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Samsung v Apple: Why damages won’t change smartphone landscape

Samsung v Apple: Why damages won’t change smartphone landscape

The news that Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple a further $290 million, on top of the $600 million it already owes Cupertino from a lost patent case last year, comes as no surprise.

Samsung’s infringements have been largely accepted as being grounded in genuine grievances in recent months, as the battle between the two giants continues to simmer.

The two will go head-to-head again next year, in a new case that focuses on different devices.

It’s likely that Samsung will be dipping into its pockets once more, handing Tim Cook even more cash for stealing ideas that have become synonymous with its market-leading smartphones.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (banner)

Apple is clearly delighted. Its statement after the verdict made that very clear.

“For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money.

“It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love.

“While it’s impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost,” the tech giant crowed.

Samsung, while perhaps disappointed, didn’t seem too bothered.

“We will continue to innovate with groundbreaking technologies and great products that are loved by our many customers all around the world,” the Korean phone-maker said.

If that reads like Samsung shrugging its shoulders, it’s because it most likely is.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Life Companion banner

This is a company that is rolling in cash. It’s expected to spend as much as $4.5 billion on marketing in the current quarter alone.

So a $900 million damages bill is not going to cause it too many sleepless nights.

The fact is that Samsung is already in the ascendant.

Apple will be pleased its innovations have been recognised. But consumers won’t care when Sammy is getting in their faces with endless campaigns and delivering products that are consistently as good as Apple’s.

iphone 5s gold

The legal wrangling, for so long a key narrative in the smartphone wars, is now reduced to a background distraction.

The vast majority of tech users couldn’t care less and that will be borne out in Samsung’s sales figures and its continued presence at the top of the smartphone charts.

The story will be the same in the tablet space, where Samsung is expected to overtake Apple in 2014.

Legal victories may give Apple succour, but cold, hard sales will not be affected by the findings of a US jury.

Unless a multi-billion dollar fine is imposed during the next case (which is highly unlikely), everything will stay just as it is.

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