Samsung's Loss Could Be Samsung's Gain
The recent verdict in favor of Apple, in its long drawn legal battle with Samsung, has done for Samsung what a billion dollar marketing campaign couldn't have achieved. Samsung was and is all over the news. The judgment has also drawn additional attention to Samsung as everyone wants to see what Apple is so upset about.
While rumors stating that Samsung got back at Apple by paying its $1bn fine using over 30 truckloads of nickels might just be a hoax, Apple's desperation in getting the 8 phones from Samsung's Galaxy line off the shelves in the U.S. could boomerang on them. Samsung fans would dart off for the stores and grab the models they like, want and can afford. And, since in all likelihood Samsung will appeal against the fine and ban, it might just gain from the sales.
Samsung could also gain sympathy on grounds of being the victim and Apple garners negative publicity for wanting to dominate at all cost. A monopolistic demon is one that today's aware consumers are ready to slay.
For the lay person, Apple's stand during the trial only means that there is very little difference between the products. Why then should consumers bother paying the markup on Apple devices? Coming in at about half the price of iDevices, Samsung smartphones, that already enjoy a 32 percent market share, might just race further ahead faster than you could say Bolt.
There are undoubtedly many users who drool over Apple, the company that accounts for just under 19 percent of all smartphone sales. But there are also a significant number of users who dislike it especially for its highhandedness and closed ecosystem. The claim that such an environment helps in keeping their devices secure does very little to alleviate the concerns of users who want to be in control of the device they buy.
News of Samsung shares tumbling this week by 7 percent, the biggest since 2008, and the company losing roughly $12bn in market value after Apple's legal victory may prove to be just a speed breaker in the long run. The openness of the Android platform, clubbed with most of the features that an Apple device can boast of, makes Samsung's devices a hot property.
Improbable as it may be, Samsung could also jack up the prices of the components it sells to Apple and recover the $1 billion in due course. Even if it were to pay up the fine, Samsung might not be as badly hit as some might imagine. In just the quarter ended June this year, the world's top technology firm by revenue reported a record operating profit of $5.9 billion for the June quarter. And none of this seems to have slowed down Samsung. Just days after the verdict, the South Korean electronics giant has revealed its ATIV Family of Windows 8 Mobile Devices, Galaxy Note II, and a new Galaxy Camera.
And like they say about MNCs, Apple and Samsung are just two giants of the tech space, very much in bed with each other and squabbling over trivial details. If at all there is a loser in this fight for supremacy, it would be the American consumer.
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