Surprising no one ever, the face of the technology industry was revealed to be utterly hideous just yesterday, when a report from AppleInsider showed that Samsung saw the death of iconic former Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a business opportunity.

While formulating a strategy for the marketing of the then-new Samsung Galaxy S II, Michael Pennington, then-Samsung’s vice president of sales operations and head of national sales for Samsung Telecommunications America (STA), suggested that Samsung devise a marketing campaign that aimed to “use Google to attack Apple… to avoid attacking Apple due to their status as a large customer.”

[NB: There are going to be a lot of names with ‘then’ as a prefix. Nothing we can do about that – it’s what happens when you’re reporting on something in the past within a fast-moving industry. In other words, it is what it is.]

Shortly after, Steve Jobs passed away.

In a remarkable exercise of poor taste, Dale Sohn, then-president and chief executive of STA, commented, “We need to take advantage of this chance.”

Michael Pennington then replied, adding insult to injury by using incorrect grammar for Jobs’ name:

Unfortunately, Steve Job’s [sic] passing has led to a huge wave of press coverage of Apple’s and iPhone’s ‘superiority,’ all created by the, ‘passionate, tireless, perfectionist…’ The point here is the [sic] there is an unintended benefit for Apple, since the external messages by 3rd parties are all highlighting and/or supporting the consumer perception that Apple products are superior, since Jobs’ was such a visionary and perfectionist. What consumer wouldn’t feel great about purchasing a device developed by such a person.

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone.

The documents that display this correspondence were introduced as part of the ongoing, seemingly unending and probably eternal patent trial between the technology giants.

Either way, fearing overshadow-ment (?), the death of Jobs did indirectly influence the marketing approach of Samsung, leading the latter to release a number of deeply unsubtle adverts that blatantly focused on attacking Apple’s cultural image.

If you ever wondered where such vicious playground tactics came from, now you know.

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