Apple vs. Samsung: The smartphone war summarized

Apple vs. Samsung has been the biggest smartphone slobber-knocker of the last half-decade. It has resulted in massive profits for both companies, and massive amounts of litigations between them. Apple believes Samsung, once a close manufacturing parter, and Google, once a close services parter, learned from the iPhone how to make a modern smartphone and then used that knowledge to clone the Android-powered Galaxy S series. Samsung and Google contend Apple hasn't a case to stand on. So how do we condense all those years, devices, and proceedings into one cohesive telling? Luckily, Vanity Fair has made it so we don't have to:

From what they heard, one of the Samsung employees there had even swallowed documents before the investigators were allowed in. That certainly didn't bode well for Apple's case; how, the Apple lawyers said half-jokingly among themselves, could they possibly compete in a legal forum with employees who were so loyal to the company that they were willing to eat incriminating evidence?

The entire situation is insane and in many ways, and well worth a read. It'll be even more interesting to see what happens when the iPhone 6 goes up against the Galaxy S5 this fall...

Source: Vanity Fair via Daring Fireball

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • LOL
    IOS related sites always compare the fall release of an iPhone to the 6-8 months old Galaxy phone when Apple had plenty of time to make a better product.
    Android related sites always compare in May when the Galaxy phone has top of the line hardware and Samsung had the time to copy all the gimmicks apple used on the previous iPhone.
    Basically both comparisons are useless. The only point in time to compare is when your contract runs out :-)
  • All well and good had Samsung sold the predicted 100 million S4 phones last year. They didn't, selling a mere 40 million.
  • how exactly is your comment even remotely related to this article?
  • Sure, Apple has won $1+ billion from Samsung. Big deal. See you in court (again).
    Microsoft earns $2 billion *every year* from Android via patent licenses:
  • This may have been the biggest blunder Apple has done in the last decade. They basically reduced their iPhone patents to pennies on the dollar.
  • Now all the SEPs belonging to google and Samsung are worth nickels.
  • Oh, and there's another war on the horizon: Samsung vs. Google.
    Google doesn't like what Samsung has done with Android (e.g. TouchWiz.)
    And Google doesn't like that Samsung is the only viable Android handset maker. What to do? What to do? How can Google regain control of Android?
    Aha! Silver! Their third attempt, or so, at getting rid of all that bloatware crap:
  • Samsung is hardly the only viable Android manufacturer. They are, however, a major portion of the Android handset market share. I'm just waiting on Samsung to go all in on Tizen and see what pans out. Posted from my TARDIS!
  • actually I think Samsung is the only one that consistently makes money, at least out of the big manufacturers (HTC, motorola, sony, LG).
  • Samsung certainly considered it a war from the moment Apple entered the phone market. As they had done in other markets, they did not hesitate to "fast follow” (i.e. blatantly rip off) Apple's lead. I think the cultural divide blinded Apple to what Samsung planned. Even so, I doubt there's anything they could've done even if they knew in advance. Google, on the other hand, stumbled into a war with Apple. They acquired Android as a defense against Microsoft's early strength in mobile. They most certainly would rather have kept their relationship with Apple as close as it once was. I don’t think they anticipated Apple’s response, but I'm not sure they really had any choice except to do what they did. Again, Apple probably could not have done anything to stop Google even if they had known sooner. So war it is. The question is whether Steve Jobs' public calls for raining destruction on Apple's enemies was more than PR and whether Tim Cook and Apple's board feels the same today. I'm guessing Cook's cooler public persona belies a deep passion for fairness. He may not use Jobsian tactics to wage war, but wage it he will. The next few years will be very entertaining.
  • My gun is bigger than your gun. Lets see how many customers we can get to go back and forth. I ask this question..."who really wins and/or who really loses?".....the consumer pehaps?
  • The losers are the inventors and not sure the innovators as for the users, they are the winners because they enjoy whoever come up with the best.
  • "Reminder: Apple vs. Samsung Is Just a Professional Fanboy Fight" Headline is all you need to know.
  • It was a very interesting article. More about how Samsung is a sketchball company, but worth the read. I ended up re-watching the the 2007 iPhone keynote after reading it. It's amazing what we take for granted today, but the iPhone really was a giant leap forward.
  • Read it earlier someone mentioned it on AppleInsider. Great read. One thing's clear Samsung will continue to steal whether it be televisions, vacuum cleaners or the 'next big thing.' Sent from the iMore App
  • Just finished reading the article from VanityFair website link... I was shocked of how Samsung's work of ethic... It is ridiculous... They just steal iphone's features... They copy it, sell it... After got lots of profits from it, they started to make their own features.... I mean, they are what they are now because of Apple.... Just samshit... Sent from the iMore App
  • What if Apple knows what it's doing? Imagine that. As does Samsung, which will simply persist in copying and selling whatever it chooses, using lawyers and courts to do whatever it is they do. Samsung couldn't care less. But Apple? What if massive legal costs are precisely what Apple uses to ward off death by mosquito bites? Really, what choice does Apple have? The moment it quits aggressively defending and acquiring IP, thousands of little IP insects will begin sucking blood out of it in court. If so, the more maniacal Apple looks, the more like a bloody nutcase (think Cheney) willing to go thermonuclear on costs, the better. And what are the net legal costs, after taxes? Likely we are the ones paying the bills for both these "titans."