Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 08:01 pm PT (11:01 pm ET)
Samsung COO met with Apple's Tim Cook to discuss supplying 'better parts' through 2014After attending a memorial service in honor of the late Steve Jobs, Samsung's chief operating officer met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss supplying the company with "even better parts" in 2013 and 2014, after its current contract ends next year.
Lee Jae-Yong, heir apparent to the family-owned Samsung Electronics empire, met with Cook for more than two hours after attending Jobs' memorial service on Sunday, The Korea Herald reports.
Arriving back in Seoul earlier this week, Lee told reporters that, despite the ongoing legal disagreement between the two companies, Samsung will continue to sell parts to Apple until 2012. On Monday, it was reported that Samsung will supply a next-generation quad-core "A6" processor to Apple next year.
Lee went on to suggest that he had talked with Cook how his company's supplier relationship with Apple will continue on after next year.
"For the 2013-2014 period, we discussed how best to supply even better parts," he said. Lee also mentioned that he and Cook had talked about past challenges and how to promote good relations between their companies in the future, the report noted.
The executive declined to comment on whether the meeting could lead to a resolution of the companies' legal dispute, saying only that his visit "was to attend the memorial service."
Apple was Samsung's second-largest client last year, behind only Sony, and is expected to take the top spot this year with an estimated $7.8 billion in component purchases.
As tensions have mounted between Apple and Samsung, rumors have swirled that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. would take over for Samsung in producing Apple's custom chips.
"There is a need to compete in a fair manner for the benefit of the consumer, and this stance existed in the past, is taking place now and will occur in the future," Lee said. According to him, the company is currently deciding whether to expand its legal actions against Apple or to hold off.
Apple first sued Samsung in April, alleging that the company had copied the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad. At present, ongoing lawsuits between the two companies number in the twenties and span more than a dozen countries.
Last month, the head of global marketing at Samsung said the South Korean electronics giant would be "more aggressive" in pursuing its rights after having held back because Apple was a client.
"We've been quite respectful and also passive in a way," the executive reportedly said. "However, we shouldn't be... anymore."
For its part, Samsung does appear to be taking steps to curb potential infringement of Apple's intellectual property. The company has indicated that, for the just-announced Galaxy Nexus smartphone, great efforts were taken to ensure that the device does not violate any known Apple patents.
"Now we will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously," said Samsung's mobile president Shin Jong-kyun earlier this week.
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