Gruber: Apple’s true goal in pounding Samsung with lawsuits

“It was inevitable that competitors would follow the iPhone’s lead, and it was inevitable that Apple would feel wronged when it happened. What I wonder about is whether it was inevitable that Apple would sue,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “Are they pursuing Samsung in court because Samsung is so clearly their most successful rival in the handset industry, or is it because Samsung so clearly copied — not merely followed but gratuitously copied — so much from Apple? I suspect it’s both — that it was the combination of Samsung’s blatant copying and mimicry of the iPhone’s trade dress, combined with their success, that has compelled Apple to fight them tooth-and-nail in court.”

“I suspect Apple’s goal is not so much about procuring redress for Samsung’s past actions, but rather to send a message,” Gurber writes. “I doubt Apple will be awarded enough money from this Samsung lawsuit to have made the effort worthwhile directly. But indirectly, if the message gets through to competitors that Apple is willing to pursue lawsuits like this with a seemingly irrational fervor, and it makes them (the competitors) gun-shy to copy future Apple products, to follow Apple too closely — it may not be so irrational after all.”

Much more – highly recommended – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


      1. I don’t think the article actually says that samsung’s success was due to them copying apple. It says apple sues because of copying AND their success. The article doesn’t link the two. But, it does seem likely that there success was due to copying apple so closely and so soon.

        1. … That and targeting the cheap end of the market. It was a Q&E method of grabbing market share from the other cheap end ‘competitors’ while pretending to be Apple’s equal, another ‘innovator’, ‘worthy’ of the crown, blahblah ad nauseam. Meanwhile, they’re nothing but a gang of pretender thugs. Well done SpivSpeculum. <–New One!

  1. It’s interesting to notice that Google first defined Android as a Windows/Blackberry competitor and then as an iPhone competitor. Notice the distinct lack of “charting a new course in phone design” or anything else that could be construed as innovative work?

  2. Gruber is one of the few people worth reading when it comes to Apple coverage. While he says little new in this post, he still says something important: “The fact that this is not entirely rational, that it’s driven in part by emotion, anger, and a sense of justice, serves Apple’s interests by disincentivizing would-be future copiers. A crazy opponent is a dangerous opponent.”


    1. Love it. It’s like Nixon’s gambit in Vietnam. Convince them you’re crazy enough to do anything, and your enemy will think twice before advancing.


  3. At least when MS copied Mac OS they:

    – start bar at bottom/apple menu at top
    – trash became recycle bin
    – control panel was system preference
    – icons lined up at left not right
    – and they made it super ugly

    The question is, if they never saw an iPhone, would they ever come up with the Androi UI?

      1. You were one of those assholes that said, over and over, iOS 6 is getting stale. It needs to be upgraded.

        Well, now that iOS 7 is here and Android assholes are saying that iOS 7 is just a copy of Android, you, the biggest Android guy we know, thinks that iOS, that Android copy, is a piece of shit.

        Ironic, isn’t it.

  4. May this last for as long as it can until the world has moved on to the next kind of HCI, so Samsung can say “hey Apple, thanks for your time playing with us and your own smart ass US court.”

    Darn it. Make me wanna throw up. And Google, you sneaky one behind the scene. Catch it with your mouth.

  5. Those wringing their hands about Apple’s supposed failure to introduce new product categories need to understand the implications of Gruber’s point. Apple should be in no rush to introduce anything revolutionary until it’s sure the copycats will at least think twice about ripping off its IP wholesale.

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