The Conflict Between Apple and Samsung from a Marketing Perspective

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Conflicts between Apple and Samsung over design patent problems began two years ago just a few months after Samsung started to release its Galaxy smartphone even though they have had good relation that Samsung had provided many components for the iPhone and iPad. Finally, in August 24th 2012 a California ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion because they judged that Samsung infringed intellectual property of Appleʼs iPhone and iPad technology and design. they are, however, still continuing the battle in many countries now. As seen in this case, business would be highly likely to be strongly influenced by eternal environment. Therefore a manager and marketer should always know the environment surrounds their company from a variety of aspects in order to seize a business chance for sure and avoid risk factors as much as possible. It is said that ʻPEST analysisʼ should be one of the effective way to know exterior environment (Abe, 2012). In following paragraph, this essay first shall demonstrate the definition of ʻPEST analysisʼ. Secondly, this essay will outline the conflict briefly, and then examine the potential cause using the Pest analysis. Thirdly, this essay will clarify the marketing strategies of Apple and Samsung, and then inspect the differences of the two marketing methods to be sure why the dispute was caused.

As commonly known, ʻPESTʼ stands for ʻpoliticalʼ, ʻeconomicʼ, socio-culturalʼ and ʻtechnologicalʼ, which are influential external factors on conducting a new project or market research. Political factors includes Laws, global issues, legislation and regulations which might affect the company which you are operating either immediately or in the future. Economic factor includes taxes, interest rates, inflation, the stock markets and consumer confidence all need to be taken into consideration. Social-cultural includes the changes in lifestyle and buying trends, population growth rate, age distribution, ethics and publicity factors. Technological factor includes innovations, access to technology, licencing and patents, manufacturing, research funding and global communications. Jury found that six patents of Apple were infringed by Samsung at issue in the case. The patents which have been infringed by Samsung range from utility patents to design patents(Letzing and Clark, 2012). They judged that all Appleʼs patents are valid and also Apple have not offended any of the five patents insisted by Samsung. The five patents that Samsung have presented range from Standards-essential patents to feature patents(Letzing and Clark, 2012). The verdict will not have impact on their latest products. However, it might have strong influence on Apple, Samsung and even other companies that make smartphones and tablets. It would be harder for entrants to enter smartphone and tablet markets. They will have to reconsider carefully how smartphones and 2

tablets are designed in order to avoid matters like that case. That means that Apple would be able to keep its position in the market and profit margin high. If the conflict between Apple and Samsung is seen from the aspect of the PEST analysis, political and technological factors in particular would be the main elements of the disagreement. According to Limacher(2011), there are broadlydivided into three questions that a firm should think throughout the marketing process. The first question is ʻWhat does the market look like from internal and external perspective?ʼ. The second one is ʻwhom do we want to go after and how?ʼ. The last one is ʻWhat do we sell, where do we sell it, how do we sell it, and how do we gain and retain customers?ʼ. If the two companies, especially Samsung had taken account of these questions with political and technological factors of the PEST analysis, they might have been able to avoid it or minimized the loss at least.

One of the reasons why the battle between Apple and Samsung arose might be attributed to the complexity of patent litigation....
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