Similarly, Apple loves to have a stiff, authoritarian villain to go up against. The company called IBM 'Big Brother' in the 1980s and attacked it with a famous Orwellian advert directed by Ridley Scott. Later Microsoft fit the role of enemy perfectly, with Bill Gates the square-in-chief and the perceived differences between the companies' customers portrayed in the (rather annoying) 'I'm a Mac'/'I'm a PC' adverts.
None of which fits in terribly well with what we've seen of Apple in this court case. Apple today is a vast corporate behemoth with an army of grim-faced lawyers and a long list of grudges. Apple isn't fighting The Man any more. It is The Man. And for a company as brand-centred as Apple, not being cool any more is potentially costly.
5 The next big thing won't look like an iPad
It's quite possible that this one won't happen. But even as a member of the Apple-focused media, I hope it does.
For too long R&D thinking in the mobile tech space has basically amounted to 'Apple's iPad is making it rain money, so let's make an iPad of our own'. Or the equivalent for the iPhone. But the verdict here - or the verdicts that are likely to follow in the many patent cases sure to follow - could scare rival companies away from following Apple's templates too closely. Which will make life harder for a bit, but in the end could lead to something fantastic.
After all, a copycat product is never going to move the industry forward, or capture the public's imagination. But if Samsung goes away and comes up with something truly original, a form factor we've never seen before, something we never even imagined we needed - something as significant as the iPad, in other words - wouldn't that be great for everyone?
Everyone for Apple, of course. Because responding to genuine innovation is something it hasn't had to do very much lately.
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