This article is about two companies. One company is unstoppable in trolling the patent market to find patents on sale so that they can use patents against competitor’s products and hamper innovation. The other company is the Anu Malik of smartphones. They design their smartphones by smartly copying elements from competition’s work. And this company is immovable in it’s approach. What happens when these two fight each other? I guess you might have understood what I am referring to. It’s the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung.
To some extent, I do support Apple in this one on one fight. Many times in the past and even today, I have seen copied designs from Samsung. Best examples are Galaxy S looking similar to iPhone 3GS, Galaxy Ace looking a bit similar (though like cheaper alternative) to iPhone 4, Bada OS feels like a large scale copy of Android, TouchWiz UI’s menu and icon grid style is lifted from iOS. There are some things that Samsung designed on their own without copying. One such spectacular software is Kies PC Sync application. It is so spectacular that none of the current generation PCs are able to run this application without lag and can cause nightmares to nightmare. Then came a new Android launcher that is not a copy. It’s called Pure Breeze and it felt like that ‘fresh’ air coming from Hussain Sagar. The idea was good but the implementation showed lack of skill. And we all know how crappy the UI of Corby and Star devices was.
How difficult is it to understand that both these brands are going to lose big time if they try to part way. Samsung has given Apple fire power (h/w) to make iOS run silky smooth in iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. They are the best in creating magic with Silicon. It is better if Apple honours it and stops being a crybaby. Samsung, on the other hand gets heavy revenue by supplying electronic parts for iOS devices and it can be a huge loss if Apple moves to a different supplier. How difficult is it to resolve the differences back door? Either pay royalties to Apple for the copying that was done or get atime frame in which the effected code/design is rewritten/redesigned.
My suggestion to Samsung is simple. Reorganize your development unit. Check the PCs/notebooks of your developers and kick out those who have washed out ‘c’ and ‘v’ keys on their noteboooks and encourage those who use more of their brain and less of Ctrl key. Take WebOS developers or MeeGo developers for example. They created beautiful UI/UX and that is pure innovation (they had to suffer from managements idiocracy, which is a different story altogether). Please try something similar, atleast with Bada OS where you can take a bit of risk and then replicate that to Android overlay UI.
My suggestion to Apple is a bit more complex. You have enjoyed unparalleled success till now. Please stop trying to take out opposition by buying patents from the market. It won’t work. Instead, do what you are good at. Tapping new ideas and creating new markets. It is looking as if you are scared of Samsung dethroning you but your approach is mostly wrong. You better stop concentrating on patents/lawsuites and start concentrating on emerging markets and developing countries. These markets are wide open. Take India for example. Do you have any idea what will happen to the sales of iPhone 4 if you drop the price inside 30k? Why haven’t you opened an exclusive self-run Apple store till now? Why are you using it as a dumping ground of old products, which clearly ain’t working? It would be much better if you take the competition to opposition instead of trying to find back doors.
So, please. Kiss or whatever you want to do. But we want you two to work in a way that we get innovative products.