Samsung denies copying iPhone features, claims branding was key to success
The latest instalment in the Apple Samsung trial sees the South Korean manufacturer stating that it did not copy any iPhone features, and that its marketing efforts were what led to the success of the Galaxy series of handsets. Samsung America’s marketing chief Todd Pendleton took to the witness stand to state that branding was what made the difference. He said, “I think people knew Samsung for televisions. But in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for.” He went on to add that even though Samsung had a better mobile device than what Apple was offering with the iPhone 4 at the time, there was an issue of advertising that was affecting sales of the devices.
Pendleton said that this was the major factor in launching the “Next Big Thing” series of commercials. The commercials, which mocked the iPhone and lauded the many features of the Galaxy series of handsets managed to turn things around for Samsung. Apple’s lawyers meanwhile produced an email from Dale Sohn as part of their cross-examination of Pendleton, in which Sohn was quoted as saying: “Beating Apple is no longer merely an objective. It is our survival strategy…. There will be a tsunami when iPhone 5 is coming.” The email by Sohn went on to add that Samsung needed to find a way to counter the threat of the iPhone 5. Pendleton confirmed that Samsung had deliberately tried to deter the iPhone 5 launch as it was evident that it would affect the sales of the Galaxy series of handsets. Throughout the course of the trial, Samsung has been trying to deflect the case from patent infringement to that of malicious marketing. Whether it will manage to convince the jury of that is another matter altogether.