On the topic of competition, Apple's CEO Tim Cook recently told Charlie Rose that he viewed Google as their top competitor. When pressed as to why it wasn't Samsung, Cook noted that it's Google that supplies Android to Samsung, and others. C'mon Charlie, did you really think that Cook was going to give Samsung the satisfaction of hearing that they're really Apple's number one competitor? Samsung ripped Apple off and were found guilty of patent infringement not once but twice in a US Court. Yet while these two tech giants are at odds with each other, they remain somewhat civil with each other in public That can't really be said of LG who, putting it mildly, hates Samsung's guts and are willing to strike out in public to make that point. In this report we'll fill you in on the latest antics carried out by an LG exec against Samsung that had me laughing in stitches.
I love slapstick. I used to love watching Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Keystone Cop movies. The closest thing to it since has been the crazy antics of Kramer on Seinfeld that ended in 1998. I'm a sucker for people banging into things and falling. It's the same thing every time, but if it's done well, I start laughing. It's an automatic response. Well, a couple of news reports out of Korea over the past few weeks or so had me really laughing. While it wasn't classic slapstick, for business it was as close as it gets.
According to a Korean report two weeks ago, an executive form LG Electronics Inc. was being questioned by police in Germany for allegedly damaging products of rival Samsung on purpose at a Berlin mall.
The executive, whose name was withheld, was reported to the local police by shop clerks at the SATURN Berlin Europa-Center after being spotted breaking the doors of four Samsung Crystal Blue washing machines.
The LG executive reportedly first denied the accusations, but CCTV footage showed him pressing down on the doors of the machines until they would not close properly.
You really have to hate your competitor, when an executive no less, goes to a retail store and bends the doors of a competing washing machine to give the impression that Samsung products lack quality control. It's so crazy that it had me laughing. I mean, you have to imagine this exec sneaking into a store aisle, looking around frantically, opening Samsung's washing machine door, and like a crazed beaver, start ripping at the door until it was bent out of shape. It's Candid Camera at its best.
While I found that exceedingly funny, Samsung didn't. On Sunday, Samsung asked the prosecution to investigate senior officials of its home rival, LG Electronics, on suspicion of intentionally damaging its products at a shopping mall in Germany.
Samsung said that it had waited until all related officials returned to Korea to seek an investigation instead of pursuing the case overseas, considering the controversy the incident can cause.
A Samsung official stated that "We concluded that we had no choice but to ask for the judiciary to make a judgment to confirm the actual facts. We need to find out the truth to establish the fair rules of corporate competition."
Just when I thought the joke was over, Samsung took it to the next level. Did Samsung really say "Fair rules of corporate competition"? Really – with a straight face? From those who were found guilty of patent infringement against Apple twice in a US Court and who continue to refuse to pay up? Yet somehow a few bent doors on a few washing machines in Germany sent them up a tree?
That's lunacy beyond lunacy wrapped around a helium balloon. The act by an LG exec and the response by Samsung was one of the best business oriented slapstick-like comedic sideshows I've ever heard. I mean, it's right up there with a good old fashion Ukrainian Parliament slugfest.
The Korean report in closing noted that the two tech leaders, who compete in products ranging from smartphones to refrigerators and personal computers, have gone to court against each other before. They fought in 2012 over who had the bigger capacity refrigerator, the bigger market share for air conditioners and patent rights for display products.
In the end, Tim Cook side stepped all that lunacy this past week in his interview with Charlie Rose by simply denying that Samsung was a competitor to begin with. I mean you have to admit that it certainly beats Tim Cook sending Eddy Cue out to Best Buy to sneak into an isle and madly stomp on a few Samsung Gear watches when no one was looking, right? I thought so.
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