"Why are you guys all so down on Samsung? You must admit that they DO make AWESOME televisions, right?"
1. Because Android is the only competitor to Apple in smartphones and tablets.
2. Because Samsung is CURRENTLY the only Android vendor with a large market share.
3. Because Apple fans wrongly use 1+2 to use faulty "if p then q, then if q then p" fallacy to conclude that had Samsung not copied Apple devices two generations of Samsung products ago, then Apple would enjoy the same total dominance of the smart phone and tablet market share that they enjoyed in the MP3 market share with the I-Pod.
Why is "if p then q, then if q then p" thing false? Because the reason why Android is viable is not Samsung's copyright infrigement. Instead, the copyright infringement is merely a reason - possibly the main reason - why Samsung is the most successful Android device line. These folks ignore that had Samsung not copied Apple, another Android vendor (or some combination of vendors) would have simply taken its place. Why? Because the main reason for the success of Samsung (and Android) is not the copying of Apple (at least not copying them beyond such things as having touch screens and app stores, things which cannot be copyrighted, which we learned from Apple's failed lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows) but because Apple devices cost more than a significant portion of the market A) can afford or B) is willing to pay.
So, instead of comparing everything to the I-Pod, the one market that Apple was able to totally dominate, they ignore the more relevant comparisons, which includes PCs (for which Apple has plenty of competition) and set top boxes (ditto).
You can get a good Windows PC/laptop for half the cost of an Apple computer, so that market is never going to go away. It was reduced significantly, granted, but by (Apple and Android) tablets, NOT by significantly more expensive Apple computers. Streamers? Ditto. Roku enjoys basically the same market share as Apple TV because 3 of the 4 Roku set top boxes (as well as both streaming stick options) cost considerably less than Apple TV. People usually buy one of the cheaper boxes, learn to like it, and THEN upgrade to the only Roku that costs comparable to the Apple TV.
And why did Apple dominate the MP3 player market? Because that was the only one where Apple was willing to come out with a low-end device, the I-Pod shuffle. The latest iterations of the Shuffle costs $50 and can be had for as little as $35. The Shuffle made it impossible for competitors to make cheaper but still capable and quality MP3 players to introduce users to a low-end alternative brand that would keep them hooked as they introduced better and higher-end devices. In other words, there was no reason to buy anything other than the best device, especially after Apple made I-Tunes available on cheaper Windows machines.
Whether Samsung infringed or not, there was still going to be a reason to buy an Android tablet or phone: cost. So if Samsung had not succeeded, Motorola or another Android vendor would have. Except that the other Android vendors did not so blatantly copy Apple devices, which means that Apple would not have had a legal tree to bark up and air their grievances against.
Samsung gives Apple partisans a reason to pretend that people who could not afford an Apple tablet or smartphone would have chosen to go without such devices entirely instead of simply choosing a device that looked "merely" 80% like an Apple product instead of 90% like Samsung's did. Which, of course, presumes that the vast majority of the American - and global - population has some "Apple or nothing!" mentality. Which is insane, because even if such a mentality is not their preference, adhering to it even if it means not having a device at all is not in their interests. It is in Apple's interests, of course, but it is not in the interests of the consumer. And consumers are always going to look out for themselves whenever they can.
And since consumers obviously benefit from having devices that they can actually afford as opposed to nothing at all, that is why Apple is never going to win a total, clear victory against Samsung or any other Android vendor. No country is going to leave a significant portion of their consumers unable to buy devices that they want. It is bad for the consumers (read voters in a democracy) and also bad for the economy (i.e. vendors who want to make money selling devices that their consumers want/need and can afford). And it is difficult to claim that Apple is somehow harmed by other companies serving market segments that Apple doesn't even want (other than maybe to sell them I-Pods).
Instead, the Android alternative has "encouraged" (forced) Apple to at least try to come up with somewhat cheaper devices for emerging markets. That move is good for the consumers and developing economies in those regions, and in the long term - as more consumers in those areas enter the middle and upper classes - good for Apple.