In Brief: Tim Cook on Steve Jobs and Samsung lawsuit

Wed, Apr 20, 2011

Legal, News

During Apple’s last earnings conference call, nary a question was asked about Steve Jobs. That was somewhat surprising given the public’s voracious appetite for even a morsel of information regarding Apple’s CEO and co-founder.

During today’s earnings conference call, Jobs name did surface and was addressed by COO and interim CEO Tim Cook.

Specifically, Cook was asked how closely Jobs has stayed involved with Apple while out on medical leave. Cook responded that though Jobs is busy focusing on recuperating fully, Apple employees do see him on a regular basis and that he remains involved in major strategic decisions. “I know he wants to be back full time as soon as he can,” Cook added.

This, of course, aligns with previous reports we’ve heard of Jobs working steadily on Apple projects from home and reports that he’s been stopping by Apple’s Cupertino campus with increasing frequency.

In other news of note from today’s earnings conference call, Cook was asked to comment on Apple’s recently filed lawsuit against Samsung for copying the look and feel of Apple’s iOS devices. The lawsuit seemed inevitable given how closely Samsung’s products resemble Apple’s, but it’s still a sticky situation in light of the fact that Apple is one of Samsung’s biggest customers with business worth nearly $6 billion in annual payments.

Regarding Samsung, Cook explained that Samsung is a valuable component partner for Apple and its line of iOS devices. “We felt the mobile communication division of Samsung had crossed the line,” Cook added, “and after trying for some time to work out the issue, we decided we needed to rely on the courts.”

This is an interesting nugget of info because it indicates that Apple did, in fact, attempt to work out a non-legal solution to the situation before taking matters to the courts. It was previously unknown if the lawsuit caught Samsung completely off-guard or if negotiations/discussions between the two tech behemoths had come to a halt.


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