Apple's Schiller: The only reason Samsung succeeded is because it copied us

Marketing boss says it beat HTC, LG, Nokia and co because they didn't copy as much

The war of words between Apple and Samsung heated up last week when both companies took to the stand at the retrial over damages owed by the South Korean firm.

Apple's head of marketing Phil Schiller took to the stand and said the reason why Samsung had been so much more successful than its other Android rivals is because it has copied the iPhone maker much more than them.

“There is a difference,” Schiller said. “One is copying. The others are not – as much.”

Samsung's attorney's have argued that that isn't case at all. Rather consumers have chosen to buy its phone because of the differences. Examples given include larger screens, 4G LTE support and Android.

“Let's talk about why consumers buy Samsung phones,” Samsung attorney William Price said during his opening arguments Wednesday.

“That's really the issue here. I know a lot of you folks love Apple. They make a great product. But there are a lot of people who are diehard Samsung fans. Or more appropriately, diehard Android fans.”

However, taking the stand on Friday, Schiller dismissed Price's claims, and said that Samsung had deliberately sought to ape the design and style of the iPhone.

He said that the reason Apple deserves the damages is because at the time of the infringement, none of the factors Price argued existed or were negligible in their attractiveness to general consumers.

Rather, he argued many consumers saw Samsung's smartphones and identify them as a cheaper way to own an Apple-like product.

“This was an incredibly important time,” he said. “As this [infringement] has been occurring, it's harder for us to get new customers and bring them into our ecosystem.”

He said Apple's approach to marketing its products involves making “the product as the hero”. This includes highlighting the features and capabilities that make its devices different.

However, he said Samsung's deliberate copying of Apple's phone style and looks caused consumers to “question our design skills in a way they never used to”.

He later said copying feature is as damaging Apple as copying 50. “At the end of the day, there's a cumulative effect of doing all of this that's incredibly damaging,” Schiller said.

Samsung however denied that features were that important, with one expert for the Galaxy phone maker claiming that no one bought a smartphone for the pinch to zoom functionality.

“I believe people bought these phones for other features,” Michael Wagner, an accountant and lawyer hired by Samsung said. That includes bigger, AMOLED screens; faster processors; and 4G LTE."

Samsung has admitted that it used the patents without permission. However, it is disputing how much it owes Apple in damages.

Apple has asked for $380 million (£236 million) in damages. Samsung on the other hand says that it should only pay $52 million (£32.5 million).


Ben Furfie is a former freelance writer for who produced daily news stories for the site on tech and gadgets. He also live-managed the T3 Award websites during the 2013 and 2014 T3 Awards. Ben later moved into web development and is now a Technical Development Manager leading a team of developers.