Courtrooms Are Bad for Secrets. Ask Apple
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Apple and Samsung have only beenbattling it out in a California federal district courtfor a little over a week, and court documents and testimony have given some rare insight into both companies' product plans.
Although Apple and Samsung both went to great lengths to try and prevent company secrets from leaking out, their requests to keep some documents out of public view was mainly rejected by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. And since the trial began last week, there has been no shortage of revelations about the two companies.
Here are some of the highlights:
Steve Jobs Was Open to a Smaller iPad
Last Friday, it was revealed that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was open to the idea of making a smaller iPad.
The news came from an email sent in 2011 from Apple Vice President Eddy Cue to Tim Cook, who was then serving as the chief financial officer. Cue's email, which Samsung used as evidence, stated that there was a market for a seven-inch tablet and that Apple should get in on the action.
"There will be a 7-inch market and we should do one. I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time," Cue wrote in his email.
The fact that Jobs may of been in favor of a smaller tablet last year is interesting because it sharply contrasts with what Jobs said on an earnings conference call in 2010, when he called seven-inch tablets "dead on arrival."
The notion that Jobs may have changed his mind about the smaller tablet has spurred speculation that Apple will release a mini-tablet.
Apple's iPhone, iPad Ad Spending
Apple believes in advertising its iPhone and iPads, and last Friday it revealed just how much it likes to spend on those clever ads.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller revealed in court last week that the company has spent about $647 million since 2007 on ads for the iPhone and more than $457 million in two years on ads for the iPad.
Advertising is a major part of Apple's strategy, Schiller said. In fact, Apple aims to "make the product the biggest and clearest thing in advertising," he said.
Apple Considered a Curved iPhone
It was revealed last week that all the rumors that circulated in 2011 about a curved iPhone were not a complete fabrication.
According to a court filing, Apple did consider a smartphone with curved glass, but did not follow through with the design because it would cost too much money to produce.
The technology website Network World discoveredApple's curved glass plans for the iPhone in an older court filing from the case. The filing had lifted sections of former Apple employee Douglas Satzger's deposition where he stated that Apple had "strong interest in doing two pieces of shaped glass."
Douglas Satzger worked at Apple from 1996 to 2008 and was the "Industrial Design Creative Lead," according to the report.
Satzger, however, also revealed that the design did not become a reality because it was too costly and complicated.
"The technology in shaping the glass, the cost relative to shaping the glass at the time, and some of the design features of this specific shape were not liked," he stated in his deposition.
Samsung Thinks iPhone is Heavenly
An internal Samsung document revealed on Monday that the Korean technology company thought Apple's iPhone experience was, well, divine.
The document, which Apple used as evidence, was sent from Samsung's head of mobile JK Shin in 2010. Shin stated in the memo that the difference between the experience on Apple's iPhone and Samsung's devices was the "difference between Heaven and Earth."
“Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off,’" Shin also stated in the memo.
Samsung's defense, however, dismissed Shin's comments as "Hyperbole," and said it was just language used to motivate employees.