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Apple should get down on its knees and thank God for whatever corporate traitor gave it Samsung’s internal iPhone vs Galaxy S1 comparison document.

I’m sure that you have seen some of the stories floating around about Samsung’s internal document detailing basically how the iPhone rocks and the Galaxy Samsung S1 sucks. I’ve read the entire document, and I’m almost literally speechless.

(I said almost.)

Let me offer a blinding flash of the obvious and mention I’m not a lawyer.

But I think it spells hellish legal agony for Samsung if the jury takes even a cursory glance at just a few pages. And an expert did tell VentureBeat just a few days ago that juries in “look and feel” patent cases will sometimes just simply eyeball the competing products to make a call.

Here’s your chance to play jury, without the hassles of showing up in court for $20 a day. I’ve included some screenshots below — okay, a lot of screenshots below — but they are all basically variations on one unchanging and massively damning theme:


Don’t believe me? Think I’m overreacting? Take a look for yourself:

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I’ve managed products selling tens of millions in annual sales, and I have been in product development meetings where we’ve been late to market on an innovation and needed to catch up. And we did exactly what Samsung did: Study the market leaders, identify their strengths, and remedy our weaknesses.

But two things were different.

First, no product is perfect. And that includes the iPhone (anyone who wants a quick way to turn battery-sucking Bluetooth on or off on a non-jailbroken iPhone knows this). So in any product comparison, teams I participated in always found a few places even in the best products that were suspect or weak where we could take advantage.

Second, even very good is not the best. The iPhone is very, very good … but it could use some improvement. Apple does so with every iOS release. And the job of a competitor is to stand on the shoulders of whatever giants it can find … and move the sticks forward. To make progress.

In this document at least, Samsung makes zero attempt to do either. Page after page says: Do it the way iPhone does it.

And that kinda plays right into Apple’s point about “slavish” copying.

[ update ]

After reading some of the comments below, I went through the Samsung document again, picking out instructions that specifically mention iPhone or iTunes:

Page 73: “provide a diverse user guide manual like iTunes.”
Page 79: “support toggle method like iPhone.”
Page 81: “the concept has to change to be like iPhone.”
Page 95: “enable registration/editing of lyrics like iTunes”
Page 98: “enable one button access like the iPhone.”
 Most of the copy instructions are not so explicit and don’t mention iPhone, Apple, or iTunes. But they almost all show Apple screenshots compared to S1 screenshots, complain about something in the S1s, and request a change similar to Apple’s implementation.

Image credit: Complot/ShutterStock

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