For anyone even remotely connected to the smartphone world, it is common knowledge that Apple and Samsung are the fiercest of rivals. There have been various times when Apple has blamed Samsung of copying their patents and both the companies have gone to court more times than anyone cares to remember. But according to some new developments, it seems possible that both these companies might be looking to find some common ground to settle their differences.
The supposed peace talks of the past between the two companies haven’t really panned out but a new report from Korea Times suggests that it might finally be possible. An unnamed industry official has stated that the companies are trying to trim down the disputes while trying to find common ground, and that they are being ‘more practical’ in order to find a solution.
Another report from Florian Mueller from FossPatents makes this suggestion more realistic by stating that all the cross-appeals by both the companies related to the US ITC’s ruling of the headset plug detection and the patent of touchscreen interface violated by Samsung.
So what are the factors motivating this hunt for peace?
It’s not the countless amount of money spent by both companies during those endless lawsuits, as many may think. It rather has to do with Apple’s wish to keep Samsung as their partner for components and displays.
It has been heard multiple times during all those lawsuits that Apple was to stop using Samsung’s components and that Samsung was going to cut Apple off from its list of partners. But that hasn’t been the case in reality, with Apple’s purchases of Samsung components increasing by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
Korea Times also reports that Apple is looking to make use of Samsung’s OLED technology in their wearable products. Samsung also produces many other vital components for Apple products, the most important of which is their processing package.
It is quite ironic to note that despite all the differences and this cut-throat attitude toward each other, Apple is still one of the three top clients of Samsung’s for their displays.
So we can conclude that this may just be the reason that both companies have decided to call it quits, as it would be near impossible working with each other if the tension between them keeps rising.
What would it mean for both companies to settle?
For Apple, the refusal to settle with Samsung would be more about marketing than money. Apple has time and again blames Samsung for copying something of theirs. While the ones with a deeper knowledge of affairs may not believe that, the common consumer does. And these headlines defaming Samsung lead to the consumers making certain assumptions about the brand:
• They believe that Samsung products are just mere copies of Apple’s hard work.
• They start thinking of the brand as morally corrupt.
• And as for Apple, they think it to be the better company as it is fighting for what is right.
This is not in order to take sides with either Apple or Samsung, but it is quite obvious that Apple’s claims tarnish Samsung’s image. For Samsung, settling would mean that they give up and accept everything Apple blames them to do, and in doing so Samsung loses its reputation in the smartphone world. So by not settling, Samsung can show the people that it is not wrong and it keeps on fighting for what is right.
That’s the main reason why this situation becomes more difficult. Both the companies have to lose something in order to find this common ground. Only time will tell how far these claims for a peaceful agreement go, and whether these two rivals can actually work something out or not.
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