How Apple Will Leverage the Samsung Verdict
Yesterday we looked at Samsung’s attempts to minimize the damage from Apple’s billion-dollar patent infringement verdict.
Today Samsung is being more circumspect; according to the Wall Street Journal it took last week’s rambling statement, and pared it down to one sentence:
We will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of our products in the U.S. market…
Not exactly rattling sabers anymore, eh? Maybe someone thought it wise to reign in boilerplate PR, and really start asking lawyers what all this means. And not just the lawyers from Quinn Emmanuel who handled the trial.
This is because Apple yesterday identified eight Samsung products that it wants permanently enjoined from sale in the U.S. There is hearing on that motion before trial Judge Lucy Koh on September 20. (Update: it now looks like the broader hearing on all these products will be held on December 6.)
This is where the calendar gets really interesting for Apple. On September 12, most observers expect Apple to announce the new iPhone 5. The best guess by people who make such guesses is that the iPhone 5 will start shipping on September 21. Yes, the day after the hearing on Apple’s injunction.
Now some smartphone market mavens expect Apple to sell more iPhone 5′s faster than any other consumer device in history. One analyst predicts Apple to sell $144 billion of them over its product lifetime (typically one year).
As they say on late-night TV info-mercials: but wait, there’s more!
Apple is also rumored to be readying the release of a new, smaller iPad in October. It would compete against smaller tablets sold by such companies as–wait for it–Samsung. That assumes that Judge Koh doesn’t enjoin their sale first. This iPad “mini” may be priced aggressively, and should sell amazingly well.
If there’s any consolation to Samsung, it’s that it builds components for the iPhone and iPad, such as the processor and memory chips. So maybe it has a sort of an economic hedge against the verdict. (Samsung has reportedly set up an internal firewall to separate the “fight Apple” and “supply Apple” groups. I have to think that some in the latter group are saying “told you so.”)
So when Samsung said it would appeal the verdict, it certainly has that procedural option. And maybe the verdict is overturned in whole (I doubt it) or in part (maybe).
But the media coverage of the verdict may already be worth more than a billion dollars to Apple. We know that the stock market yesterday took $12 billion off of Samsung’s market cap in the first trading day after the verdict.
So I would say that it the court of public opinion, even if Apple eventually loses, it has already won, many billions of times over.
And what does this mean for lawyers and those who want (and need) their attention? I think that by the end of this year, any lawyer worth marketing to or working with will use an iPhone or have an iPad in the house.
And what does that mean? I will start laying out my case tomorrow.
(Until then, here’s an exhibit from the trial…)