I’ve long suspected that Apple’s legal action against Motorola, HTC and, most notably, Samsung has largely been because Android scares the living hell out of them. After reading this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, my suspicions were confirmed when, according to the SMH, Apple’s lawyers have stated to Federal court in Sydney, Australia that “Apple fears the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will launch on to the market ‘with the velocity of a fire hose’ and ‘take away iPad 2 sales so quickly’ that customers may be permanently ‘seduced’ away from Apple’s iOS platform.” Oh boy. This is getting good.
What does this say to me? That’s simple. Apple is scared to death of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and, to a bigger extent, Android.
First, some background information. Let’s ignore the fact that Apple has gone after HTC and Motorola for similar reasons and strictly focus on Samsung. Samsung has been under fire from Apple for a long while as Apple has sought injunctions on the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in several international markets, including Germany, the Netherlands and, fairly recently, Australia. Apple has been successful in blocking sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in two out of three of these markets and is trying to go three for three in Australia. The fear is written all over their faces.
And why wouldn’t Apple be afraid of Android? It’s the biggest player in the smartphone world and is the biggest threat to Apple’s near monopoly in the tablet space and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the best looking Android tablet out there, its design being highly similar to the iPad 2 notwithstanding. Apple sees the potential in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Android and does not want to risk competing with them. So, how do they go about realizing their dream of not competing with them at all? Simple, allege that Samsung has “slavishly” copied its iPad (SMH).
Now I already know what some people are going to say as a counterpoint to the idea that Apple is afraid of Android. “No Android tablet is as successful as the iPad!” and “Apple is the most successful company in the world!” To that I say, I agree. And Apple wants to keep it that way. Apple doesn’t want competition. They want to keep as much of the pie for themselves as they can. Before you think to say “But that’s just business”, relax. I know. Every company wants to do that, but no company in recent years has created as many spurious lawsuits as Apple has. This is Apple’s new way of competing in a nutshell. Don’t compete; just stop competitors from entering the market.
This is what they’re trying to do with Samsung. They don’t like the attention that Samsung is getting and they want to shut them down as soon as possible before they have a chance to cut into their marketshare. They lost their stranglehold on the smartphone market (but still hold a commanding share) and they don’t want to lose the tablet market in the same way. Samsung is their biggest thread and their best bet is to keep them from competing and personally, I think that’s pretty damn low.