Samsung escalates war on iPhone 5 as launch looms

September 20, 2012

Samsung released a new ad Wednesday that takes direct aim at the Christmas-morning atmosphere that’s started at Apple stores across the world. The ad is taking off on the Web, and has 3 million views on YouTube.

The ad, which follows a print ad that argued the iPhone had far fewer features than Samsung’s Galaxy S III, returns us to the same lines that it visited during its spots for the Galaxy S II. And it makes the same argument, “The Next Big Thing is already here.”

Essentially, the ad tells Apple users that the screen and LTE connectivity that they’re excited about is already on the Galaxy S III.

Insulting the customers that you’re trying to lure to buy your phone may seem like a strange tactic, but the ad does a good job of setting up the divide in a way very much like the “Get A Mac” commercials.

Yes, there are features on the Galaxy S III that aren’t on the iPhone. And if what you want in a phone is a really big screen and an NFC chip, then it’s true that the iPhone probably isn’t for you.

But by taking direct aim at the iPhone, Samsung is stepping up its battle with Apple — something it’s also doing in court.

Samsung also said that it is planning to add the iPhone 5 to a list of devices it says infringe on the company’s patents in an upcoming court case against Apple.

The Korean company said in court filings Wednesday that it is likely to add the iPhone 5 to its court case in the Northern District Court of California.

Samsung told the court that it will come to a decision after it has had “reasonable opportunity” to examine Apple’s new phone, but that it “anticipates” that it will find reason to consider the phone in its court case.

In a statement, Samsung said, “We have always preferred to compete in the marketplace with our innovative products, rather than in courtrooms. However, Apple continues to take aggressive legal measures that will limit market competition. Under these circumstances, we have little choice but to take the steps necessary to protect our innovations and intellectual property rights.”

How will the possible addition affect consumers? Well, while the smartphone may be folded into the legal battle between Apple and Samsung down the line, it should have clear sailing as it makes its way to store shelves Friday.

The fallout from legal battles has affected product launches in the past.

An International Trade Commission ruling delayed sales of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE in May. The ITC found that several of the company’s devices had a feature that impinged on an Apple patent — one that allows users to call a phone number in, say, an e-mail or text message by tapping on it. The two phones were cleared for sale after a review, and launched just a little later than expected.

A jury ruled on a separate case last month that Samsung had infringed on Apple patents in a different IP case, and ordered that the company pay Apple over $1 billion in damages. This lawsuit, filed in February, deals with intellectual property on a number of technologies involving phones, media players and tablets.

Related stories:

Apple stock closes above $700

Samsung denies Galaxy S4 is coming soon

Post Tech: ITC hands Apple initial victory in Samsung’s patent suit

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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