Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Internal Samsung memo shows iPhone caused 'crisis of design'


An internal Samsung email presented at Apple v. Samsung proceedings on Monday shows the South Korean electronics giant had what it calls a "crisis of design" when the first iPhone launched in 2007.

During the fourth day of proceedings in the U.S. patent trial, Samsung Chief Strategy Officer Justin Denison continued his testimony by bringing out an internal memo meant to highlight the company's pride and competitive nature, reports Forbes.

According to Denison, Samsung has a "hyperbolic" management style, as evidenced by the memo regarding a "crisis of design" between the company's products and the then-newly-released Apple iPhone. What was intended to put Samsung in a positive light became fodder for Apple counsel William Lee, who noted the comparisons being made between the two companies' products.

In the email, Samsung managers described the difference between their products and the iPhone as being "heaven and earth."

From the email:

Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.' All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide, yet when our [product] is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.

A number of objections from Samsung were overruled as presiding Judge Lucy Koh said Denison's reference to the email in earlier testimony "opened the door" to Apple's questioning.

Lee asked if Denison could provide a similar document regarding a "crisis in design compared to Nokia," to which the Samsung exec said, "No, I can't."

Denison's testimony is a carry-over from Friday where internal Samsung documents revealed side-by-side comparisons of the company's Galaxy S to Apple's iPhone, as well as reports titled "Beat Apple response," "Recent Apple analysis project" and "iPhone 5 counter strategy," among others.