With court-madated settlement talks between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung scheduled to begin tomorrow, Samsung Mobile's JK Shin took a moment to discuss the potential for resolution. According to Reuters:
"There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options including cross-licensing," Shin told reporters at Seoul airport shortly before his departure for the United States.
Asked about the prospects for Samsung's memory chip business, Shin said the 4G chip shortage was expected to continue until early in the fourth quarter of this year.
While Apple and Samsung are suing each other over patents, trade dress, and other infringements real and imagined -- Apple accusing Samsung of being mobile's biggest copy cat and Samsung fighting back on technology, and standards, grounds -- they remain massive manufacturing partners. Many of the components in Apple's mobile devices, and some in their computers as well, are made by Samsung.
Apple recently claimed Samsung was destroying evidence, while also trying to bar Samsung from entering Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography as evidence.
Although analysts had hoped Tim Cook might be a less fiery and litigious CEO than his predecessor, Cook turns out to be every bit as serious about patent disputes, and cold as ice.
For their part, Samsung has denied allegations that they're a copy cat, despite the uncanny similarities to Apple products that keep popping up.
Apple reportedly gave their manufacturing partner, Samsung, fair warning before going "thermonuclear" on their competitor, Samsung, in the courts.
Unlike Microsoft, which is seeking -- and in large part has obtained -- licensing fees from manufacturers in a bid to make Android as "expensive" as Windows Phone, Apple's goal doesn't seem to be financial -- they don't want Android looking or working like iPhone. They want to out litigate and out innovate the competition.
That might make it unlikely a settlement will be reached, unless Tim Cook does do things differently and shows a willingness to take money in lieu of design concessions -- or Samsung's patents force the matter.