Sometimes you’re better off losing than winning…
Oh, the ignominy. The sheer, utter humiliation. Samsung go to court to prove their tablets aren’t a blatant rip-off of Apple’s iPad, and what does the British judge say?
The judge says they win. He agrees that their products are not the same as Apple’s. He says, and I quote: “They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.”
And then he says, in what must have felt like a belligerent, ungloved slap across Samsung’s corporate face: “They are not as cool”.
Ouch. Poor old Samsung. In the techo world, there is no greater insult that being called uncool. It’s the ultimate putdown. It’s like when American Idol judge Simon Cowell used to tell warbling contestants “you’d be lucky to sing in the piano bar of a Holiday Inn”.
Apple has been playing the cool card since 1984, when it famously showed us, with the aid of an ‘80s chick in short shorts, that the year 1984 wouldn’t be like George Orwell’s 1984.
Then in the era before the iDevice and the supreme coolness of pretty much everything designed in Steve Jobs’s twilight years, there was that series of Mac vs PC ads.
In that campaign, the Mac was represented by a dude in a T-shirt, while the PC was personified by a middle aged schmuck in an ill-fitting grey suit*.
Yes, Apple have been cool for a long time and still are, even if there are now countless gizmos, many of them cheaper, which do pretty much exactly what the iThingos do and look the same.
Similar court cases will soon be heard in Germany and the Netherlands. Samsung should hope they actually lose this time. Bugger the legal ramifications. The payoff from the coolness will more than compensate.
And by the way, if they do lose they should remind themselves that there’s nothing that wrong with being a copycat. After all, as Steve Jobs himself said, “Creativity is just connecting things”.
*Author’s note: at least the uncool guy in the ad didn’t have the usual symbol of total loserdom: baldness.
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