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You Should Believe In Level Playing Field, Mr. Tim Cook – CEO, Apple Inc. [Editorial]

Dear Tim Cook,

I was saddened to read today that your company has  filed new suit in San Jose federal district court on Friday asking a judge to end Samsung’s release of “copycat products” and urged the court to ban Samsung’s new Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note, thus enhancing the list of Samsung devices to be banned in US from 17 to 21. You have already won $1.05 billion patent suit against your arch-rival Samsung few days ago and still you are not satisfied with this huge victory.

I am not expert in patent laws but what I have understood so far is that you are upset that Samsung has copied some of your designs and features while making their smart-phones especially Galaxy devices, which are their flagship phones and are selling more than your iPhone.

Your problem is not much about the design of the box or some of its copied features but Samsung’s rich R&D experience and power of Android mobile operating system, which has resulted in state of the art Galaxy and other smart-phones. Can you imagine anybody copying your iPhone and few of your features and still be more successful than you? No, it is not possible. Had this been the case, many other companies would have done so by now.

You are filing suits after suits against Samsung because you are afraid of their innovative capabilities and their ability to give many first features and  smartphone devices to address to all segments of the market. On the contrary, till date, you have only one smartphone and that is iPhone, and that unfortunately is unaffordable to majority of consumers. After iconic Steve Job’s premature death, you can’t take credit of developing any new device.

Instead of wasting your time, money and energies on lawsuits, you should spend time with your R&D team to develop new products like smartphones of varying sizes to suit everybody’s pocket. Have you analysed ever why you are not able to sell more of your iPhones? The answer is very simple and that is it is too expensive. If somebody wants to buy an Apple smartphone, he or she will have to buy only iPhone, which is very expensive especially for emerging markets. On the contrary, Samsung has solution for all types of consumers as they have entry-level to high-end smart-phones and one can choose the Samsung device as per one’s budget. You fail customers on this aspect of variety.

With due respects to your country’s judicial system, you may have won the patent suit, but you are looser in othr countries and will remain so as your case is not as strong as it is made out to be. You have lost in Japan and earlier in Germany and in the months to come, you would not get the same liberal judgement in othre countries like that of your country.

There is no doubt that your products are very good and you have your faithful followers who will buy ONLY your products come what may. I use Samsung Galaxy smartphone but your latest iPad, which does not have any match in tablet segment. Earlier, I bought iPod few years ago and despite its rough and tough use by my kids, it is still in good working condition and will remain so in the years to come.

But of late, your company has not been innovative in adding variety to your products and you have taken wrong direction to score victory over your competitor Samsung. If you plan to make life difficult for your competitors by legal battles then they will emerge victorious in the long run by developing more and more products. Even if you eliminate all the competitive products from USA, you will still not sell much of your iPhones and iPads because even in USA, all the consumers can’t afford your products. This is the reason that low-cost Kindles and Nexus tabs are able to sell in good numbers.

Your products sell for its features and brand equity and if you give level playing field to other companies and add variety to your products, you will continue to pose tough challenge to Samsung and other companies. If you do so, you will continue to get respects from your existing and prospective customers and this will definitely convert into sales of your future products. But, if you continue to browbeat  your competitors with legal weapons then your image as an innovative tech company will get beating and you will loose more billion Dollars than what you would win in legal battles.

It is upto you to decide whether you want to be known as an innovative company or as a bullying and an arm-twisting company.




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