In the US, the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit is throwing some interesting light on the business style of the iPhone and iPad giant - including the fact that it's not so averse to market research as it has sometimes claimed.
Famously, Apple's Steve Jobs used to boast that his company did 'no market research', simply creating great products which it had confidence people would take up. Apple has always been positioned as a design- and innovation-led company and it's undeniable that many of its products have performed a lot better than most forecasts thought they would - the latest and perhaps the greatest example being the iPad, which many thought would struggle to find a sufficient niche between smartphones and laptops. However, many have suspected that the role of research in the company was under-stated.
Now it emerges that Apple has indeed conducted extensive market research surveys of iPhone and iPad users - according to Network World's Yoni Heisler, quoted on tech news site www.bgr.com , Apple has battled to stop the details of these surveys being made public, but has now lost the bid, and Samsung will be allowed to use them as evidence in the trial.
In particular, Heisler quotes a declaration to the court submitted by Greg Joswiak, Apple's VP of Product Marketing, which states:
'The surveys reveal, country-by-country, what is driving our customers to buy Apple's iPhone products versus other products such as the Android products that Samsung sells, what features they most use, our customers' demographics and their level of satisfaction with different aspects of iPhone. All of that information is set out in exacting detail in the proposed exhibits. No other entity could replicate this research because no other entity has access to the customer base that Apple has.'
According to Heisler, Joswiak keeps a tight rein on the reports even within the company, allowing them to be released to anyone outside a select circle of execs only with his express permission.
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.