Apple purchasing more Samsung components
By Kim Yoo-chul
A long-running patent fight between Samsung Electronics and Apple is showing signs of a ceasefire, sources familiar with the negotiations said Monday.
"We are trimming down the number of disputed issues. We no longer want to spend time talking about secondary points," said an industry official, asking not to be named. "Both firms are trying to find common ground."
"It's too early to say that the ongoing working-level talks will produce an immediate breakthrough, but we are more practical about trying to find a solution," said the official.
Apple and Samsung recently agreed to cut one of their many patent disputes, according to Florian Mueller of FossPatents and other sources.
He said the two firms filed motions to completely drop all cross-appeals related to last year's U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) ruling that determined Samsung infringed on two Apple patents covering a touchscreen interface feature and a headset plug detection technology.
"The previous USITC decision that nullified the so-called 678 patent — which was infringed on — and a separate verdict that ruled Apple infringed on some Samsung patents, encouraged Samsung to get smarter in its fight with Apple," said the official.
While the import ban against some Samsung devices technically remains in effect, it no longer makes those products, and has already applied "modified technologies" on new phones and tablets that avoid Apple patents.
Meanwhile, Samsung is continuing its partnership with Apple by selling more components, such as displays and semiconductors.
Data showed that Apple was one of the top three clients for Samsung displays in the first quarter of the year.
Apple's portion out of the total Samsung's display sales rose to over 9 percent during the period.
DisplaySearch, a market research firm, said Samsung Display, a display panel unit of Samsung, shipped 5.2 million displays mostly to be used in Apple's 9.7-inch iPad in the first three months.
Bernstein Research also said Samsung is seeing progress in baseband technologies by improving its systems chips with modem and application processors, another sign of normalizing its Apple business.
"As technology shifts toward wearable devices, Apple still wants to keep Samsung as its top-tier parts sourcing channel," another source said.
"The recent release of the Samsung OLED tablet is an indication that Samsung can manage OLED displays to be used in almost all wearable devices, a segment that Apple is greatly interested in."