As you probably know, Apple and Samsung have been battling each other in court over a heated “copycat” lawsuit for awhile now. Apple accused Samsung of stealing the iPhone’s design for Samsung’s own series of smartphones, and Samsung has been retaliating with counterclaims.
Pretty standard stuff. What makes the legal battle between Apple and Samsung more interesting is that Apple has been using Samsung as an internal parts provider for the iPhone. Now that’s about to end. In the midst of this copycat legal battle, it appears that Apple is looking to give Samsung a swift kick to the gut by taking its $5 billion/year parts order business elsewhere.
Samsung Mobile’s chief technology officer, Omar Khan, is leaving the Korean-based company for a job in the mobile division at Citi. Things haven’t been looking good for Samsung, as Apple is starting to gain more traction in the ongoing smartphone lawsuit. In the heat of all this, Samsung has managed to do pretty well in mobile market share, and the company could overtake Nokia as the world’s largest smartphone vendor.
A report from The Globe and Mail claims that Apple and Samsung have become “competitors” instead of “partners,” and that Apple’s best interests will be served by taking its impressive set of electronics supply orders to another manufacturer. Profits at Samsung have been down, and, on top of that, Apple doesn’t want to be affiliated with a company that its fighting in court.
By removing Samsung from the parts supply equation, Apple not only gets to put more distance between itself and Samsung, but Samsung’s sinking ship gets another giant hole. It will be interesting to see how long the smartphone division of Samsung can stay afloat.