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Samsung Defeat a ‘Back to the Drawing Board’ Moment

Well, the ongoing battles between Samsung and Apple are fast becoming the stuff of legend and one thing we know for sure, Apple would gladly wipe all competition from the market, so consumers worldwide wait with bated breath on the outcome of each courtroom verdict on the epic battle between these so called giants.

So, today’s verdict, which found in Apple’s favor, awarding them $1.05B in damages is not only a financial blow to Samsung but one which will impact on how it innovates and designs in future.

The ruling found that Samsung had copied several key design elements of the iPhone and iPad and this will surely trickle down to not only how Samsung’s designers work in future, but also several other market leaders.

If the ruling is anything to go on, Samsung will have to do better than draw its inspiration from nature when designing and developing its next range of Android smartphone.  The jury’s final decision was a signal of how similar products really are, at least in the minds of the consumer.  As a result, skeptics believe Samsung will really have to go back to the drawing board and institute a radical reinvention of its smart phones.

Charles Forester, an analyst at Forrester said, “Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board from a design aspect.”

Not only Samsung will be reeling from this latest verdict, many other manufacturers will now be sweating over what this means for not only their products available on shelves at the moment, but many others in the pipeline.  Many will be reconsidering the designs, look and feel of their products.

This latest ruling is so damaging to other manufacturers as it affirms the patents covering crucial elements of the smartphone experience, not only in the look and feel of the device but down to individual features such as pinch-to-zoom on photos to the ‘rubber band’ effect when scrolling on the menu, features many users now take for granted on many smart phones.

The challenge will now be for Samsung and other manufacturers to find new approaches to some of these core functions and sell them to consumers as superior features, whilst at the same time playing catch up to devices and features they already have sold in their devices which have found to have copied Apple.

One thing is for sure, the Korean manufacturer will appeal the latest outcome, and there is every chance the verdict will be over-turned.  In the meantime, they will be working behind the scenes to ensure they are best placed to retain their place in the smartphone market, whatever the outcome.

Samsung undoubtedly has redesigns ready, said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research, but it will still take time to roll them out into new products.

“You can change the shell easily, but there is only so much reskinning that can be done, I’m convinced it doesn’t make sense to throw out the Android UI for a Samsung custom one,” Lopez said.

Michael Gartenberg of Gartner said, “If Apple patents are upheld long term, it will force the industry toward innovation and differentiation, that’s not a bad thing for the market and for consumers.”


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