Apple’s Secrets Revealed at Trial

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By Ian Sherr

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Apple Inc., one of the world’s most secretive companies, is finding there’s a price in pushing its grievances against rival Samsung Electronics Co. in federal court: disclosure.

In just the first few days of its patent trial this week, Apple has publicly discussed how it created the iPhone and iPad, showed early designs of the devices and described intimate details about its product team.

It also gave glimpses into its strategy and customers, and each fact—like an internal survey showing that 78% of iPhone owners buy cases—was quickly disseminated and discussed in tweets and blog posts by people tracking the high-stakes case.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of world-wide marketing, took the stand Friday and revealed how much Apple spends on marketing the devices at the center of the case. He discussed a document that said Apple had spent $647 million advertising the iPhone in the U.S., from its release in 2007 through its fiscal year 2011. For the iPad, which debuted in 2010, he put the amount at $457.2 million.

Much of the trial so far has concentrated on how Apple’s design teams came up with the ideas for iPhones and iPads. Apple is trying to prove that Samsung copied its designs, while Samsung is demonstrating to the jury that its devices are different and that Apple was inspired by Sony Corp.’s products.

 

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(Published Aug 4, 2012, in The Wall Street Journal.)