Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Apple Designer: We’ve Been Ripped Off

Apple industrial designer Chris Stringer said on Tuesday that his team is offended by the degree to which Samsung and other phone makers have taken the ideas behind the iPhone.

“We’ve been ripped off,” Stringer said. “It’s plain to see.”

Asked by whom he felt ripped off, Stringer said many phone makers, but “Samsung in particular.”

With that, Apple’s lawyers turned Stringer over to Samsung for cross-examination.

Stringer had earlier testified to both Apple’s design process in general and to the specific challenges of developing the iPhone and iPad.

The Apple designer is the first witness in the landmark patent case, following opening arguments from both Apple and Samsung. Apple is suing Samsung for $2.5 billion in damages, arguing Samsung phones and tablets “slavishly copied” the iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies those charges and has counter-sued Apple for infringing its patents.

Update, 4:17 p.m.: On cross examination, Samsung’s attorneys got Stringer to concede that Apple, too, looks at what its competitors are doing. In particular, Samsung introduced an e-mail from Stringer to an Apple iPad product manager seeking an updated competitive analysis document.

“I need your latest summary of our enemies for an ID (industrial design) brainstorm on Friday,” Stringer wrote. “I wonder if there is anything worth noting about the HP/Palm leak.”

Samsung ended its cross-examination getting Stringer to say there was nothing wrong with such consideration of what rivals are doing.

4:24 p.m.: Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller is taking the stand, though court is set to wrap for the day in about six minutes, so we probably will get most of his testimony on Friday.

So far he’s given his name, title and role and confirmed it was he that Steve Jobs sent the vacation photo to at the 2007 MacWorld introduction of the iPhone.

Schiller also detailed the systematic process apple has for introducing new products, a cross-functional effort with the unexciting name Apple New Product Process (ANPP). Marketing is an equal member of the team, Schiller said, because Apple wants to make sure customer needs are represented.

That said, Schiller said the company doesn’t use any customer input into the creation of our products.

“It’s not a customer’s job to know that so we don’t ask them that,” Schiller said.

With that, the jury was dismissed for the day.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google