The real lesson of the Apple-Samsung verdict is that copying Apple worked out pretty well for Samsung after all, according to Farhad Manjoo at PandoDaily.
Manjoo points out that since the iPhone’s debut in 2007, as other smartphone makers crashed and burned (RIM, Palm) or ended up as also-rans (Microsoft), Samsung has become the only real competition Apple faces in the smartphone market — and the only other handset maker to book consistent profits.
And while Samsung’s profits pale in comparison to Apple’s, the Korean conglomerate has profited far more from copying the iPhone than it will have to pay for doing so — even if the judge triples the damage award:
“Samsung has collected about $25 billion in handset profits [since 2007]. If the patent trial ends up costing the company $3 billion of that, it would certainly be a hit. But it wouldn’t be catastrophic compared to the money Samsung did make from copying.”
Of course, that gravy train is now derailed, and Samsung will have to rework its designs to get around the inevitable injunctions against its iFauxn. But the marketshare Samsung will lose in the meantime will be a fraction of the marketshare it would never have enjoyed in the first place if it hadn’t rushed to market with its copycat products. And Samsung will still have more than $20 billion in profits that it would never have seen otherwise with which to fund its redesigns.
So Samsung may have lost the battle, but it certainly didn’t lose the war.