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Tim Cook never wanted to sue Samsung

While Steve Jobs talked of thermonuclear war, Tim Cook wasn't keen on suing Samsung.

By Yoni Heisler on Fri, 02/15/13 - 11:01am.

As Apple and Samsung remain embroiled in a number of legal disputes around the globe, Steve Jobs' threat to go thermonuclear against Android doesn't seem to be working out in a manner he hoped to envision. Quite the contrary, Android is now more than a worthy adversary to what was once Apple's iPhone domination. And, specifically, Samsung's lineup of Android-based smartphones continue to sell like hotcakes.

At this point, there's really no turning back - unless of course Apple chooses to settle. And notably, various court filings have indicated that Apple is open to settlement negotiations, but the terms they want proved to be too onerous for Samsung to accept. Apple did, however, reach a settlement deal with HTC.

In any event, while Steve Jobs' ire vis a vis Android is well known, a recept report from Reuters relays that current Apple CEO Tim Cook never wanted to sue Samsung in the first place.

Tim Cook, Jobs' successor as Apple chief executive, was opposed to suing Samsung in the first place, according to people with knowledge of the matter, largely because of that company's critical role as a supplier of components for the iPhone and the iPad. Apple bought some $8 billion worth of parts from Samsung last year, analysts estimate.

In various earnings conference calls, Tim Cook has repeated that he hates litigation, but has still toed the party line by exclaiming that Apple welcomes innovators but doesn't like when other companies rip off their intellectual property.

Nevertheless, Apple and Samsung do need each other. With billions at stake, the two companies find themselves in an akward position of being extremely close business partners and extremely bitter competitors in the marketplace. Not surprisingly, there have been a bevy of reports indicating that Apple is attempting to shift manufacturing of its AX chips to TSMC to lessen its reliance on Samsung.

One interesting tidbit from the report is that Samsung's close relationship with Apple may have played a part in Samsung's eventual emergance as a super successful purveyor of smartphones.

The companies built a close relationship that extended to the very top: in 2005, Jay Y. Lee, whose grandfather founded the Samsung Group, visited Jobs' home in Palo Alto, California, after the two signed the flash memory deal.

The partnership gave Apple and Samsung insight into each other's strategies and operations. In particular, Samsung's position as the sole supplier of iPhone processors gave it valuable data on just how big Apple thought the smartphone market was going to be.

"Having a relationship with Apple as a supplier, I am sure, helped the whole group see where the puck was going," said Horace Dediu, a former analyst at Nokia who now works as a consultant and runs an influential blog. "It's a very important advantage in this business if you know where to commit capital."

Which, of course, speaks to Apple's neverending quest to control all of the primary technology in its products.

via Reuters