NYT: ‘After Verdict, Assessing the Samsung Strategy in South Korea’

Choe Sang-Hun, reporting for the NYT, talks to Korean analyst James Song:

“Look what has happened to companies like Nokia, Motorola and BlackBerry, which didn’t do as Samsung did,” Mr. Song added, referring to competitors whose failures to adapt quickly to the smartphone boom driven by iPhones have drastically reduced their market shares. “Samsung may lack in innovation, but right now, no one can beat Samsung in playing catch-up.”

Don’t forget Palm, which arguably had the most innovative post-iPhone UI (and I’d go so far as to say, inarguably, the best post-iPad tablet UI), but which completely imploded on the market. “We’re the only ones having any success against Apple whatsoever” is Samsung’s best defense. It’s noble to try something innovative, but that does you no good, ultimately, without market success.

Just playing devil’s advocate for a paragraph. What if Apple is like a sports team that introduced a groundbreaking strategy. Something like introducing the forward pass to football. Is it wrong for another team to copy that strategy? What if the only other team that can win is the one team that most shamelessly copied that strategy? At some point you have to start thinking that the problem is with the (losing) teams that aren’t copying. (Is not the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the rash of MacBook-lookalike PC laptops that these models sell better?)

Monday, 3 September 2012