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Three Lessons I Learned from the Apple/Samsung Trial

Last week the media outlets were buzzing with news about the trial between Apple and Samsung.

While I am a consumer of Apple products (iPhone, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPod), I also have PC products (Acer netbooks, Dell computers).  Until this year, I was also a Nokia and Blackberry consumer.  So, I think I have a pretty balanced view.

I looked at a number of devices before settling on an iPhone.  Using informal polling of my tech friends, there were two deciding factors for my iPhone final decision: size and time.  I found that devices like the Samsung Galaxy were an awkward size.  They didn't fit in my wristlet.  Yeah, I know that has nothing to do with capabilities, but as a female who lives by her mobile device, the ability to easily transport is a factor.  My iPhone fits in my wristlet along with my other daily needs: Altoids, lip gloss, identification, and of course cash/credit cards.  

The other factor was time.  I work a LOT and I need to get things done - quickly.  

My Apple products boot quick, shut down quick and interact with each other quickly.  For three months, I did a test - I know sort of geeky.  I used my Dell computer and Blackberry vs my MacBook Pro and an iPhone 3G my dad give me when he upgraded to the iPhone 4S.  I tried to run my day - email, setting appointments, reviewing docs, etc. on both sets of devices.  The result of my test is that I proved for me, using the Apple products I gained back more of my day.  Now those of you familiar with All Things Digital and Walt Mossberg of WSJ, I didn't do that type of testing, I don't have the tools.  My results were based on my ability to go to bed at a reasonable time, see friends and family more often and add more relaxation time.  

Even today, I get frustrated when I go to start up or shut down my win7 netbook only to be greeted by the "Please do not power off or unplug…" screen that is applying updates when I just want to get in and work or shut down and get of the train.  Even as I write this post my netbook has been applying changes for the last half hour.  I heard/read that the new ultra books do this better but at this point I don't have a need to try - sorry PC.

Due to my background in technology and my penchant for research, friends, families and clients often ask me for tech recommendations.  I don't make a blanket recommendation, I ask lots of questions and I do mean LOTS about the intended use of said device.  Despite how much I love my productivity with my Apple products, especially my iPhone, I do realize they are not for everyone.  For some I encourage an Android (I gave a Kindle Fire to my dad for Christmas) and recently encouraged a friend to purchase an iPad.  

So back to what triggered this post, the Apple/Samsung trial.  I think sometimes people get caught up on the brand and ignore form/function.   Was Apple allowed to legally take out the patents? Yes.  Good for them being business savvy enough to do it first.  Did Samsung violate the patents?  The courts have ruled they did. Apple, like any other company, has the right to defend those patents.

There is no denying the similarities between products today.  I think it is a great time to be a consumer.  There are many choices at different price points with hundreds of options.  I don't have to be one thing or another, Apple or non-Apple.  I can pick and choose what meets my needs.  The lessons to be learned from this:

  1. Trademark, copyright or patent your idea - you never know, it might become big one day.  The laws allowed the patenting of face, screen and speaker slot, whomever would have thought - Apple did.
  2. If you infringe, own up - you might get hit with a big fine in the end anyway, the initial $1Billion award - need I say more?
  3. Success can make you a target - sort of a tongue-in-cheek lesson here.  There is a lot of chatter about Apple the company and less about the patent law violation.  If it were a mom-and-pop business who went to court to defend their patents, would there be this much discussion?

iPhone, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPod are registered products of Apple, Inc.  Galaxy is a registered product of Samsung.  Blackberry is a registered product of Research In Motion Limited.
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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

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