The Samsung-Apple relationships is a classic example of a love-in-hate tech relationship. Both firms do a lot of business with each other and Apple is Samsung’s most important client, but both firms also are fierce competitors, battling it out in the very same markets. Up until recently, the relationship was based on mutual benefits but this seems to have taken a turn for the worse this year when both of them began an all out war against each other. Apple has accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its iPhone and iPad, while Samsung has retaliated claiming that Apple has violated a variety of its patents. All this is also part of the wider iOS Vs Android war. Now, Samsung wants to take the battle to the next frontier by trying to ban the sales of the iPhone 4S in France and Italy.
As it stands, both companies have sued each other in 10 countries and are set to meet in courtrooms around the world including the US, Netherlands and South Korea this week. So far, Apple seems to have the advantage, successfully getting the Galaxy Tab banned in Germany, Netherlands and Australia. However, Samsung is no toothless tiger, and while it may not be able to put a huge dent on Apple’s operations, it may be able to inflict significant damage, especially at a time when Apple is struggling to maintain its position within the industry. In fact, Samsung is already closing in on Apple’s sales and may very well be able to overtake the company in the third quarter thanks to its well performing Galaxy S II and the growing popularity of Android, which already controls 48% of the total market share.
Now the ultimate question is how far both these companies are going to push each other. Apple is extremely important to Samsung but its true the other way around as well because changing suppliers now would cost Apple a lot of money in the near-term. Hence, it would be safe to assume that while neither company wants to lose face in this legal battle, they would not want to see each other fall too hard either.