The consumer electronics company known as Apple has been fighting to aggressively retain their rights and the power within their products for a long time, but most recently in their case against Samsung. Apple accused Samsung Electronics of having stolen the iPhone design, and wanted $2.2 billion from Samsung on the grounds of patent infringement. With the news of Apple being awarded nearly $120 million from Samsung by the jury’s ruling of the case, at first glance, it seems as though Apple has won on every front. That is a doubtful conclusion, however, because it seems more likely that Apple is merely bitter over the prospect of its competitors. Even though Apple is suffering from the lackluster results of its court case, it has plenty of future work to embark on and is pressing forward regardless.
When thinking back to what technology looked like in 2001, many different ideas and products may come to mind. As many people would remember, this was the year that Apple first brought the iPod to market. It is easy to laugh when reminiscing about how the first few iPod models looked, but in all seriousness, the iPod became the household standard for portable MP3 players essentially overnight, and any competing products or companies were often viewed with disdain or mockery.
The iPod design was – and still is – sleek, convenient, accessible and simple, and even the closest of competitors had a hard time staying away from it for too long. Perhaps the most suitable alternative to the iPod, Zune, seemed cumbersome in design and had an interface that was not as easy to navigate. The designs began with a vertical touchpad strip for navigation, but later used a squircle-type design for the touchpad.
It seems that Apple might have allowed their success the first few years after 2001 to have gone to their heads a bit too much, in view of large-scale social acceptance of the iPod. Such a product provided extreme convenience for users, and sooner than later, just about everyone who owned music had iTunes and an iPod. Now that technology and the development of physical goods has been expanding for another 13 years, more and more companies are reaching the ability to make their own smartphones, and Apple seems to be grappling deeply with the fact that their highly revered playing field could be leveling out soon. Regardless of their outcome with the court case, Apple is taking the opportunity to look past their suffering and press forward.
On Friday, Apple purchased LuxVue Technology, a company that develops microLED-based display products for consumer applications, which sounds like a great move for the future of Apple. Being able to push past temporary frustrations such as court battles with competitors will aid Apple in returning to what it does best: designing and selling what are arguably the most recognized consumer electronics in the world. The only part Apple will have to work on in the future is keeping its head down and staying humble.
The acquisition of LuxVue gives Apple the capacity to one day manufacture their own displays, further reducing costs and also likely helping their designs to be updated and perfected more efficiently. Despite Apple’s name being known for quality in a general sense, the quality of its display materials has fallen behind in numerous instances, against such companies as Amazon and Google. But it is a blessing disguised as a curse, in most ways. Apple products have a higher demand than Google and Amazon products, if only because the latter two are not primarily focused on consumer electronics.
When Apple brings a product to market, it needs to ensure that it has enough material for the demand, which is the factor lying at the core of Apple’s previous quality problems. Now, with new acquisitions that will likely enable Apple to revolutionize their production, they may be setting the stage for sales domination yet again. As Apple presses forward beyond suffering from the court case with Samsung, they may prove to be more resilient than is expected, regardless of future troubles.
Opinion by Brad Johnson