Apple’s real target is Google, says ex-executive
By Kim Yoo-chul
A former Apple executive, who was regarded as the right-hand man of the late tech giant co-founder Steve Jobs, said Wednesday that Apple and Samsung will eventually end their legal dispute and reach a compromise.
“The friction between Apple and Samsung is actually more of an extension of the conflict between Apple and Google, namely Android, and although Samsung’s Galaxy products did irritate Steve Jobs as I remember, I believe that Apple and Samsung will reach a compromise soon,” said Jay Elliot in a news conference Wednesday.
Elliot wrote the book, The Steve Jobs Way and worked as Apple’s senior vice president of operations.
Elliot called Jobs’ legal fight with Samsung a “matter of pride.”
“Design was the issue that’s been causing the battle and Jobs was also upset after looking at the design of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones,” Elliot said.
“They’re trying to protect their uniqueness in the market. The phone market was the first market that Apple experienced where they encountered competitors who could match their uniqueness with their own uniqueness,” he said.
Elliot was participating in the ‘Tech Plus 2011” conference at Kyunghee University.
The executive, who is the chief executive of Nuvel, a software firm, said that Samsung requested a meeting but decided not to accept it because he didn’t work for Apple any longer and didn’t want to be portrayed as Apple’s messenger.
“I have no connections with Apple since I am a former employee. Although there was a request from Samsung that I meet with them, the media reports that I had met with Samsung’s overseas sales team is false.”
He left Apple in 2000 after two decades.
The Samsung-Apple battle started in April this year when Apple sued Samsung for “slavishly” copying the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad in its flagship Galaxy devices.
The legal tussle has since expanded to nine countries with 30 cases.
Apple took the lead in getting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 temporarily banned in Germany and Australia. Samsung was also trying hard to get the iPhone 4S banned in several countries, but the attempt was recently shot down in Italy.
Elliot defended Apple over Apple’s competitive edge in the world of smartphones by emphasizing Apple’s capability in applications.
Samsung Electronics became the world’s biggest maker of smartphones in the third quarter of this year in terms of shipments after surpassing Apple thanks to impressive sales of Samsung Galaxy-branded mobile devices.
“Look at the revenue model between Samsung and Apple. Apple sells content and Apple makes AppStore, whose value was worth over $4.5 billion. That means the economic value of Apple is much higher,” he insisted, adding the recently-released Apple iPhone 4S has so far sold over 4 million units.
About possible management changes under the new Apple CEO Tim Cook, he said, “I don’t see anyone on the horizon who has the insight, passion, product knowledge, and the vision of Steve Jobs.
Tim Cook worked at IBM for 10 years, and like me met Steve Jobs after working for many years in the industry.”
“Tim Cook is a stable businessman, and he’s good at implementing plans. He’s proved that by running the company in Jobs’ long absence. Apple is still in good shape, they have a good team, a good system in place, and they’ll be fine,” the former Apple executive said.
In response to a question about the difference between Apple and Google, Elliot said, “I believe that Apple sells content and they
don’t sell ads for the music. Google sells advertisements.”
Elliot talked about Apple’s new plan to advance into the television market, saying he believes Apple’s ultimate direction should be towards the Internet television world called “i-TV.”
“Since Apple sells content, it’s evident that Apple will go into the television business,” he said.