Daum, a Korean portal site, announced the most popular search words of the year 2012. Let us check them from No. 1 to No. 10.
No. 10 : Samsung VS Apple, Patent Litigation
The reason why this keyword became popular is that Samsung Electronics is Korea’s largest corporation. About 10% of market capitalization in Korea is dominated by Samsung Electronics alone, and with related companies counted, it reaches even 20%.
Thus, Korean media is sensitive to the news related to Samsung. Naturally, the biggest news in this regard was a lawsuit battle between Samsung and Apple. Apple made a lawsuit against Samsung, arguing that Samsung’s Galaxy S had copied various elements of Apple’s iPhones. The U.S court partially accepted it and reached a verdict that Samsung pay $1.5 billion in damage. Various other lawsuits are also underway.
It is true that Samsung copied Apple products. Samsung’s official documents made public by Apple suggest that Samsung copied considerable parts of iPhones. For more details on the lawsuit, let’s refer to Wikipedia.
What is Korea’s response, then? As Samsung is their biggest advertiser, newspapers have not openly criticized Samsung. Ordinary people, however, are rather critical. Not a small company but as a company whose market capitalization is within top 30 worldwide, it’s not something Samsung should have done, they argue. At the same time, however, some people point out that, in such a small country as Korea, it is difficult to bring innovations like Apple and therefore that Korean companies can’t help but to depend on copying to a certain extent.
In the end, Samsun was not much hurt. The products, for which it had to pay damage due to the problem of copyright, were all old ones and thus not suspended from sales. Furthermore, Samsung became a rival with Apple, which helped Samsung raise its name value. Afterwards, Samsung quickly increased its market share in smart phones and now remains number one in smart phone productions.
Furthermore, Samsung’s business strategy has received favorable evaluations. Because of its strategy, Samsung is often called a fast follower. It is often contrasted with Nokia or LG that failed to be quickly adapted to the smart phone environment. The image below well reflects this situation.
Trivia : For some reason, Samsung phones are more expensive in Korea.
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