David Prosser: Apple risks another bruising encounter


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The Independent Online

Outlook Is that the sound of a backlash we hear? Apple's rise to global domination began with a cult following for its products among the cool kids – many of whom now appear to be getting increasingly fed up with the company.

Apple briefly became the largest company in the world on Tuesday evening, overtaking oil giant ExxonMobil before stock-market gyrations reversed the order of the top two. Within hours, it had successfully secured an injunction preventing Samsung from selling a rival product to the iPad in the European Union.

Apple is, of course, entitled to defend its intellectual property – though critics claim it buys many of its patents these days – and Samsung is big enough to look after itself. However, this legal row is just the latest in a string of incidents at Apple – from its refusal to talk about succession policy to its draconian response to the leaking of details about its products – that suggest it has got rather too big for its boots.

Once the plucky underdog, Apple seems more like the school bully these days. And that is a perception which could do great damage to the company's biggest asset of all, its invaluable brand.