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