Apple And Samsung Make Up

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Apple and Samsung have agreed to withdraw all legal cases against each other outside the United States. The two rivals have sued each other over a range of patent disputes in multiple countries outside the US, including the UK and Germany.

Apple vs SamsungA joint statement by the two companies said the agreement "does not involve any licensing arrangements", and they would continue to pursue existing cases in US courts.

This rapprochement may be another sign of Apple’s new self-confidence and post-Steve Jobs identity. It was Jobs who originally declared global thermonuclear war on Google, which has largely been played out through the proxy of Samsung, the dominant Android-based vendor.

Such actions rarely end well for any participant (except the lawyers). Apple’s 1980’s actions against Microsoft achieved little until Jobs himself brokered an agreement, which included the company’s (non-voting) investment in Apple, and a commitment to Office for Mac.

So this move, which may predicate a similar agreement in the US, can only be a good thing, allowing both companies to focus on their business. It may also be significant that Samsung appears to be stalling, threatened by upstart Chinese Android vendors, and increasingly needing to find a set of differentials that its Google partnership cannot deliver.

Strategically Samsung may yet regret the last three years or so, as it has largely forfeited its $7B processor business with Apple for short term smartphone success that without its own platform may just slip away to China. With its “own” OS, Tizen, probably too late to the game, who would rule out a partnership with Microsoft as the lead vendor for Windows Phone 9?

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