Five Learnings from the Samsung and Apple tussle

The outcome was somewhat expected. So, now that the show is over, its time to move on people.

We see so many rip-offs and so called ‘inspirations’ around us. Design fraternity, irrrespective of the field or industry that they belong to, are filled with people and ideas that are plagiarizing on someones originals. So when Samsung did the same, people really didn’t care much as it was simple resorting to the easy way of getting to the top. But Apple had invested its blood and sweat into its design and it was not going to allow this to happen. Why? Because it had the resources to make life miserable for the ones who did. And thats what happened. They too were smart not to take on the behemoth, that is Google.

The story had had an outcome that resonated across the world and there were opinions and analysis made in matter of hours by anyone and everyone.

My reaction was of relief. Allow me to explain. 

I had been troubled by a question for quite a while now. Since my focus has been users and there experience of products, I was disappointed to see the mobile industry getting into, a sort of comfort zone with benchmarks (tried and tested) designs.

Why was creativity stagnating on design of devices and their experience?

If Apple made the most intuitive UI and fabulous handset, should others not follow suit and aggressively try and outgun Apple with their own design innovation? It seems obvious, but that was not the case, as we all know.

This outcome has positives in it. Let me draw out a few.

First, Companies in the mobility business will have to try harder to design better products. They will have to get innovative and not inspired. This would mean that we will have a lot more flavors out there to choose from. May be not immediately. But sooner.

Secondly, for those who want to beat Apple at its game, they have a mobile handset (just one product … iPhone) and it has commoditized over the years. They cannot risk drastically innovating the experience and disturb the customer base. There is an oppotunity here. Get your acts together and think out of the box to get something new to the customer. Something they are yet to experience. I still believe the Japanese handsets have not yet been dominated in utility and expeirence collectively.

Thirdly, stop thinking short term and think long term. Sony and Blackberry have doomed their mobile brand equity with not-so-impressive handsets that they churned out quarter after quarter. There is a lesson for everyone here.

Fourthly, Please-o-please, do not ignore opensource technology. The demise of Symbian, Meego, Miemo and Bada was unfortunate with a familiar case of lack of vision. Symbian for one could have stayed on with Nokia for their mid and lower range hand set and continued with the innovation. Not every one is looking for a smart phone and not everyone has deep pockets to own one. To add to it, not everyone needs a smart phone.

Fifthly and finally, in this battle for supramacy, remember what the consumers really need and communicate it to them though product innovation.

Back to basics should be the motto for everyone. Or perhaps, back to the drawing board. Its better to be late than sorry, ask Microsoft?


2 thoughts on “Five Learnings from the Samsung and Apple tussle

  1. This looks like if ever Apple had designed a wheel to be round and useful no one else could design a round wheel anymore! Damned logic! How could Apple get away at that stupid stunt with sane people in the world?

    • Though I understand the anger a lot of people have with Apple over its aggressive patent protection policies, it is important to understand why it is doing so. Look at the scenario today. Every one is very cautious not to tread into other’s technology or design ideas. Even the biggest fans of Samsung would agree that they have blatantly copied the Apple’s designs over the years to gain the much needed mileage to reach where they are today. As far as the crazy patent battles go, I think its more to do with absurd Patent laws that exist in the US and the world over. I am more worried about the Patent trolls who hijack a companies business with law suits to embezzle cash though a legally flawed framework.

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