Samsung’s Lee responds to Apple

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

Samsung’s Lee responds to Apple

테스트

Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics (second from right), tours Samsung headquarters in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul, with Jay. Y. Lee, who is Samsung’s president and the chairman’s son (second from left). [YONHAP]


Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, went to work yesterday at company headquarters in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul, for the first time since the complex was completed in 2008. (Lee mostly works from his residence or a Samsung reception hall in Hannam-dong.)

When he left for the day, reporters swarmed him, all wanting a comment on the issue of the day: Apple Corp.’s “copycat” lawsuit against Samsung smartphones.

Lee responded by quoting a proverb: “When a nail sticks out,” he said, “[people] try to pound it down.”

The nail was an obvious reference to Lee’s company, and the pounding was coming from Apple. A Samsung executive later parsed Lee’s comment for the press: “[Such incidents] are like a rite of passage that the company has to go through in order to continue its growth.”

On April 15, Apple filed a lawsuit alleging that Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers infringed on 16 patents and trademarks for its iPhone and iPad, copying product designs, user interfaces and packaging.

On Wednesday in the United States, a top Apple executive said Samsung had “crossed the line.”

“We felt the mobile communications division at Samsung had crossed the line, and after trying for some time to work the issue, we decided we needed to rely on the courts,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook told financial analysts during a second-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Outside Samsung headquarters yesterday, Chairman Lee told reporters these kind of squabbles were common in the brutally competitive world of electronics.

“[It is usual for companies to] give and take technology,” Lee said. “Not just Apple. Companies that don’t have much to do with us, companies that aren’t even electronics companies, are increasingly keeping Samsung in check.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken several jabs at Samsung. Last month, when he introduced the iPad 2, Apple’s newest tablet PC, Jobs joked that 2011 will be the “year of the copycats,” referring to Samsung and other companies. Last October, Jobs said tablet PCs with 7-inch screens would be “dead-on-arrival,” in an apparent reference to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. (The iPad’s display is 9.7 inches.)

Samsung normally doesn’t respond to barbs from rivals, but it is changing its game plan. In addition to Lee’s comments yesterday, Samsung said it was mulling legal retaliation against Apple.

“We think Apple has violated our patents in communications standards,” Chung Jae-woong, a spokesman at Samsung Electronics, told Yonhap News Agency. “We are considering a counterclaim.”

Apple’s Cook did say in the conference call Wednesday that the strong relationship between Samsung and Apple will continue.

“We are Samsung’s largest customer [for liquid crystal display panels and semiconductors] and Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us,” he said.


By Kim Hyung-eun [hkim@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

이건희 회장 “세계 모든 회사가 삼성 견제”

서울 서초동 사옥 첫 출근
“기술은 주고 받는 것”
애플 소송 제기엔 담담

이건희 삼성전자 회장이 21일 서울 서초동 삼성타운 집무실로 출근했다. 이날 오전 10시쯤 마이바흐 승용차를 이용해 전자 사옥 본관으로 출근한 뒤 새로 마련한 42층 집무실에서 오후 3시까지 근무했다. 2008년 말 서초사옥이 완공된 지 2년 반 만의 첫 출근이다.

이 회장의 출근은 이례적이다. 이 회장은 지금까지 서울 한남동 자택이나 외빈 접대 장소인 승지원에서 업무보고를 받고 지시를 내렸다.

지난해 12월 1일 ‘자랑스런 삼성인상’ 시상식 때 서초 사옥에 처음 들렀지만 집무를 보지는 않았다. 이날 이 회장의 첫 출근은 삼성이 국내외에서 견제받는 시점에 이뤄진 것이어서 주목된다. 특히 최대 고객이자 경쟁사인 미국의 애플이 삼성의 스마트폰과 태블릿PC가 자사 제품을 베꼈다며 특허침해 소송을 제기한 상황이다.

이날 출근은 전격적으로 이뤄졌다. 퇴근 직전, 기자들이 "왜 오늘 오셨냐”고 묻자 "특별히 할 일이 없어서…”라고 농담조로 얘기했다. 그는 출근 후 애플의 특허 소송을 포함해 그룹 전반에 대한 얘기를 들었다. 기자들에게는 “처음 듣는 얘기가 많았다”고 했다.

점심은 42층 접견실에서 미래전략실 팀장들과 중식으로 진행됐다. 인상 깊은 얘기가 있었느냐고 묻자 이 회장은 “회장이 인상 깊은 얘기를 들으면 안 되지. 비슷한 얘기를 자꾸 반복해 듣는 것이 윗사람이 할 일”이라고 답했다.

“삼성이 위기인가요”라는 질문에 이 회장은 “위기요? 삼성이 위기라고 생각하세요?”라고 되물었다. 평소 위기를 강조하던 것과는 사뭇 다른 모습이었다.

애플의 소송 제기에 대해서는 담담한 표정으로 “기술은 주기도 하고 받기도 하는 것”이라고 답했다. 그는 특히 “애플뿐 아니라 전 세계에서 우리와 관계없는, 전자회사가 아닌 회사까지도 삼성에 대한 견제가 커지고 있다”면서 “못이 나오면 때리려는 원리”라고 풀이했다. 이 회장은 “앞으로도 계속 출근할 예정이냐”는 질문에 대해서는 “가끔”이라고 짧게 답했다.

More in Social Affairs

Civic group sues Seoul gov't to stop Gwanghwamun project

Emissions check

Injunction gives Yoon his job back, at least temporarily

New virus cases stay below 500, but officials say surge isn't over

[Shifting the paradigm] Academia faces brave new world

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now