Samsung and Apple Abandon Talks, Commit to Total "Nuclear" War
May 24, 2012 3:02 PM
(Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC)
Steve Jobs gets his final wish, companies appear ready to fight to the death in court
Apple, Inc. (
) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
) have made it clear that they're over cooperating and are gearing up for total war.
I. Samsung and Apple's Settlement Talks Collapse
The Korea Times
, the phone industry's two largest players, and two of the world's largest intellectual property owners, walked away from the
despite the efforts of
Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero
to encourage their chief executives to work out a compromise. With settlement talks failed the "nuclear war" will begin with Apple's trial, which is scheduled for July 30.
For Apple and Samsung the cost of battle may be enormous. Both companies could see their products banned, at least temporarily in certain regions. Samsung may be forced to abandon billions in chipmaking revenue it takes in from Apple on a yearly basis.
And Apple may be forced to find a new
supplier for its smartphone CPUs
. With past trials
reportedly not going well
, that could mean
and fewer upgrades for the iPhone.
Apple CEO Tim Cook
in his company's
last financial report
, commenting, "I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it we just want people to invent their own stuff."
Whoever wins in Samsung and Apple's full-blown court war could have a monopoly on the mobile market. [Image Source: The Telegraph]
But despite the seemingly promising signs early this month of a bilateral agreement to
cut the number of patents asserted
in the companies' lawsuits against each other, the pair could not reach a cross-licensing agreement, as both handset makers believed the other should be paying it licensing fees.
With Apple scooping up large LCD screens for its iPhone 5 (Samsung is the
world's largest display manufacturer
), the two companies' mutual business has reportedly ballooned to $12B USD for 2012 (up from $8B USD in 2011), even as the pair's public relationship has appeared to deteriorate drastically.
II. Steve Jobs Gets His Wish -- Full Blown "Nuclear" War With Samsung
But ultimately the two companies' leadership seem to believe they stand more to gain by destroying each other, versus working together.
Samsung current has
a larger slice
of the smartphone market -- 29.1 percent compared to Apple's 24.2 percent in Q1 2012. But Samsung trails Apple in profit,
making just $4.45B USD in profit
, compared to Apple's $11.6B USD haul.
Samsung's attractive models beat out Apple in unit sales. [Image Source: Shootspeak]
Both companies control close to two-thirds of sales and
99 percent of mobile profits
, and their cases are built on questionable legal foundations from a technical perspective. Samsung is suing Apple mostly based on wireless standards patents. But Samsung should be obligated to license those patents to Apple under the "
fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory
" (FRAND) rules that govern standards patents.
currently under investigation
for its questionable discrimination of Apple licensing-wise.
Apple on the other hand, may have a bit of a case against the original Galaxy S, which narrowly mimicked the iPhone 3GS in case appearance and GUI (much more than any other Android).
(Click to enlarge)
Samsung's TouchWiz version on the Galaxy S (left) presented a near identical interface, visually, to the iPhone 3GS (right). [Image Sources: Slashgear (left); Ubergizmo (right)]
But Apple's case becomes much more tenuous when you consider that Samsung’s newer handsets bear far less similarity in case appearance or GUI to Apple's new handsets.
Still patent disputes are often less about technical merits and more about the persuasive power of a company's pricey legal team. In that case, “Apple v. Samsung” will be fought by lawyers when it goes to trial this summer in U.S. federal court.
But one thing is certain; the collapse of settlement talks would have greatly pleased the late Apple founder Steve P. Jobs, even if his company ends up losing this war. He vowed near his time of death to
send Apple into full war mode
and destroy Android at any cost -- or perish trying.
Steven P. Jobs' dying wish of "thermonuclear war" with Android has been fulfilled.
He commented, "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Well, that "nuclear" war is now almost upon us.
The Korea Times
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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