29 August 2012

Talking to WSJ ‘Asia Today’ Program About Apple v Samsung

Asia Today LogoYesterday evening we spoke with WSJ Asia Digital Network reporter Deborah Kan, and DJN Managing Editor, Asia Equities, Yun-Hee Kim, about the likely global impact of the verdict in the US litigation between Apple and Samsung (for our initial views on that verdict, see Billion-Dollar Jury Verdict a Blow to Samsung – But How Bad Is It?).

Generally speaking, our view is that the immediate ‘global impact’ of the ruling will be negligible.  The US forms only a relatively small part of Samsung’s market – perhaps 20% at most – and it is the one place in which Apple is clearly dominant.  Figures released during the California trial reveal that Apple has sold about four times as many smartphones as Samsung in the US, and about 25 times as many tablets.  Yet Samsung is still the only remotely respectable competitor to Apple in the US, with all other manufacturers forming barely a blip on the charts.  At the same time, Samsung leads Apple globally in Smartphone sales, implying that non-US markets are far more important to the Korean company.

The US is Apple’s home turf.  It has the advantage there over all of its Asian competitors in terms of both marketing and IP strategy.  A loss in a US Federal Court no doubt stings – and Samsung will fight on – but it is no more than a reflection of Samsung’s overall position relative to Apple in that market. 

In Asia, however, Apple’s relative lack of experience with local cultural and legal norms is sometimes apparent.  For one thing, Asian consumers are clearly less likely to be concerned whether they are buying from a US or Asian company.  And perhaps Apple’s most glaring fumble in dealing with substantive differences in Asian IP laws was its settlement with Proview Technology (Shenzhen) to the tune of $60 million, to acquire the IPAD trade mark in China.  Apple not only failed to ensure that it obtained the Chinese rights (for a much lower cost) in the first instance, it seemingly underestimated the strength of the rights conferred by trade mark registration in China, even when the trade mark owner has no significant ongoing business interests or reputation in the mark.

As the various legal manoeuvrings continue in the US, it will be ‘business as usual’ for Samsung in the rest of the world, even as a number of other international cases continue their slow progress.

You can view our chat with Asia Today below.  Please bear in mind that Melbourne and Hong Kong are a long way apart, and that we are not usually quite so pixelated in real life!


2 comments:

Stan E. Delo said...

Very nicely done Mark, and it was great to get a chance to
*meet* you in a virtual manner. I agree completely about the poor quality of the
video, as I could take a Much better quality video using my (wait for it)
Samsung Full HD 1920x1080 camcorder, which I bought reconditioned for about 300
US bucks.



Then just post it to U-Tube, where Everyone can see it. I
guess their pixelated videos are meant to be exclusive or something, but they
fail when they are so badly done.



Excellent point about the market shares in an
International sense, as most of my inventions will be filed for and produced
here in the US, to hopefully be sold all over the world as the Real
McCoy, instead of just another really cheap and tawdry knock-off that might
break and seriously injure someone.



Samsung has a market potential that probably is twice or
more than Apple's, so why should they care much about a measly Billion dollar
penalty? Apple and MickySoft seem to be terrified of bad press like this, when
it shows up on the telly for days at a time, but Samsung could probably hardly
care any less.



Congrats on the prominent interview Dr.
Summerfield!



Or maybe I should just say Mark...



Stan~

Patentology (Mark Summerfield) said...

Hi Stan,

The interview was initially done live, via Skype, from my study, so the low quality was unavoidable really!

It has proven surprisingly difficult to get some in the non-US media to understand that the international perspective on the case is quite different from the view coming out of dominant US outlets.

For a laugh, see what happened when I challenged the opinion of the editor of local tech news site Delimiter: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/08/29/apple-win-doesnt-apply-to-australia-samsung/

Mark

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