Samsung used Steve Jobs' death to gain market advantage over Apple and "attack iPhone"


The Apple vs. Samsung patent trial is treating us with a panoply of curious facts and disclosures. One of the most recent court reports reveals that Samsung purportedly used the death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs as the exact moment to “attack the iPhone” and gain advantage over the Cupertino company, its most prominent rival. Two high-ranking Samsung executives at the time - Dale Sohn, head of Samsung Telecommunications America (STA), and Michael Pennington, VP of STA's sales operations – discussed via email the unintended marketing benefit that Apple gained thanks to Jobs' untimely demise on October 5, 2011.

According to them, the CEO's death helped Apple see an increased amount of pre-orders for the iPhone 4s, which got launched a little after Jobs passed away, on October 14, 2011. However, Pennington and Sohn also viewed Steve Jobs' demise as a perfect opportunity to wage war on Apple, as "one company without core competence cannot generate continuous innovation".


Purportedly, this made consumers regard Apple and its products as superior thanks to Jobs' own “passionate, tireless, perfectionist” persona. Pennington told Sohn that he had seen this far too long and it had to stop, thus an immediate change in Samsung's marketing strategy was needed. Dale Sohn agreed and claimed that the right “time is coming now”.

Moreover, Pennington pointed out that one of Samsung's biggest partners, Google, had to “be as motivated” and collaborate with Samsung on dethroning Apple from its position at the top of the smartphone market. The reason for this is that “Google's core strength, Search Engine, can be radially minimized by Apple's new iPhone 4s implementation of Siri”.

Among the marketing methods that Samsung overtook was a massive PR campaign that aimed to “demystify” the iPhone's superiority and elevate the Samsung Galaxy S II, the company's flagship at the time, in the eyes of consumers. This full-scale marketing war succeeded, as the Galaxy S II made its way to the 4th place in the list of the best-selling smartphones in the USA after several months. However, the first three spots were still taken by Apple-branded devices – the said iPhone 4s, the iPhone 4, and the older iPhone 3GS.

In the middle of 2012, Dale Sohn and Michael Pennington once again discussed Samsung's market position and tried to understand what they did in order to “win customers away from iPhone" and find out where they "failed to win customers away from iPhone” after the launch of the Galaxy S III.

And as the saying goes, the rest is history.


source: AppleInsider

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77 Comments

77. chebner

Posts: 251; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I have 2 questions. 1. WTF does this have to do with patent infringement? How could this ever be admitted as relevant evidence to a patent infringement trial? 2. What is so offensive about the email exchange that would cause anyone to get up in arms about it? The exchange starts on 10/4/11, a day before Jobs died. Samsung's marketing stance at the time was to not attack Apple because that would give them some acknowledgement as someone to worry about. Mike seems to think the i4S specs are weak and Samsung should go on a marketing offensive to show how much better the GS2 was. Dale responds the same day and seems to agree with Mike that they need to go on a marketing offensive because they believe Apple has lost it's mojo. No indication what-so-ever this belief has anything to with Jobs' health. Mike's original email only mentioned the weak specs of the i4s Jobs dies the next day, 10/5/11. Mike responds to the chain at some point (date not displayed), but mentions "Steve's passing" so obviously on or after 10/5/11. Mike speculates the i4s is going to get a sales bump due to the media frenzy surrounding Jobs' death. Shocking!! Then in his own words in is own words Mike paints a very positive picture of Jobs "... since the external messages by 3rd parties are all highlighting and/or supporting the consumer perception that Apple products are superior, since Jobs was such a visionary and perfectionist. What consumer wouldn't feel great about purchasing a device developed by such a person." Then in a new paragraph (i.e. different subject) he goes back to pushing the need for a marketing attack on iPhone. Learn how to read people!!!

75. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

its all dirty business; meanwhile you guys come on here day in and day out to war off products that are profited off of diabolical intent. you continue to make these companies rich and spew your loyalty over everyone like it really matters......

72. Trex95

Posts: 2402; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

And yet Samsung still can't beats Apple even though IPhone 5c outsold S4 Lol.

71. drunkenjay

Posts: 1705; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

I don't get the people who talk smack against samsung because of this email. Was samsung supposed to make a tribute to steve jobs with ads saying "because steve jobs died i think we should buy iphones instead of a samsung galaxy. Its all business, money over anything else. sure it can be greedy but its not as dirty as apple saying everything is new innovation like facetime, a fking joke but hey "it changes everything".

70. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Article title is so very wrong. Hopefully they correct it or change it. Seems PA is just taking sides here.

60. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Untimely death? Are you effin' kidding me Peter K.??? The guy had been fighting friggin' CANCER for a long time. There was nothing untimely about it. If anything it was probably a blessing to end the misery caused by that disease. Couldn't really get past that part once it became apparent that PA was using Steve's death to promote an Apple-sympathy article during the trial.

59. skyline88

Posts: 702; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

ok, whatever. still will not buy or use any product from that hypocrite evil American company.

55. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

This article = Flame Bait. Nobody wanted Steve Jobs to die, Samsung was going to beat apple regardless. Steve Jobs and Apple's mentality of not allowing their OS on other manufacturers was eventually going to fail as consumers want choice.

45. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Seriously this is how I see it, to use symbolism. Steve jobs died, yes, sure, and apple lost its biggest symbol, its flag bearer. Samsung wanted to prove its products and began marketing assault. Apple guys look at the flag and don't pick it up and carry it onward. Customers do not see apple flag bearer or marketing as much as they used to. Customers see samsung marketing. More customers choose samsung then before.... ................. see the problem? is it samsung's fault that apple didn't pick up and carry the flag/marketing? no its not. And while sure it might give samsung an advantage that steve jobs died, these things happen in business, you either find a way for the company to survive and adapt with the change, or the company will eventually die... That said it 'seems' that apple chose option 3, sue sue sue, just sad. Apple, make a product that people want more then they want samsung's products and stop saying that samsung did this this and that, I unfortunately believe that the only reason apple has won is because the court is being held in america, an american product suing a foreign product in america? yeah....and I have tried my best to believe that there is neutrality, but it really doesn't seem that way, any reasonable court in my mind would look at the trials and laugh at it and dismiss it, telling them to just make a better product.

41. egy_dev

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Company does not respect the dead are a company without principles so i will not buy any product from this company

66. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

What??? samsung and google posponted nexus announcement, importantly the announcement of ICS the important milestone in android's history...

32. riginal

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

This article is lame & the title is even more lame, written by an ifanboy obviously

29. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Steve Jobs was a slime ball...funny how America celebrates him so much..if they only knew the truth about him...

26. RodStiffington

Posts: 32; Member since: Feb 20, 2014

This is applicable to the current patent trial how? It's just Apple leaking confidential court documents to a fan site to create bias towards the defendants. AppleInsider is "reporting" on these leaked e-mails, masquerading as a news agency.

23. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 2012

oh Jesus tap dancing Christ, wtf is this shiat???

21. Danini1112

Posts: 70; Member since: Jun 22, 2013

Really bad, really from PA.

16. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

have respect for the deceased man. really.

15. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

Email communication is from Oct 4th...Jobs died on 5th....did they know that Jobs gonna die next day? They already knew that Jobs left Apple as a head of all Apples innovation - they mentioned crappy iP4S leaked spesc - they knew about their upcoming better specced SAMSUNGs future devices so it is normal business plan to attack something weaker. If Jobs dead or alive. So how they used Jobs dead to gain market dear PA? Funny though how he asks if ICS is comparable to iOS5.

25. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 897; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

+1 to you

47. iampayne

Posts: 322; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

Have you ever used Outlook. The day the message is sent is above the message itself. The Oct4 date you are looking at is for the message below it. You see those grey lines, that groups the messages. Good job champ.

13. linaresx

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

WAIT A MINUTE!!!! You mean to tell me that Samsung is in business to make money?? Shame on you Samsung.

10. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

the more i know about samsung, the mroe i look down on it

2. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Samsung has zero morals and ethics , taking advantage of the death of a man is pathetic

3. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

Reading comprehension. Train it.

35. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Smart marketing is a way too take down apple but apple won't admit they are afraid and hate too loose their consumers plus sales. Big deal Apple get over it.

4. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Samsung, Google, and MS paid their respects to Jobs when he died. What Samsung did in this article was business, nothing more.

17. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

The e-mail doesn't sound like business. It sounds like a group of thugs looking for an opportune time to pounce on their victim. If you get robbed at night, it's only business right? It was dark and you had a Mercedes (not saying you have one.. just creating a scenario) in your driveway! Perfect opportunity and timing with a little business was all it was! Paying respect the mafioso way. Show up on the funeral, then try to kill the mans family the next day. That's not respect.

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7694; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Are you for real? Well clearly you believe in Apple. So you probably like how greedy Apple is then. You probably also like the fact that they charge $100 for each storage increment.

20. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

I'm unbiased. If Apple provides what I need, I use it. If windows phone provides what I need, I use it. If Android provides what I need, I use it. I've used all 3 ecosystems extensively and intend on purchasing from all 3 whenever I damn please. I'm judging Samsung based on it's merits. It's previous officials have already admitted on numerous occasions that they copy other companies extensively and very rarely produce anything of there own. You can look that up. Samsung, is a disgusting company based on their actions. Do I have anything against Android? No. Windows OS? No. iOS? No. Samsung? Yes.

19. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 897; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Do you expect Samsung to stop doing business becoz someone died? Was samsung not in business before Steve Jobs died? Grow up man.. Touchscreen mobile is not the only business both the companies do. Even before touchscreen mobiles arrived, Samsung & Apple were in business of electronics and were in their prime at that time. Can you blame someone to start a business for its expansion.. This article is limit of bad-journalism... Too Bad PA.

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