Samsung internal docs declare beating Apple as “#1 priority”

Samsung vs Apple

Apple and Samsung’s new round of patent skirmishes reveal the intensity with which the two biggest mobile tech companies are waging their “holy war.” The newest revelations come in the form of a Samsung memo entitled “2011 Summary and Lessons Learned 2012 Business Forecast.”

The documents, which were spotted by AppleInsider, showed Samsung declaring that “beating Apple is #1 priority” for 2012. The Korean company warned employees that the “threat from Apple is extremely real and urgent.” The memo came out at the end of 2011, when Apple lodged its first patent suit against Samsung. If you want a comprehensive timeline of this whole mess, click here

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 5.20.30 PMTo compete with Apple, Samsung emulated its rival’s strategy of “continuous” branding for its Galaxy phones. In the memo, the company outlined the new branding scheme for its smartphones. “Galaxy S for premium models, Galaxy for other high/mid-tier smartphones,” the document read. The memo also outlined the progression for then upcoming phone models: “Galaxy Nexus rolls into Galaxy Note rolls into GSIII.” 

Samsung predicted that Apple would sell more than 40 million units of the iPhone and corner 21 percent of the smartphone market. This turned out to be an extremely modest estimate since Apple sold more than 125 million.

Aside from the branding overhaul, Samsung also outlined other efforts such as driving “consumer pull” (customers walk into stores asking for Samsung) and maintaining its standing in the premium handset market. To make this happen, the company said it needed to “understand why consumers buy Apple and develop countermeasures by carrier/retailer.”

Samsung’s efforts caused Apple executives worry. Internal emails from Apple, which were entered into evidence in the latest trial, showed concern over Samsung gaining ground. “I watched the Samsung Super Bowl ad that launched today … it’s pretty good and I can’t help but thinking these guys are feeling it (like an athlete that can’ miss because they’re in the zone), while we struggle to nail a compelling brief on the iPhone,” said Apple marketing head Phil Schiller, in an email obtained by Recode.

“Something has to change. Fast,” Schiller added.

The amount of dirt that’s been exposed is remarkable considering the new trial is less than a week old. With $2 billion at stake, we can safely predict more jabs from either side.

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