Apple and Samsung may be gearing up for an intellectual property battle in court, but that isn’t stopping the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker from praising the parts supplier. Apple is suing Samsung over design features in the Galaxy, Epic and Nexus smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab tablet device, all of which rely on Google’s Android OS.
Apple COO Tim Cook commented on the relationship between the two companies during Apple’s second fiscal quarter earnings report conference call on Wednesday. While Samsung does build smartphones tablets designed to compete with the iPhone and iPad, the company also supplies components used in Apple’s own mobile devices.
“We’re Samsung’s largest customer, and Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us,” commented Mr. Cook. “Separately from this, we felt their mobile communication division had crossed the line.”
At issue is the look and feel of the Android OS on Samsung’s devices. Apple’s executives and legal team felt that the products included elements that crossed over the line into patents they controlled.
Mr. Cook said they spent some time negotiating with Samsung, but couldn’t reach an agreement on what to do about the company’s designs. “After spending some time trying to work out the issue we decided to go to the courts,” he said.
Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung on April 15 alleging that the company copied the look and feel of the iPad and iPhone “rather than innovate and develop its own technology and unique Samsung style.”
Samsung provides Apple with components such as flash memory and solid state drives that in turn are used products like the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. While the two companies will probably continue with their legal posturing, it isn’t likely that Apple will experience an “unexpected” parts shortage from Samsung over the battle.
Apple announced its second quarter earnings this afternoon with word that it broke its quarterly records yet again. The company reported US$24.67 billion in revenue and $5.99 billion in profit, with 3.76 million Macs and 18.65 million iPhones sold.
Apple is currently trading in after hours at $356.10, up 13.69 (4.00%).