Generally when you get slapped with a $1.05 billion fine and the potential ban on your products, it is a bad thing. In the case of Apple v Samsung, Samsung may not have received the short end of the stick after all. As it turns out, the Apple vs Samsung fight in court has had an unintended ripple effect: increased awareness of Samsung products among the general public.
According to Enrique Gutierrez, Chief Technology Office of Digithrive (an eCommerce consultation firm based in Los Angeles, California), the message Apple has sent to the general public through its battle with Samsung is “Samsung products are like Apple products… but cheaper”. Where does he get this seemingly ludicrous idea? Overheard conversations at Starbucks.
Gutierrez was sitting at a Starbucks with his Samsung QX410 laptop and Galaxy Nexus smartphone when he overheard a couple of guys discussing the Apple v Samsung verdict. The following is how that conversation went:
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”
A few minutes passed and Gutierrez heard a couple having a similar conversation:
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?”
The man from the above-mentioned couple had a quick chat with Gutierrez and was amazed that Gutierrez’s Samsung laptop cost $700 (because MacBooks cost a lot more).
According to Gutierrez’s post on Google+, he heard four separate conversations discussing the same thing — Samsung is the same as Apple, but cheaper. If you read the comments on Gutierrez’s Google+ post, you will see he has posted updates indicating that, after made the post, he heard even more conversations of the same kind.
Okay, it must be said Gutierrez is squarely a Samsung/Google/Android fan seeing as he owns a Samsung laptop, Samsung smartphone, and uses Google+. (There is no information on what other devices he owns.) So one could potentially question the validity of his claims. However, assuming he isn’t lying and what he overheard is a general consumer trend across the board, this could be one of the best things to ever happen to Samsung. Or, as Gutierrez puts it, “best billion dollar ad-campaign Samsung ever had”.
Now it should be mentioned the people in the above-quoted conversations are, to be politically correct, morons. Not only do they have no idea what Apple and Samsung went to trial for (news flash: it wasn’t about Macs), but they likely aren’t comparing apple to apples (no pun intended) when looking at Samsung vs Apple products because, as I refuted yesterday, Samsung’s Android products are not “a lot cheaper” than iDevices (Samsung Windows laptops are cheaper than Macs, though).
That being said…
While people like Ashraf may scoff at how uninformed others are, reality is the general public does not spend their time reading about courtroom battles. Rather, most people simply read the headlines. If Gutierrez’s narrative is indeed true (mind you there is no way to confirm or deny his story), then the headlines are telling a vast majority of uninformed consumers that they can buy Samsung and save money but still get Apple-like products. Oops, Apple?