A poorly redacted copy of the Apple/Samsung US preliminary injunction ruling has revealed that Apple’s own market research shows buyers of iPhone, iPad and its other devices are unlikely to jump ship to a rival manufacturer, and in fact Samsung’s rise comes primarily at the cost of other Android devices. Filed after Apple’s request to have Samsung’s phones and tablets blocked from sale in the US was denied, the original document – since yanked and replaced, but not before Reuters grabbed a copy- masked rather than deleted aspects of the ruling Justice Koh had sought to hide from public review.
Much of Apple’s case – at least as publicly reported – pivoted on the idea that Samsung’s “slavishly copied” phones and tablets would eat into iPhone and iPad market share. The Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy S II and other devices should be blocked from sale, Apple’s legal team argued, because they represented a significant danger to Apple’s market and were based, illegally, on design concepts the Cupertino company had protected.
However, Apple’s own research among consumers suggests that this is not in fact the case. In fact, Apple shoppers are unlikely to consider Samsung devices, and instead the Korean firm presents the largest threat to other OEMs using Android.
Other aspects of the redacted statement dealt with Samsung’s claims that Apple couldn’t keep up with smartphone market demands, its supply chain being insufficient. However, after reviewing evidence from Apple, the judge decided the argument was “dubious.”
Reports over the weekend, that Apple quietly licensed at least one iOS patent to Nokia and IBM, have also apparently been confirmed, though none of the companies involved will talk about the deal. Samsung was offered a license deal of its own in November 2010, over the iOS software UI, but the judge says “it does not appear” any negotiations were entered into about design patents. Instead, Apple offered a list of design suggestions for Samsung if it wanted to circumnavigate tablet design IP, including making tablets that were non-rectangular and that had busy, confusing interfaces.