Opinion: Samsung Smartphone Ban Could Backfire and Destroy Apple (AAPL)

August 27, 2012 11:20 AM EDT
Before Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) celebrates its court victory over Samsung, it should take a step back and read through a few pages from a history book. Today management at Apple probably views its courtroom victory over Samsung as a win, but if Apple is successful in banning the popular Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone in the U.S., that victory could turn into a crushing defeat.

Any ban on smartphones is likely to be temporary and while it could hurt Samsung in the short term, in the longer term Samsung isn't going away. Banning one of the post popular electronic devices ever made will certainly create a media spectacle, and it might make Apple look weak and afraid of competition.

There are also important psychological effects Apple needs to consider. Historically people, especially consumers, always want what they can't have. Does Apple really think banning Samsung smartphones are going to keep consumers from wanting to purchase them? That is unlikely, and the ban might even create a buying frenzy. Consumers could snap-up the device before the ban goes into effect, buy on the black market or wait with bated breath for a re-vamped version from Samsung.

The psychological effects of a potential ban should not be underestimated. Pepsi celebrated the day Coca-Cola announced they were changing their recipe. They thought they had won, but suddenly everyone loved Coke more, and Pepsi wasn't celebrating a few months later when sales of Coke Classic went through the roof.

Similarly, the former Soviet government probably thought it was a heck of a good idea to ban American blue jeans. They too underestimated the intense psychological effect the ban would have and the negative sentiment it would create, as 14 year old girls went nuts. This ultimately, to some extent, led to the collapse of Soviet regime.

Maybe this is an overreaction. Maybe the lawyers are right and a ban on Samsung phones will help Apple become more profitable and grow its business. On the other hand, it could blow up in Apple's face in a big way. Apple's greatest asset right now is the goodwill of consumers. If it loses this, the company might as well shoot itself in the face and crawl into the grave. Maybe no one told Apple, but 14 year old girls control its fate, not middle-aged lawyers, and in the case of the Galaxy vs. the iPhone, perception is everything.

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Defending choice, not K...
erik on 2012-09-28 00:41:13
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Undoubtfully Pete, you're a 56 year old idiot. It isn't that Koreans are being defended, it's more like freedom of choice is. Diversity is key, and this is what is being defended.
I should ask you WHY are you defending a so-called "American " company that used heavy poor quality labor, even including children as a part in it? You claim Koreans have been reverse-engineering our products for years, but we've been doing the same thing with German engineering so does that make us equally guilty as well?
Technology is everywhere and I'm sorry to burst your bubble AApl Fanboi, but Apple is no different when it comes to "borrowing ideas", and in may cases has an equally guilty history as well.
Apple knows that people want choice as not everyone is brainwashed into their cultish creepy ways. Get your head out of your old ass and smell the coffee.
So called cheap imiations are everywhere true, but so are higher quality alternatives like the upper tier phones Samsung makes which is a welcome commodity for people wishing to spend less and get more.
I for one am disgusted by Apple and any products that i may have wanted to purchased from them is now nill due to their greedy ways. Perhaps if they weren't so intimidated by better products out there, they should design better ones. spend more time designing and less time litigating.
Btw, when Apple employs American citizens on American soil and produce products by American hands, THEN they can refer to themselves as an American co, as Samsung employs MORE americans here in our land than does so Apple, you old out of touch retard.

Apple is the thief !!
noapple on 2012-08-27 14:08:03
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Ask the former emplyoees of XEROX who worked hard on an OS with mouse and windows only to see Jobs copying it and sell it as his! So who is the original thief??
Did people really expect another outcome from a court case in California where Apple is one of the biggest employers? Apple might be the temporary winner, but in the long run, people will discover its true and ugly nature, and only the brain-washed fanboys will continue to buy their products produced with slave labour in China... grow up people!

What it's about
Pete on 2012-08-27 11:57:34
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This court case was about the Koreans defying US Patent laws. They have been doing this reverse-engineering theft for years and years. And it works because there's always someone who will buy a cheap imitation. My question is, why are you defending the Koreans? Why are you persisting in the defense of copyright violations? I am 56 years old and male, FWIW, and I won't buy cheap Asian rip-offs of products by American companies.

S3 not in trouble
Robbiegod on 2012-08-27 11:52:49
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Also, you mention the Samsung Galaxy S3 in your article, but the S3 is not of the devices mentioned in this case. The S2 and Galaxy tablet and a number of other phones were mentioned, but not the S3. The S3 definitely doesn't look anything like any phone apple has made with its brushed blue metal case.

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