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2011 Samsung memo: Beating Apple is our #1 priority; Apple threat is "urgent"


Courtroom exhibits in the current Apple/Samsung trial show that Apple kept close tabs on Android. A Steve Jobs email from 2010, for example, has the Apple co-founder calling 2011 a year of "holy war" against Android. What's more, Phil Schiller was particularly frustrated with a slew of popular Samsung advertising efforts.

But the Apple and Samsung dynamic is more of a two-way street, with a recently released internal Samsung document showcasing that beating Apple was a borderline obsession for the Korean tech giant.

In a slide first published by Re/Code, we see that from Samsung's perspective, "beating Apple" was the company's "#1 priority." Driving the point home, the slide in question states explicitly that all high level initiatives should be viewed in the context of beating Apple. The top line doesn't mince words either, stating that the "threat from Apple is extremely real and urgent."

The slide also details Samsung's rather successful effort to "continuously" promote the "Galaxy" brand across the entirety of its product lineup. The slide also notes that Samsung, to successfully lure customers away from Apple, needs to take steps to understand why consumers buy iPhones in the first place and develop tailor-made strategies on a carrier and retailer level to counteract the appeal of Apple products.

On a related note, an internal Apple slide deck from 2011 highlighted Apple's own concerns with diminishing iPhone growth rates, a phenomenon in part attributed to Android device manufacturers like Samsung spending "obscene" amounts of money on advertising.

So why is this important exactly? Besides, isn't it only natural for two rival companies to keep close tabs on one another? Undoubtedly, but Apple will attempt to argue that Samsung was so preoccupied with "beating Apple" that they were willing to do whatever necessary to achieve their goal, even if it entailed infringing upon Apple's patented technologies.

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