John Paczkowski and Ina Fried

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Samsung’s 2010 Report Says Its Galaxy Would Be Better if It Were Just More Like the iPhone

As part of its case against Samsung, Apple has shown snippets of an internal Samsung document comparing the original Galaxy S phone with the iPhone.

On Tuesday, Apple managed to get the whole 132-page document admitted into evidence. And it’s a doozy.

The 2010 report, translated from Korean, goes feature by feature, evaluating how Samsung’s phone stacks up against the iPhone.

Authored by Samsung’s product engineering team, the document evaluates everything from the home screen to the browser to the built-in apps on both devices. In each case, it comes up with a recommendation on what Samsung should do going forward, and in most cases, its answer is simple: Make it work more like the iPhone.

In short, the evaluation report makes the case that the Galaxy (identified here as the “S1”) would be better if it behaved more like the iPhone and featured a similar user interface. And it appears to play directly into Apple’s charge that Samsung “slavishly copied” the iPhone.

Samsung has been trying to make the case that the arrival of powerful capacitive touchscreens pushed the whole industry toward something like the iPhone. This document helps show how one can have a similarly sized slab of glass and still come up short — as Samsung itself concludes it did, initially.

Of course, to win its case, Apple will have to prove not just that Samsung made its phones more iPhone-like, but that it either infringed on the specific design and utility patents at issue, or that it infringes on specific design elements of the iPhone and iPad — what’s known in legal terms as “trade dress.”

In court on Tuesday, Apple called a number of experts to testify that the similarity of Samsung’s products to Apple’s is more than coincidence and constitutes infringement.

Samsung is arguing both that its products don’t infringe, and that Apple’s designs and functions weren’t patent-worthy in the first place.

Anyway, have a look for yourself and you’ll see why Samsung wasn’t too keen on this getting in front of the jury. Here’s a direct link to the document if the embed below isn’t working properly.

Reached for comment, a Samsung representative told AllThingsD that this document isn’t nearly as damning as it might appear: “Samsung benchmarks many peer companies,” the rep said. “In fact, these are typical competitive analyses routinely undertaken by many companies in many industries – including Apple. Samsung stands by its culture of continuous improvement and innovation. We are very proud of the product innovations driven by our more than 50,000 designers and engineers around the world who have made Samsung’s products the products of choice.”


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik