I guess most of Technode readers are aware of the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. Interestingly, Samsung has just counter-sued Apple for iPad. (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/22/samsung-counter-sues-apple/)
A few days ago, Tim, one of our readers, discussed with me about the Shanzhai iPad. If Apple is suing Samsung, what about the Shanzhai iPad suppliers ?? I think it is an interesting topic, so I share it here:
Any readers wish to share their opinions are welcome.
If any of the Chinese tablets do achieve significant success it would also be interesting to see how Apple would react. If they have the will to chase after Samsung and sue their own supplier it might be interesting to see how they might treat a successful shanzhai player.
I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know if Samsung has broken any laws. But to me, as an end user, I definitely think Samsung’s Galaxy is a copy cat of Apple’s iPhone.
Apple probably is aware of the Shanzhai players, too, but they are too small to pursuit legal action against. So, it sues Samsung. To set example that there are consequence for stealing other’s ideas. Whether the judges will agree with Apple is, however, questionable.
But, in spirit, I am with Apple. Companies should innovate rather than copy what is hot.
Sherman, I think it would be tough for Apple to go after the shanzhai players now for a variety of reasons.
1. As you say… maybe their too small
2. It might be bad PR to sue a Chinese company for selling a tablet when the iPad is not widely available in China
3. Shanzhai tablets are almost a good form of marketing for tablets in general in China which can help Apple raise awareness for their higher priced tablet offerings.
Smartphones and tablet devices are both almost all screen… its going to be very difficult in the courts to decide what characteristics of a hardware design are unique. I think Samsung is a major threat to Apple’s tablet business that’s why they are suing them. Not because their products look similar.
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