We have seen quite a few reports lately showing the competition in the smartphone and tablet market. While the reports and statistics are generally interesting to see — it seems to go without saying that Samsung and Apple are driving forces at the moment. The other side of the Samsung and Apple story deals with lawsuits. These again, are hard to ignore at the moment.

It seems many of the recent court cases are an attempt at having it look as if Samsung is copying Apple. Or at the very least, taking design ideas from Apple. Without getting super involved in the legal aspects here, a recent NY Times article is showing an interesting side of this story. One that is taking a look at where Samsung has been getting their ideas from. According to statements from Kim Hyun-suk, an executive vice president at Samsung, they are getting “most” of their ideas from the market.

For example, Samsung is said to be spending $10.5 billion for research and development. This equates to 5.7 percent of revenue. Apple on the other hand spends $3.4 billion, or about 2.2 percent. This of course, just goes to show one of the differences between Samsung and Apple, who has been known to avoid market research and instead try to define and drive the market.

Touching back on Samsung, further comments from Kim Hyun-suk include how they believe the “market is a driver” and that they “don’t intend to drive the market in a certain direction.” While this may have some cause as to why Apple claims they are copying, the market research has also been shown to help Samsung.

Take the Galaxy Note for example, market research helped them discover that there was an audience for a device with a larger display and a digital pen — hence, the Galaxy Note with S Pen, which is a device that has proven to be selling well. Bottom line here, it appears as if we have two driving forces in the smartphone and tablet world at the moment. The interesting aspect is that while they are both rather successful in what they are doing, they both appear to be going about it in very different ways.