or inclination to do such things (sadly, it isn’t even fun anymore). I’m in the tech industry still, so I get it.

      Hell, I once was one of those “Linux on the desktop” guys many years ago. We see how well that worked out.

      1. I’m right there with you, Gordon. Many years ago, I even wrote a couple stories about running Windows and Unix (via MachTen, prior to Mac OS X) on my Macs, which I needed to do for some remote work. These days, I still need to deal with Parallels occasionally and am happy to have Unix native on my Macs for my development purposes. Until last year, I was living Linux on the desktop for my employer. I also run a couple Mac Minis from colocations for my small business.

        Oddly enough, none of this comes up in conversations with our family and friends, only on tech sites.

    6. Maybe omly old people believe in honesty. Maybe you believe in hating America! You certainly don’t believe in behaving like a responsible adult. You write like a moron.

    7. Gosh, you know Chris Hoon or Kim or Choo or whatever, I’ve spent about half my time so far this year in England, Italy, and France, and the only places I saw Samsung phones were marked down in shop windows. What I saw in everybody’s hands were 4 and 4S iPhones, and/or iPads. Seriously, Enthusiasm for Apple there is higher than in the U.S.

    1. I seldom go to Apple forums because I seldom run into any difficulties with my Apple products. But I have no doubt that there are quite a few posts from disgruntled Apple users out of the hundreds of millions of consumers of Macs, Macbooks, iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Even just 0.1% would amount to several hundred thousand complaints, and we all know that complainers tend to be highly critical and highly vocal.

      That said, I have no doubt that there are plenty of people posting about Samsung and Android problems. But I suspect that Samsung sites filter out posts that are critical of its products.

      Whatever…go ahead and use the devices that appeal to you. The rest of us will use the iPhones, iPads, and iPods that we prefer.

      1. Don’t forget that the Genuis bar serves 50,000 people daily with Mac issues.

        Every time I am there, someone is getting an iPad and iPhone replaced every 10 mins.

        Whatever floats your boat.

        1. Yes Apples after sales support is superb… Many of the replacements / repairs are from
          DAMAGE and on devices that are years old. But somehow you see this as indication you have a point?

          If you are trying convince anyone on the Android forums that Apples quality is lower…you will look quiet ignorant. So just imagine what you look like here!

    2. If that were true, or representative of everyone’s experience with iPhone, the Samsung forums would be complaining too, given how complete a copy of the iPhone are Samsung’s devices. So BS detector sounds off big time!

    3. Yeah, Joel, and how many are American, using AT&T, renowned for its crappy service. I’ll bet very, very few are from Europe. The worst call quality I ever experienced was with a Nokia, my two iPhones have been fine over the last four-five years.

  2. so the fight in the smartphone market is over and samsung has won?! just like the fight in the desktop p.c. market is over and microsoft won that a long time ago. i don’t think so.

    1. Yeah, it’s the losers posing as winners that try to sway public opinion by declaring “game over.” The modern Apple makes the dominant Microsoft of old look like a piker in comparison. And Microsoft has managed to survive pretty well for over a decade under the leadership of one of the most inept CEOs that I have ever seen. Given Apple’s resources and momentum, the company can continue to dominate for years even without releasing another blockbuster product like the iPod, iPhone, or iPad.

      I believe that Apple still has several major product surprises in the pipeline. If you are a competitor, I would not bank on Apple losing its way anytime soon. And the thing that should concern you is that Apple does not have to replicate its incredible successes over the previous decade in order to maintain its dominance. In the absence of blatant copying, however, everyone else needs to somehow learn to *truly* innovate. Good luck.

  3. It’s over all right, and it is clear who won. Apple has 80% of the mobile phone profit. My guess is with the new iPhone that percentage will easily be maintained or increased.

    1. That’s probably the only good to come of the lag time between infringement and comeuppance: Samsung is developing a more unique product, and it’s not doing nearly as well as the earlier ones did. I hope they have to stick with their “lines” when Apple changes the game on them again.

  4. Chris aka Joel’s comments are hilarious. As if 99% of consumers (including young people) care about the largely superfluous features that android adds to their copy of iOS. However, it does seem like they’re making it over the hump from copying to polishing and adding useful features. Which is a shame, solely for the reason that it comes without the acknowledgment that they stand on Apple’s shoulders.

  5. It is interesting that the writer Choe basically has basically approved Samsung methods saying that they work. They work better than the other companies that have not copied Apple. It is simply amazing that success & money still are the highest value for many people, and justifies any way to get there. GO APPLE.

    1. Companies in New York ripped off European books and plays in the 18th and 19th centuries, and formed the giant publishing houses and Broadway companies of today. Hollywood got big when those who copied patented film equipment ran to the west coast because there, the patent laws of the eastern US weren’t enforced yet.

      The Japanese continued this fine tradition in the 60s and 70s, China in the 90s and 2000s, and who knows how long the Koreans have been doing this–Apple’s just the highest-profile example that we paid attention to.

      So yes, copying others can and does work when your home base doesn’t enforce IP laws. It might not be ethical, but then big business has zero ethics beyond what the law and courts are willing to enforce.

  6. We apple fans diss Samsung which is right as it is a shameless copycat who stole it’s customers designs (imagine a printer plagiarizing a customers book)

    but we shouldn’t forget the Evil Dudes who started it all: Google.

    The Mole stole apple secrets when on Apple’s board and then Worse… it DISTRIBUTED Apple’s IP to the world.

    I’ve read dozens of stories and speeches (from politicians for example) for attacking apple for not manufacturing in the U.S etc YET…

    .. Google gives STOLEN IP to American’s competitors! Not only is Apple suffering but Dell, HP even Motorola (which has lost money for 14 out of 16 quarters), would be bankrupt witho Google buying it) has been hit hard by the foreign (stolen) Android tsunami. The last bastion of U.S manufacturing prowess is I.P. and Google STOLE IT and GAVE IT AWAY … think about it.

    (sorry for the langauge but it’s like: “raping someone and then inviting anybody who feels like it to have a turn” ).

    yet politicians and the press who criticize apple for not manufacturing in america say not one word against Google (all probably terrified of how Google the master of internet search can affect their campaigns or search rankings)

    Lets reserve some of disgust besides dumping on Samsung and its ilk at Google. (Steve Jobs mentored the Google boys when they were young and treated schmidt like a trusted friend and they stabbed him and apple in the back )

    1. Another way of looking at the situation is that Google stopped Apple from taking ownership of a collection of technologies that have been around for years and technologies that have many inventors behind them some american and others not. Yes Apple innovated by bringing it all together in one package and they are reaping financial reward but google set it free for the masses.

      1. B.S

        Google stole key technologies which Apple developed. Sure Apple used tech which was around for awhile, it even licensced tech from Nokia, Microsoft etc (paying royalties or cross license. Lawsuit against apple for patents are usually due to apple being unfairly charged for FRAND licenses) but the KEY tech that developed the modern touch screen phone was patented by Apple which google stole.

        the tech BEFORE apple research produced blackberry type devices at best: look at the original Goog Phone demoed at Mobile World 2008 (

        and earlier (

        schmidt on apple’s board stole the prototype iPhone info and changed it.

        Google engineers testifying said the Google did a rapid change when the got word of the prototype iPhone. that’s why Android interface unless using very fast processors is laggy due to the ORIGINAL BUTTON interface design – the touch interface was quickly layered on top – as revealed by Android Engineer Andrew Munn. Munn : “It’s not because Android runs bytecode and iOS runs native code. It’s because on iOS all UI rendering occurs in a dedicated UI thread with real-time priority. On the other hand, Android follows the traditional PC model of rendering occurring on the main thread with normal priority (ideal for a button type interface).

        This is a not an abstract or academic difference. You can see it for yourself. Grab your closest iPad or iPhone and open Safari. Start loading a complex web page like Facebook.”).

        appleinsider on the Nunn revelations:
        “According to Munn, the reason behind the design change is that the original Android prototype didn’t have a touchscreen, as it was meant to be a BlackBerry competitor. As such, Android’s architecture is meant to support a keyboard and trackball. Munn further claimed that after the original iPhone arrived in 2007, Google rushed to complete Android, but “it was too late to rewrite the UI framework”

        and as for



        (by your arguments the idea of search was all over the place. Yahoo was out first for example).

        i bet you by next week there would be 10 search engines in Asia and Europe with Googles algorithms and search would be ‘cheaper’ (less ads) so why DON’T YOU CONVINCE GOOGLE TO DO IT FOR THE GOOD OF THEM MASSES?

        (truth is Google threatened to sue Msft for Bing when it thought msft was using google to refine it’s search engine. Not copy but just use it to refine bing… )

      2. By way of exploring you logic Novac let’s imagine that you had a girlfriend and I came along and pointed out that your girlfriend is is conceptually similar to other preexisting girlfriends. Is it then my right to take her down to the local biker club and let everyone have a go?

  7. One small thing of interest: this is purely unscientific, but with regard to apple being for “old people”, I sure see a lot of teens and twenty-something’s using iPhones. I’ve seen this comment quite a lot and just don’t see it out in public. I also see a lot of other devices in use by people of the same demographics. Still, there seems to be no shortage of young people enjoying their iPhones.

    1. Agreed. It actually seems as if “old” people use Android – for most of them, this is their first “smartphone”, and since they don’t really know any better, they just get the cheap smartphone that the equally uneducated salesperson foists upon them.

  8. Nary a word in the article concerning Samsung’s massive PR budget that they use to buy off journalists and “independent” research organizations, whose inflated sales figures journalists then tout as genuine.

  9. If a person, company or country does not have integrity then it has nothing.
    And you can’t have a relationship without honesty.
    Apple should dump Samsung and the people of the world should not do business with South Korea if they do not have integrity.

  10. I was stationed in Pusan and Waegwan in 1984 while on Active Duty with the Army. The companies in RSK are great @ copying everything under the sun, but original development IS NOT their strength at all!!

  11. Korea remains one of the most protectionist countries in the world. We can barely crack the Korean market to sell US-made cars, US-produced beef and other agricultural goods, and all kinds of other products. We lost our steel and shipbuilding industries to Japan and Korea as well.

    So the iHaters in America hate Apple and that makes them root for a corrupt company in a country that has literally taken millions of jobs from America? Samsung literally owns Korea (20% of the entire Korean economy). The CEO/Chairman of the Samsung Group was convicted and sentenced to a jail term for bribery, fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to cover it all up and then got pardoned by the president.

    Samsung grew fast during the 60’s~80’s as it was heavily subsidized by the dictatorship governments of Park Chung-Hee (assassinated in 1978) and his successors. Samsung and all the chaebol conglomerates have a nasty history of working with the government to limit imports and just focus on cheap exports. That’s how Samsung, Hyundai and LG all got so big.

    They were essentially nationalized businesses but then as they got very profitable, they paid back the debts to the government before real democracy finally set in during the 90’s. Korea is still an infant as far as democracy is concerned. Before then, it was a full-on dictatorship and these companies like Samsung benefitted through their privileged relationship with the government.

    How do I know this? I was born there and lived a good deal of my life there before moving to the US. The “liberal” governments in Korea of the previous administrations before the present one even tried to split up these huge sprawling family-owned conglomerates that collectively account for over half of the Korean economy but they couldn’t do it. The conglomerates are now too powerful and are simply too entrenched in every facet of the Korean economy, politics, culture and the society in general.

    It’s a pretty sad situation in Korea. You think the gap between the rich and the poor is bad here in the US? It’s nothing compared to what it’s like in Korea and Samsung is the richest and the most powerful of them all there. Samsung also builds oil tankers, builds apartment complexes, produces commuter buses, runs a department store chain and luxury hotels, sells life insurance, trades securities, operates the country’s top hospitals, and virtually anything else you can think of.

    Apple isn’t even 1% of the US economy while Samsung accounts for 20% of Korea’s. So who’s the bully? These haters and Samsung lovers should go live in Korea for a while. You’ll see a good chunk of the population there hate Samsung way more than all of these frivolous Apple haters hate Apple.

  12. …competitors whose failures to adapt quickly to the smartphone boom driven by iPhones…

    How exactly has Samsung ‘adapt’ed to the Apple iPhone boom? There is nothing honorable or adaptive about robbery. You prosecute the crooks and put them in jail. Some adaptation strategy there, eh South Korea? Does that make you feel proud and satisfied with Samsung? If so, I think you need to FURTHER evaluate your business culture problems; MUCH further.

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