By Kim Yoo-chul
Apple is luring away Samsung Electronics' experts in next-generation technology, according to officials at the Korean tech giant.
Samsung say the iPhone maker continues to headhunt its experienced technicians and engineers engaged in signal- and visual-processing management.
"Some of our personnel have been hired by Apple. They now work at Apple's headquarters in San Jose, Calif.," said one official, adding that Apple offers highly-competitive benefits and large annual paychecks.
"Those former Samsung workers are given greater independence to proceed with their tasks. Apple prefers to use Samsung's chip experts because they are very diligent, mission-oriented and are prepared to acquire new knowledge," said another official.
He stressed that the former Samsung engineers have no significant language barriers so their adaptation to the new company proves less challenging. He didn't identify the exact number hired by Apple.
Apple's appetite for hiring former Samsung personnel has expanded to the battery arena as the Cupertino-based company is reportedly developing electric vehicles, which means Apple needs battery experts.
Apple has fewer patents in electric vehicles as it was late coming into the market for the development of those cars.
By contrast, Samsung SDI is one of the few major battery suppliers and supplies its products to BMW and others leading carmakers.
"As the electric vehicle business is a new one, Apple needs patents and experts in battery technology. Top human resources firms have been approaching Samsung's battery experts, individually, and I think such human exchange moves are a win-win for both," said the official.
Apple is still involved in patent disputes with Samsung in the United States. But the two companies are on a full track to normalize their business partnership, as Apple can't completely divorce Samsung given the latter's advantages in supplying mobile DRAMs, application processors and displays on time with better pricing.
Officials said Samsung will strengthen its strategic partnership with Apple in futuristic business projects, as they need each other. Samsung heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong maintains a solid partnership with Apple CEO Tim Cook, they said.