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‘They took our technology’: Apple CEO stirs up rivalry with Samsung

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Whether you’re team Android or iOS, it can’t be argued that the first iPhone released in 2007 was the basis for the modern smartphone. Apple’s mobile phone was the first to popularize touchscreens, and the company was also the first to launch an application store. Other suppliers quickly followed suit and one of them managed to surpass Apple in smartphone sales: Samsung.
This certainly left a sour taste in the mouths of the company’s top dogs. Perhaps in an effort to downplay Samsung’s success, a company executive says the South Korean giant’s phones were just bad scammers.

The iPhone turns 15

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern has a documentary (through MacRumors) about the evolution of the iPhone since its inception on June 29, 2007. She interviewed top Apple executives, including some who are no longer with the company, as well as a couple whose first child was born on the same day as the iPhone.

When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was asked to make a bigger iPhone after some signal dropouts with the 2010 iPhone 4 due to its small 3.5-inch footprint, he said he wasn’t a fan of bigger phones from companies like Samsung because “you can’t get your hand around it” and “nobody is going to buy that.”

In 2013, Apple started to rethink that as sales slowed. Meanwhile, phones larger than 4 inches were gaining steam.
The leading big screen phones at the time were Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note handsets. Apple responded by equipping the 2014 iPhone 6 with a larger screen and it worked. Never the one to miss an opportunity like this, Samsung was quick to fool Apple for going back on its words.

When Stern asked Apple’s marketing chief Greg Joswiak about Samsung and other Android manufacturers releasing bigger phones at the time, he said he found them annoying because they just produced bad iPhone knock-offs.

Funnily enough, the video starts with Tony Fadell, co-creator of the iPod and iPhone, saying that the company started working on the iPhone after competitors started releasing feature phones with camera and music capabilities.

Apple even sued Samsung in 2011 for copying the design and user interface and was initially awarded nearly $1 billion in damages. The two settled in 2018, but Apple stuck to its stance that it started the smartphone revolution and Samsung blatantly copied its design.

Around the same time, Apple was also engaged in legal battles with manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, Amazon and Nokia, some of whom had been sued and some by whom it had been sued.

When Stern contacted a Samsung spokesperson, they said the company was pioneering many industry firsts, such as large OLED displays, which Apple buys from them, and water and dust resistance. The first few Apple phones were powered by Samsung processors.

Both Samsung and Apple are behind some of the best phones of 2022 and in the end it is a win for consumers if they copy each other’s features.

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