Samsung going full guns at Apple

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Samsung going full guns at Apple


Google’s top mobile executive Andy Rubin, left, and J.K. Shin, president and head of mobile communications for Samsung, hold the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone during a news conference in Hong Kong yesterday. [AP/YONHAP]

J.K. Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile communications division, threw down the gauntlet at Apple yesterday, saying his company would “expand the scope and strengthen the degree” of its legal action in its patent war with the maker of the iPhone and iPad.

“This is only the beginning,” Shin said at a launch in Hong Kong yesterday of the Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone to use the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, which is fancifully called Ice Cream Sandwich. “Litigations will last for a considerable time.”

Shin’s remarks, and the place in which he made them, show the distance growing between Samsung Electronics and Apple and the company’s increasing closeness with Google. The Galaxy Nexus is supposed to be the most viable challenger to Apple’s iPhone series yet.

Step it up a notch

“Samsung Electronics is not weak in terms of our patent portfolio,” Shin said. “We will use all of our capabilities and resources to protect our business, market and products.”

But the Samsung president also acknowledged some costs of the battle. “I don’t think there is much gain [from the litigations],” he said.

Asked why Samsung has been on a legal losing streak in the battle with Apple, Shin said his legal team has to step it up a notch, adding that there are plans to hire more lawyers.

“[I realized that] having technological prowess and being business-savvy aren’t enough, but that legal power is also important,” he said. “In order to be a dominant leader in the world market, it involves many elements.”

Shin said he couldn’t say with certainty that the new Galaxy Nexus wouldn’t be a victim of an Apple legal attack.

“Patents are very complex issues,” he told reporters at a press conference. “It’s hard to identify which technology is patented. So we cannot say clearly and for certain that there is no such possibility, but we did avoid known patents when making the product.”

The legal row between the world’s biggest makers of smartphones and tablet PCs has expanded to 30 cases in 10 countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

Samsung has asserted recently that it will no longer be timid in its fight against Apple, which is also the No. 1 buyer of its components.

Samsung and Google postponed the launch of the Galaxy Nexus in honor of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple who died on Oct. 5. The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 11 in San Diego.

A challenger to the iPhone 4S

The bigger question is if the Galaxy Nexus can seriously challenge the iPhone 4S, one of the last Apple products created under Jobs. Apple said it sold more than four million units during the first three days after its launch.

Google executive Andy Rubin told the press at the Hong Kong event that Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system demonstrates innovation “that works on phones and tablets and everything in between.”

Rubin touted two new features of the Ice Cream Sandwich: Android Beam, which allows the transfer of data between two smartphones by placing them close together, and Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition technology to activate smartphones, replacing passcodes.

The Galaxy Nexus is powered by a 1.2 gigahertz dual core processor compared to a 1 gigahertz processor on the iPhone, and features a slightly larger screen than the iPhone at 4.65 inches.

With the updated software, the Galaxy Nexus offers faster Internet browsing than previous versions, improved cameras and other new features.

The Galaxy Nexus was the first major announcement made by Samsung and Google since the U.S. search giant decided to acquire Motorola Mobility earlier this year.

It is the second Nexus phone built by Samsung and Google following the Nexus S.

Some observers say the fact that the two decided to include the name Galaxy indicates the growing popularity of the Galaxy lineup in the global market.

Shipments of the Galaxy S II surpassed 20 million units since Samsung introduced its flagship smartphone in April.


Jay Y. Lee, chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics and the only son of Chairman Lee Kun-hee, is interviewed by reporters at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul yesterday after he attended a memorial service for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the United States. Lee said he had a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook a day after the service and the two discussed their business relationship and Samsung’s supply of components to Apple products. [YONHAP]

Supply of parts will continue

Arriving at the Gimpo International Airport early yesterday morning after attending a U.S. memorial service for Jobs, Jay Y. Lee, chief operating officer of Samsung and the only son of Chairman Lee Kun-hee, admitted that he had a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The two met at Cook’s office a day after the memorial service and talked about “forming a good relationship between the two companies,” Lee told reporters.

Lee said that there will be no changes to the parts supply deal between Samsung and Apple already signed for 2011 and 2012, and so “the two discussed how Samsung can supply better parts [to Apple] in 2013 and 2014.”

Samsung has supplied application processors - the brains of smartphones - for iPhones, among other parts, but there has been speculation that Apple may ditch Samsung and opt for another supplier after the legal battles.

Samsung officials said Lee’s comments indicate that Apple will continue to get applications chips from Samsung for its newest iPhones and iPads until 2014 - including the iPhone 5, which has yet to come out.

Asked if he and Cook discussed the ongoing litigations, Lee said, “We will continue to compete fiercely in the market - as we have in the past and are at present - and will engage in ‘fair play’ for our consumers.” He added that whether or not there will be additional litigations will be decided by Samsung’s legal team and top executive.

A win for Samsung, finally

Samsung finally tasted some victory in the legal battles with Apple.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, on Tuesday, dismissed Apple’s claim that Samsung misrepresented Apple’s intent to secure licenses for some patents on fair terms. And she granted Samsung’s request to throw out some of Apple’s antitrust claims.

But Koh said Apple can amend its complaint to revive the claims. Also, she still hasn’t ruled on Apple’s request to ban the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy devices in the United States.

Last Thursday, the judge said Samsung’s devices infringe upon Apple’s patents, but also said that Apple has a problem establishing the validity of its patents.

Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in numerous lawsuits since April, which was when Apple filed the San Jose lawsuit against Samsung saying its products copied the patents of the iPhones and the iPads.

Apple has managed to have some of Samsung’s devices banned in the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

By Park Hyun-young, Kim Hyung-eun []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

“삼성, 특허 약하지 않다 … 끝까지 맞대응”

신종균 사장 ‘갤럭시 넥서스’ 발표 … “애플과 소송전 승리 위해 법무팀 보강”

삼성전자 무선사업부 신종균(55) 사장이 애플과의 소송 전쟁에서 승리하기 위해 모든 역량을 결집해 총력전을 펼칠 것이라고 밝혔다. 18일 홍콩에서 열린 기자간담회에서다.

 신 사장은 구글과 공동 개발한 스마트폰 신제품 ‘갤럭시 넥서스’를 선보이기 위해 홍콩을 찾았다. 이날 신 사장의 발언은 어느 때보다 직설적이고 강도가 높았다.

 “애플과 특허 소송으로 우리가 얻은 것은 없고, 잃은 것은 (삼성전자) 브랜드의 자존심이다. 앞으로 대응 범위를 넓히고 수위는 높이겠다.” 애플 창업자인 스티브 잡스 사망 이후 일각에서 제기된 애플-삼성 간 타협설을 분명한 어조로 일축한 것이다. 신 사장은 또 “삼성전자가 특허력이 약한 회사가 아니다”라며 “우리가 가진 통신 특허뿐 아니라 멀티미디어 등 갖고 있는 모든 특허로 대응하겠다”고 밝혔다. 그는 물밑 타협 가능성도 부인했다. "특허 소송은 애플을 협상 테이블로 끌어들이기 위한 게 아니다.”

 신 사장은 특히 특허 전쟁이 오래갈 것이라고 관측했다. 그러면서 “어떻게 보면 이제 시작이 아닌가 싶다”라고까지 말했다. 애플은 삼성의 스마트폰과 태블릿PC 일부 제품이 독일·네덜란드·호주에서 판매를 금지하는 법원의 결정을 얻어냈다. 이에 맞서 최근 삼성전자는 아이폰4S가 공개되자마자 프랑스와 이탈리아에서 “삼성의 특허를 베꼈다”며 판매금지 가처분 신청을 낸 상태다.

 현재까지 진행된 특허 소송에서 애플이 4차례 이기고, 삼성이 한 번도 이기지 못한 패인에 대해서는 법무 분야 부실로 해석했다. 신 사장은 “기술력이나 비즈니스 능력만 갖고 되는 게 아니라 법도 중요하다는 생각을 하게 됐다”며 “특히 법률적인 대응, 특허에 대한 준비를 더욱 철저히 하기 위해 최근 법무팀을 보강했다”고 덧붙였다.

 이런 와중에 미국에서 희소식이 들려왔다. 미국 새너제이법원이 18일(현지시간) 삼성전자를 상대로 애플이 낸 판매금지 가처분 신청 중 “공정한 조건으로 삼성전자의 특허를 사용하려는 애플의 의도를 삼성이 왜곡했다”는 애플 측 주장을 기각했다. 또 삼성전자가 반독점 조항을 위배했다는 애플의 주장 일부를 기각해달라는 삼성전자 측 요청을 받아들였다. 9개국 30여 건의 법정 분쟁 중 처음으로 삼성전자에 유리한 법원의 판단이 나온 것이다. 표준 특허권자는 공정한 조건으로 특허 사용을 허용해야 한다는 조항을 들어 삼성전자가 신청한 애플 제품 판매금지를 기각한 네덜란드 법원의 판단과 반대되는 것으로, 삼성전자가 이제서야 승기를 잡았다는 관측이 나오고 있다.

 공교롭게도 이날 3분기 실적을 발표한 애플은 예상보다 부진한 실적을 내놨다.

지난 9월 24일로 끝난 3분기 순익이 66억2000만 달러를 기록, 지난해 3분기의 43억1000만 달러에 비해 54% 늘었다고 발표했다. 하지만 뉴욕 증시에서 주가가 7% 넘게 떨어졌다. 증권가에서는 애플이 2000만 대의 아이폰을 판매했을 것으로 예상했지만 정작 1707만 대 판매에 그쳤다고 발표한 것이다.

 신 사장은 이와 관련, “우린 3분기에 스마트폰을 2000만 대 이상 판매한 것으로 안다”고 말해 사실상 삼성전자가 3분기에 애플을 누르고 전 세계 스마트폰 시장에서 1위에 올라섰음을 분명히 했다.

 한편 신 사장은 19일 홍콩 컨벤션센터에서 앤디 루빈 구글 수석부사장과 함께 구글의 모바일 운영체제(OS)인 안드로이드 최신 4.0 버전인 ‘아이스크림 샌드위치’를 적용한 ‘갤럭시 넥서스’를 공개했다. 애플의 신제품인 아이폰4S와 격한 경쟁을 벌일 대항마다. 루빈 부사장은 “아이스크림 샌드위치는 스마트폰과 태블릿PC에서 모두 작동되는 혁신적인 플랫폼”이라고 극찬했다. 이날 행사장은 삼성전자와 구글 관계자, 내·외신 기자들과 협력회사 임직원 등 500여 명으로 가득 찼다. 약 한 시간 동안 진행된 신제품 프레젠테이션에서는 두 차례의 박수가 터져나왔다. 스마트폰을 맞대면 정보가 교환되는 ‘안드로이드 빔’과 내장 카메라의 ‘파노라마 촬영 기능’이 호평을 받았다.

갤럭시 넥서스의 특징

■ 안드로이드 최신 운영체제(OS)인 ‘아이스크림 샌드위치’ 적용해 최고의 속도

■ 수퍼 아몰레드 4.65인치 대형 화면

■ 근거리통신(NFC) 기능을 이용해 스마트폰끼리 맞대면 뉴스 페이지나 지도, 유튜브 비디오, 게임 콘텐트 등 애플리케이션을 주고받을 수 있는 안드로이드 빔 기능 도입

■ 카메라로 사용자 얼굴을 인식해 잠금을 해제하는 ‘페이스 언록(unlock)’ 기능

■ 11월 유럽시장을 시작으로 전 세계에 출시

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