The irony of a billion dollar lawsuit: it is all good advertising for Samsung
It is no surprise that the story of the day is Apple's sweeping victory in the US courts over Samsung. What is funny about it is posts such as that by Enrique Gutierrez on Google+. Enrique, it seems, has had an interesting day in Starbucks with his Samsung laptop.
He's commented on listening to other people's conversations about how "Samsung is the same as Apple". Which of course they are not. But for the average Joe in America, right now this legal victory seems to be forcing consumers to look at their spending habits. If Apple can be so sure that Samsung is fundementally infringing, and the courts back that up, then is Samsung basically the same as Apple?
If you want to look at htis in a purely simplistic way, then yes, they are. The courts have deemed Samsung to be consummate copycats and are now being punished. But Samsung's products tend to be cheaper than Apple. But they are just as good, right? The court says so! See where this is leading?
It spells out how little the average consumer knows about the gadgets that they are buying. And that branding is everything. The perception that Apple has all the answers is very pervasive and will evidently lead people to buy a product (and sometimes an expensive product) based purely on the promise that it will do what they want. This then leads to a viral reaction where a person's buying habits become branded themselves. They buy Apple products becasue that is a reflection of them.
I am not sure that the court case can fundamentally change that behaviour, but it will have an impact. Especially where price is concerned. If someone's Samsung QX410 can make someone question why they would pay twice as much for a MacBook Air, that is a serious amount of money. And yes, on the face of it these devices are pretty closely matched. We don't know what Apple has up it's sleeve with the iPhone 5, but I do know that it will not trounce the Samsung Galaxy S III completely. And no doubt, the S III will be cheaper.
They say that even bad news is good advertising, and it would be the irony of 2012 if this turned out to be true for Samsung. It's just that this ad campaign cost over a billion dollars.
The full post is quoted below:
"I'm sitting in a Starbucks doing random whatever over an iced americano. While I waiting for my drink, I watched a guy with his friend, pick up a newspaper; and start to remark on the Samsung Apple verdict.
Guy: "Wait, so what they're saying is, Samsung is the same as Apple?"
Friend: "I know, right? Makes me think twice about how much I paid for my Mac Book"
Not 10 minutes later, a husband and wife, same newspaper:
Husband: "... Samsung's iPad is the same as Apple's iPad, and I paid how much for the Apple one? Honey, I told you they were a ripoff", after looking up the Samsung tablet on his iPhone.
Wife: "Oh wow," looking at the screen, "... that's a lot cheaper. Think we can return it?"
I put my Samsung QX410 on my table, and started to plug in, when he leans over to me, "Sorry, you don't mind if I ask, how much did you pay for your Samsung laptop?"
"Oh, no worries, it was $700." I replied.
I watched shock overcome his face, like actual shock. He looked at me, blankly, for an awkward amount of time, "Mind if I have a look?" he asked.
So, I obliged, and showed him a few things. He commented on Windows 7, so I opened up my virtual machine of OS/X... By the time the conversation was over, he was ready to kick Cupertino in the nuts, I think.
... Now, the punchline:
I'm writing this post after the FOURTH group of Starbucks patrons have made the connection that Samsung is now the same as Apple. They don't know the details, they don't really care, what they know is Apple is saying that Samsung is the same as Apple ... and with one simple Google Search, you get prices that are basically half for what seems to be the same products -- for nearly everything.
Two of these groups (including the husband/wife) asked me about my Samsung laptop, the second group noticed my Galaxy phone (also by Samsung)... Best billion dollar ad-campaign Samsung ever had."