Now Samsung has to open the sales kimono in its increasingly personal legal battle with Apple
By John Koetsier | VentureBeat.com,
Just over a month after winning the right to see details of Apple’s licensing deal with HTC, Samsung is being forced to reveal some of its private data to Apple. Justice Koh has denied the Korean company’s bid to keep detailed sales data private, according to Bloomberg.
Samsung wanted to know more about how HTC is licensing key patents from Apple to cover its Android phones. Apple wants to know exactly how many models of its many smartphones Samsung has sold in the U.S., which would of course have financial repercussions in the billion-dollar judgement that Apple won against Samsung almost half a year ago, and that Apple has been trying to increase ever since.
Koh’s judgement means that Apple will get data on model sales, but will not see exact channel pricing or profit margin details. Interestingly, in October last year, Koh had granted Samsung to not only get data on model sales, but also the right to see key iPhone profitability data.
This latest round just adds to the complexity of the relationship between the two biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. Apple and Samsung are enemies and partners, as Apple still sources some key components from the massive multinational manufacturer — such as the iPhone 5′s central processing unit and screens for some of its phones.
Since late last year, Samsung has alternately played hardball and softball, first saying that there was no way it would pay Apple royalties, and then unilaterally dropping patent injunctions against Apple in Europe.
With these two latest private corporate data reveals, this is turning into a unwilling corporate equivalent of an adolescent show-me-yours-I’ll-show-you-mine. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry wishes Samsung and Apple would just get a room.
Which is precisely what Justice Koh called for in December, telling the two warring companies that “it’s time for global peace.”
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