Mike Isaac

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iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo)

At the end of Monday in week two of the Apple versus Samsung case, a damning internal Samsung email was admitted into evidence — an email containing charged language from JK Shin, Samsung’s head of mobile communications. In the email, Shin described the difference in user experience between Samsung and Apple smartphones as “a difference between Heaven and Earth.”

It’s a memo that Samsung didn’t want admitted into the trial, and until now had kept it out. But this morning, when Samsung legal counsel John Quinn mentioned the “crisis of design” moment in a question to Samsung strategist Justin Denison, all bets were off, and the memo was in.

“Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.”

Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case.

And the memo is rife with ammunition. Here’s Shin again, on what Samsung could do to catch up from behind:

“I hear things like this: Let’s make something like the iPhone.”

And again:

“When everybody (both consumers and the industry) talk about UX, they weigh it against the iPhone. The iPhone has become the standard. That’s how things are already.”

And yet again:

“Do you know how difficult the Omnia is to use? When you compare the 2007 version of the iPhone with our current Omnia, can you honestly say the Omnia is better? If you compare the UX with the iPhone, it’s a difference between Heaven and Earth.”

It’s not pretty. Samsung declined my request for comment.

Check out the rest of the very long memo, reproduced in full below:


40_heavenandearthletter


Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage

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