updated 04:37 pm EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Rivals filling voids iPhone isn't, sales team member says
Although Apple has outwardly projected an image of total confidence in the iPhone, and criticized competing devices, some people in the company have been worried about advances made by rivals, according to an internal document presented during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. "Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems," an Apple sales team member wrote in a document for a FY2014 offsite meeting. The person also noted that all of the growth in the smartphone industry is coming from big-screen models over $300, or from devices under the $300 mark. The iPhone is neither cheap nor equipped with a large display.
The document, brought up today during cross-examination of Apple marketing head Phil Schiller, also argued that Android-based competitors are "spending 'obscene' amounts of money on advertising and/or carrier channel to gain traction," and that carriers have a vested interest in limiting iPhone sales, in part because they have to pay high subsidies on each unit. Schiller responded by saying he doesn't agree agree with much of the document, and that it doesn't represent Apple policy.
That statement may have been undermined, though, by a 2013 email by Schiller himself, in which he suggested that Samsung advertising was having a serious impact. "I watched the Samsung pre-superbowl [sic] ad that launched today," he wrote. "It's pretty good and I can't help but thinking 'these guys are feeling it (like an athlete that can't miss because they are in a zone), while we struggle to nail a compelling brief on iPhone."
Another piece of evidence used earlier during the cross-examination was a 2011 email from then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs, telling other people in the company that a meeting of the top 100 executives should concentrate on Apple fighting a "Holy War with Google."