Surely even a lover of all things Apple would not wish to see Apple succeed with its latest move against Samsung, that is a request in the Federal court for a ban on the sale of several Samsung products in the USA.
For sure, you can argue it is a logical move, but the fight against Android that Apple is now engaged in could add words like vindictive and fearful to those most of us instinctively reach for when we think of Apple – smart, design-oriented, user-friendly.
The short piece I wrote on the jury verdict on Sunday has had about a thousand comments now on different sites, equally divided, I think, between those that say: Haydn, you’re stupid (mostly here on Forbes.com) to those that say, the patents are stupid (mostly on Google +).
In the public consciousness, then, the smartness of Apple‘s strategy and the validity of its patent claims are by no means as clear cut as they were in the jury’s.
But leave aside the thorny issue of patent law, and the jury’s grasp of their overall power, does anybody want to spend the autumn reading about how Apple intends to use the judgment to prevent people owning Samsung phones? Because in the end it is in the consumer community that Apple‘s reputation is going to be trashed. It’ what people think of the brand that matters. And where Apple has a huge advantage over Samsung is the values people associate with its products and services. I think Apple puts this at risk by taking the fight in this direction.
As a Samsung user I do not want Apple telling me I can’t upgrade. As an observer of the American tech scene I find Steve Job’s use of the term thermonuclear war, to describe his battle with Google, unfitting for a man of genius and totally lacking in perspective, and the prospect of Apple rolling back the Android open source and developer communities is appalling.
According to legal experts quoted by the New York Times the likelihood of Apple succeeding is very slim. In pursuit of this slim likelihood, Apple will diminish its public reputation. With every new piece of litigation, we will get closer to openly surfacing the dispute between Google and Apple. Does anybody else out there think this as pitiful? Two America icons, two profitable, successful icons, pulling each other apart in public, during this recession?