The Macalope Daily: Winners and losers

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Well, the trial of the millenium is all over except for the appeals process (so we should only be hearing about it for eight or nine more years), and it’s hard to declare it anything but a win for Apple.

Unless you go to one of those new-age grade schools where everyone’s a winner, like Robert Scoble and Farhad Manjoo apparently do.

Now, the idea that it was still better for Samsung to have copied Apple and be forced to pay over a billion bucks than to have tried to innovate on its own may not be completely without merit. Is a billion dollars a lot for R&D over five years? Depends on how much the company spent themselves or what it could have done otherwise. These guys sure seem to have a low opinion of Samsung’s ability to come up with an original idea.

Whatever the case, it doesn’t appear that Samsung’s exactly all backslaps and rounds of champagne over the verdict (tip o’ the antlers to Lessien).

“It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us,” a senior Samsung executive said as he rushed into the company’s compound in southern Seoul.

Maybe Scoble and Manjoo’s deep thoughts just haven’t been translated into Korean yet. The Samsung folks will probably be all smiles once they get the good word.

Andy Ihnatko thinks “the biggest losers here are consumers”, who will be forced to pay more for any phone that looks like an iPhone, because iPhone copy machines like Samsung (feels good to say that with legal backing) will just pass the costs on to consumers.

The Macalope’s no big fan of these patent suits, but he’s much more of a mind with Marco Arment.

Smartphone and “tablet” manufacturers will keep doing what they always do: sell us their products at the highest prices they can possibly charge for them to maximize total revenue.

As Jean-Louis Gassée notes:

Last year, Apple and Nokia settled an IP “misunderstanding” that also resulted in a “Tax”…but it was Nokia that played the T-Man role: Apple paid Nokia more than $600M plus an estimated $11.50 per iPhone sold. Where were the handwringers who now accuse Apple of abusing the patent system when the Nokia settlement took place?

In other words, while this might not be the best thing for consumers—and it certainly isn’t good for competitors who haven’t already come to terms with Apple—this is hardly the phonepocalypse.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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