The patent wars between Apple and Samsung are another example of the “push” negotiating behaviour which seems to be part of Apple’s coding as an organisation. Apple has used its patents arsenal to gain a local injunction preventing distribution in Germany of the Samsung Galaxy 7.7 Tab.
Certainly one can see why patents are useful for this kind of purpose – Google’s otherwise baffling acquisition of Motorola only makes sense in the context of Motorola’s stockpile of patents. Here, they are once again enabling Apple to engage in typical “push” behaviour – “stating expectations” about what it will not accept and using “pressure” tactics to get what it wants. This has been their house-style in all their content negotiations too, going back to the launch of iTunes. It’s also pretty much the way they deal with consumers – forcing them to exist only within Apple’s domain and being obstructive when it comes to them porting their content to other devices.
It’s difficult to critique Apple’s success as an organisation to date. However, if all you ever do in negotiations is “push” people around, you will come unstuck eventually. You store up too much resentment and create too many enemies who will either fight you constantly, draining resources and energy, or wait patiently for their chance to take revenge.
The article here (paidcontent.org) refers to the blog by Matthaus Krzykowski, criticising Apple’s domineering approach and suggesting that the tech community and even consumers will come to resent this. There are others Apple may need to worry about too. It owns 80% of the tablet market – cue Regulator interest. And in a post-Steve Jobs world, shorn of his charismatic influence, Apple may find it needs friends more than it previously thought.
For all its success, maybe it’s time Apple re-wrote its negotiation code to include some “pull” and “joining” behaviours too…