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Clash of the Tech Titans: Apple vs. Samsung

Apple-SamsungWritten and Edited by Anonymous

During the past five years, the smartphone developed into an industry standard for mobile phones. The release of the first Apple iPhone marked the boom of the smartphone industry and set the stage for smartphones to enter the global market. Taking the lead once more, Apple introduced its iPad in 2010 which is now the most popular tablet. However, as with the iPhone, Apple is not alone in the tablet marketplace. More specifically, we have seen tablets introduced by the likes Hewlett-Packard (HP), Research in Motion (RIM), HTC, Samsung, and even Amazon.com with its new Kindle Fire. Some, like HP’s and RIM’s tablet, failed miserably while others enjoy success like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Amazon’s Kindle. Samsung’s success has not gone unnoticed, especially by Apple.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab continues to experience a great deal of success in the tablet marketplace. Running on Google’s Android operating system, the Galaxy Tab provides users with a viable alternative to the iPad. In response to the success Apple continues to make many attempts to keep its high market share in the tablet marketplace by pursuing legal action against Samsung for infringement on its patents for the tablet’s design. In response, Samsung has also been taking legal action against Apple for patent infringements. This has truly become a clash of the tech titans for the ages.

From Deutschland to Down Under

This legal battle all began in April of this year when Apple filed suit against Samsung in the United States. However it was in August of this year when the battle really picked up pace as Apple filed and won its lawsuit against Samsung in Germany regarding the Galaxy Tab and the patent for the iPad. The German courts placed an injunction against Samsung temporarily banning the sale of all Galaxy Tabs in Germany[i]. This victory proved to be a major step for Apple as it was able to set a precedent for future lawsuits as well as establishing Apple as the primary player in the tablet industry.

In the most recent legal battle between the two, Apple once again has come out victorious over Samsung – this time in Australia. Citing the same reasons of patent infringement on its iPad, Apple filed a lawsuit in Australia and won its case in October. As was the case in Germany, the Australian courts placed a temporary ban on the sale of the Galaxy Tab until the conflict between the two companies is resolved. These two rulings are major blows to Samsung if it hopes to continue to be a strong competitor of Apple and a big player in the tablet industry. Losing two large markets like Germany and Australia spells out a big hit to their sales potential and only helps Apple in its attempts to remain the sole player in the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry.[ii]

Fighting Back with Phones

In large part as a response to these lawsuits from Apple, Samsung too has recently filed lawsuits in France, Italy, Japan and Australia citing patent infringement on the wireless communication and user interface technologies of its smartphones[iii] and is seeking to have sale of Apple’s recently released iPhone 4S banned in these countries. These constant legal battles between Apple and Samsung cannot be good for either company, especially considering the business relationship that exists between the two.

Despite competing in the finished goods marketplace, Apple and Samsung do regular business with each other during the manufacturing of their products. (Apple is one of Samsung’s largest buyers of chips and screen displays for its devices.) The lawsuits taking place all over the world will create more tension between the two companies who in the end rely on each other to develop their final products for the marketplace. Apple depends on Samsung to produce parts for its devices while Samsung uses that revenue to fund the research and development of its own devices.
Ultimately, in lieu of the legal proceedings and accusations from both companies the issue concerning whose argument is more justified comes into question. Does Apple have the right to use any legal means possible force out competition? Is Apple attempting to create a monopolistic presence in the tablet and smartphone industry? The same questions apply to Samsung. Should both companies find a way to come to an agreement and survive among healthy competition? From a consumer standpoint, it would be beneficial to see both Apple and Samsung participating in the smartphone and tablet industries. This competition would offer greater variety and flexibility in regards to devices as well as keep prices down (especially for Apple’s products which are already marked up between 117% and 147%.[iv]). These are only a few of the many questions that will be asked throughout the legal proceedings. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is apparent: the computer industry is growing at an ever increasing pace and we are very likely to see these sorts of disputes starting to occur on a regular basis in the coming future as companies like Apple and Samsung compete for market share.
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**Due to technical difficulties we recently had to switch domains and transfer all of our website content.  Please keep in mind that while we have been publishing articles for two years, the published dates shown may not reflect the initial publish date.

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