With truce ‘not likely’, Samsung sets aside $1bn to fight legal wars next year
Sources close to Samsung posit that the Korean electronics giant has no plans to meet Apple halfway in its ongoing disputes and is further bolstering its legal resources to bring the fight to the next level. According to the Korea Times, the two smartphone giants will continue their battles over patent lawsuits for the foreseeable future, despite an example of compromise arising in recent days.
A Seoul-based market analyst told the publication that Samsung will not settle the way that HTC did recently, “considering its market share and optimistic expansion outlook going forward.” About a few weeks ago, a settlement was reached between HTC and Apple, ending an almost two year dispute going back and forth about various patents that had supposedly been violated. The settlement brought a cross-licensing deal between the two phone companies, making various patented features available for usage by HTC in its devices for the next 10 years. The details were kept confidential, but the ultimate takeaway was that all litigations were finally completed.
However, Android Authority reported recently that Samsung has won the right to view the confidential details behind the settlement, of which it hopes will list among its concessions issues that are currently being targeted by Apple.
Even this privilege given to Samsung is enough to show that the creators of the Galaxy S3 are looking for every opportunity to support its case against the iPhone manufacturer, though reports state that Samsung is looking to invest another $1 billion into the legal battle. Furthermore, Samsung has increased its sales projections for the upcoming year, targeting 40 million tablet shipments in 2013 as opposed to 15 million in 2012. It would seem, then, that Samsung is sticking to its guns and will not concede any ground.
While the battles may continue, the market outlook for the future does bring various scenarios to mind. The duopoly between Apple and Samsung continues to grow, but there can only be so much room at the top – should the two top manufacturers get too caught up in their own arguments, it is possible that other competitors will take advantage. Of note is LG Electronics, which recently made a splash with its currently sold-out Nexus 4 and its powerful offering of the Optimus G.
Securities analysts believe that if LG manages to create a hugely popular device in the coming year, Apple and Samsung might have to rethink their strategies to take on a new threat. While it might not lead to an ultimate end to their ongoing saga, it will at least perhaps put the two companies back into perspective. Though it is admittedly the most idealistic scenario, perhaps Apple will “hold its hands out” to an ever-growing Samsung and the two will finally move on from their problems and refocus on remaining the top dogs in the smartphone market.
For now, however, we will have to continue watching the battle of Apple v. Samsung. While their battles haven’t really affected consumers directly, there is always the fear of the next court date proving otherwise. December 6 is the upcoming meeting of the smartphone minds after the fallout of August’s verdict that leaned in Apple’s direction – included in the day’s agenda are a potential motion by Apple to ban as many as eight Samsung devices in the United States and one from Samsung hoping to completely throw the entire case out.